With tailbacks C.J. Freeman and George Hill both declining Wisconsin’s scholarship offer last week, the Badgers are still in search of a running back in their 2016 recruiting class.
Funny enough, the Badgers already have a pretty good one headed their way.
The 5-11, 185-pound A.J. Taylor registered 1,400 all-purpose yards last season for Kansas City (MO) Rockhurst and was a constant presence in the end zone this past season, as his speed and agility made him a key target in the Hawklets’ offense.
And while he’s scheduled to come in as a receiver for the Badgers, Taylor said the UW staff has made it clear to him that his future position in Madison is still up in the air.
“They definitely keep it open ended,” Taylor told BadgerNation. “The last time I went up there, we talked to the receivers coach and also talked to the running backs coach. We also talked to the special teams coach. I can tell when I’m talking to them that they see me as a versatile guy.”
The three-star Taylor – rated the No.105 receiver in the country by Scout.com – admits the thought of playing tailback in college has entered his mind. In the same breath, Taylor was adamant that he’ll play wherever.
“I love both positions, so it really doesn’t matter what I do,” said Taylor. “Coach Settle talks about sneaking me in for a couple plays, and Coach Gilmore is saying he can’t let that happen. They have a fun little argument about that, but they definitely want to see how it goes. If they need a running back or somebody to jump in there, they’ll definitely do it.”
Committing to Wisconsin at the beginning of August, Taylor said his recruitment has been very quiet the last five months. While no new schools have jumped in with scholarship offers, Taylor said he’s heard quite a bit from Illinois, Iowa and Kansas.
“Iowa recently came pretty hard to try to get me over there,” said Taylor. “Other than that, it’s been a pretty quiet process so far.”
Although his team finished 4-6 this past season, Taylor feels like his game has improved dramatically. Still saying he needs to improve his route running, especially at the top of his breaks, Taylor is anxious to get started on his football career in the spring.
“I’m pretty confident, (but) I can’t say I’m fully ready,” said Taylor. “I’ve still got a lot of learning to do. I’ve got a lot of growing. I’m definitely confident in myself that I have the ability to play at the college level, but I’ve still got a lot to work on.”