A Texas-Sized Experience

Texas prospect Darrell Taylor took his first official visit this past weekend and thoroughly enjoyed his first trip up to Wisconsin.

MADISON – Although their wasn't much action on the field to be impressed with, Mesquite (TX) H.S. safety Darnell Taylor official visit to the University of Wisconsin was an eye-opening experience.

"I enjoyed it a lot and had a lot of fun," Taylor told Badger Nation Sunday night. "I liked the atmosphere, the campus is real nice and clean, the coaches were very laid back, the players were real cool and I enjoyed the trip a lot. I really liked the campus more than anything and how the city gets involved in the school."

Spending plenty of time with other official visitors Vlad Emilien, Keenan Graham, Brodrick Jenkins and recent Wisconsin-commit David Gilbert, Taylor got chauffeured around the campus by former Badger defensive end Terrance Jamison before the game and got to spend time with his host, freshman defensive back Devin Smith.

Smith, a Texas native that played high school football only 45 minutes away from Mesquite, gave Taylor a lot of helpful insight to what a Dallas-native faces in his first season in Madison.

"He was able to tell me what it's like in your first year up here from experience," Taylor said. "He told that the coaches always try to stay involved with academics and study hall. He said that I would enjoy it if I came up here."

Another factor the duo has in common is Defensive Backs Coach Kerry Cooks, who also recruited Smith. In charge of recruiting the state of Texas and having already gotten one verbal from Josh Peprah for the Class of 2009, Cooks and Taylor have a good line of communication.

"We have a real good relationship and we talk once or twice a week," Taylor said. "He's a real cool guy and he talks to me about things other than football, so it's not just talking football all the time."

Wisconsin is Taylor's only current scholarship offer, but Taylor (a three-star prospect according to Scout Media) has taken an unofficial visit to North Texas last spring and is also hearing from Northwestern, Purdue, Rice and Utah State.

In his last game against Lee High School, Taylor had 14 tackles, giving him 65 total tackles for the season. Taylor also has two interceptions and four pass breakups this year, as he continues to accomplish the goal he set in the off season.

"I am pretty good about my composure this year and I wanted to just make plays," Taylor said. "I had chances last year to make a play and I would miss it or whatnot. I felt like I needed to make plays to be valuable."

Although Wisconsin's number of available scholarships is getting shorter and shorter, Taylor was told to take his time in making his decision, which affirms that the Badgers have their sights firmly set on the Texas prospect.

"Coach Cooks and Coach Bielema told me that I don't have to rush anything," Taylor said. "I am going to wait until after the season and try to make my decision within a week after it's over with.

"I had a real good time on Saturday night," he added. "My feelings toward Wisconsin are getting stronger."


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