"I missed two games, but we still won a championship, so it's all good," Tamakloe told Badger Nation. "We're the number-one team in the area and the state. It's like our state championship for the catholic schools."
The Falcons earn the right to call themselves champions with a thrilling 14-7 victory in late November over DeMatha, ending the school's string of six consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles and a victory that put the Falcons on the top 20 of most major high school polls.
It's no surprise considering the Falcons' defense consisted of three seniors already committed to BCS schools: four-star cornerback Louis Young (undecided), three-star linebacker Troy Gloster (West Virginia commit) and three-star cornerback E.J. Scott (Virginia commit).
"There are a lot of kids from the area that can play ball," Tamakloe said.
Although he was forced to miss the championship game after being diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his fibula, Tamakloe was only sidelined for a couple weeks with his foot simply in a walking cast, nothing too serious that the three-star safety can't recover from.
"He told me that it wasn't even a real break," Tamakloe said. "I still was able to play the majority of the season and make first-team All-Conference. It's not too much of an issue. It helped me work on my upper body and my arms got a lot stronger."
Strength and conditioning wasn't the only large area of improvement for Tamakloe, a three-star athlete and rated the 67th-best in the country by Scout.com. Reporting 50 tackles in 10 games and a couple of pass breakups, Tamakloe's instincts saw the biggest jump, especially when opposing offenses stopped seriously challenging him on his side of the field.
"I feel like last year, I was doing a lot more thinking while this year I was doing a lot more reacting," Tamakloe said. "My special teams games improved. It wasn't bad, but I think I took it to another level this year. I have always been physical, but just reacting has helped, and I think those are the two biggest areas I improved in."
That's good news for Tamakloe, who gave her verbal commitment to Wisconsin and defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks in June. Tamakloe was first of two of Maryland players to verbally commit to the Badgers this season (OT Robby Havenstein) and his decision couldn't have come at a better time.
"Things were real hectic before I committed," he recalled. "Things were starting to pick up for me and it made things hard for me. Since I picked Wisconsin, things have been great not having to deal with all that. I wasn't able to visit for a game, but it's been fun watching them. Coach Cooks and I still talk every week and catch up."
Planning to join the Badgers in time for the start of the summer conditioning program and summer school, the main focus for him now is getting healthy. After that, it's right back in the gym, not wanting a negative setback impact the start to a positive career.
"I want to put on some weight before coming to campus and try some boxing to try and improve my footwork," Tamakloe said. "Nothing competitive, just training. I am really looking forward to making the most of my opportunity at Wisconsin and I want to get started."