Almost a Hawkeye

One of the Badgers unofficial visitors yesterday was Green Bay linebacker Mike Taylor. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder from Green Bay (Wis.) Ashwaubenon is verbally committed to Wisconsin which is just fine by him but he thought there was a time this past spring that he'd be standing on a different sideline.

"My first scholarship offer was from North Dakota State," Michael Taylor told Badger Nation. "I really wasn't being recruited very hard at that point so I thought North Dakota State was going to be my school and I was fine with that.

"I was getting a lot of letters from all the bigger schools and Wisconsin wanted me to camp but I really didn't know what would happen or what to expect with offers.

"Iowa got a hold on my junior highlight tape and the next thing I knew, I received a call from one of their assistant coaches (Lester Erg) and they offered me a scholarship. So after that I was really excited and I thought to myself that I would be Hawkeye.

"I grew up a huge Wisconsin fan. I've lived here my whole life and I've always wanted to be a Badger but they didn't offer and Iowa did. I think Iowa offered a little bit before I went to Wisconsin's camp.

"When I camped at Wisconsin, I thought I did well but I didn't get an offer until about a week after camp and I committed right away.

"I'm living a dream. Coach Bosted is recruiting me and we get along great. I really like all the coaches at Wisconsin. The campus, facilities and atmosphere are as good as it gets." Taylor was moved up the varsity as a sophomore where he learned the ropes from his older brother.

"I didn't know what to expect when I was moved up the varsity," Taylor said. "My older brother made things a little easier and I already knew a lot of the guys.

"I just kept working hard and was eventually put in the starting line-up at outside linebacker.

"My junior year, I moved to middle linebacker so I could make plays in the box an also from sideline-to-sideline. It was an adjustment.

"Playing middle is a lot different than being on the outside but I adjusted well and just wanted to help the team as much as I could so I didn't care where the coaches played me."

Taylor was named all-state in 2006 by several media outlets after he racked up 100 plus tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. He also had five picks as a sophomore. Taylor was also named Player-of-the-Year in Green Bay after his junior year.

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