Badgers Land Secret Weapon

South Dakota's Taylor Mehlhaff could be the nation's best kicker. He's a four-year varsity starter and over 90% of his kicks were touchbacks

Wisconsin is going to sign a very solid recruiting class in February and the top prospect in the Badgers haul might not be a quarterback or a running back but a kicker.

It's not very often you hear kickers being pegged as difference makers but that's exactly what Aberdeen (S.D.) Central product Taylor Mehlhaff is.

"I was a pretty big soccer playing growing up and that's how I became interested in kicking," Taylor Mehlhaff said.

"I also played hockey, basketball, baseball and ran track in grade school," Mehlhaff added. "During my 8th grade year, I had a coach who told me that I had something special when it came to kicking a football and if I worked hard, I could be on the varsity as a freshman in high school.

"Well, I did kick on the varsity as a freshman and most of kicks were touchbacks. I was a four-year starter, I played quarterback and linebacker this year also.

"My long field goal was 52 yards and my long attempt was 59 yards (wide left)."

Mehlhaff has been attending several kicking competitions put on by kicking guru Chris Sailor and Sailor just happens to be Mehlhaff's personal coach.

"Chris (Sailor) is great," Mehlhaff said. "He's the best. Chris knows more than most special teams coaches just because he knows the mental make-up of kickers and what it takes physically and mentally to be a kicker.

"I spent some time in Vegas a week ago and Chris and I had a lot of one on one time. I went to my first kicking competition during my junior year and I didn't know what to expect.

"I ended up being as good as anyone in the camp and that's when I really started to work hard. This past summer, I kicked everyday. I worked so hard."

Mehlhaff said he was becoming disgruntled with the recruiting process but after his first scholarship offer, the offers started to roll in.

"Virginia Tech were all talking about offers."

Taylor Mehlaff chose to commit to the Wisconsin Badgers and says it was Madison that put Bucky on top.

"I loved the atmosphere of Madison," he said. "I liked the fact that at Minnesota, I could kick indoors but football was meant to be played outside.

"At Minnesota, I didn't feel an atmosphere in the dome. It didn't feel like Minnesota had it's own stadium.

"Camp Randall (Wisconsin) was crazy. The students and fans are great. I loved the city, the coaches and it just felt like the best place for me. That's why I chose Wisconsin."

So many games are won and lost in the kicking game. Field position is very important in college football and having a weapon like a Taylor Mehlhaff on your side could be the difference between the Music City Bowl and the Rose Bowl.

Super get for the Badgers!

Badger Nation Top Stories