A lot of attention has been placed on names like Chris James and Bradrick Shaw in the Wisconsin Badgers backfield, and rightfully so. Both had amazing springs, but neither have something that incoming freshman running back Jonathan Taylor has — high school track state championships.
Taylor made it two-straight years as the New Jersey state champion in the 100-meter dash. He won by posting a time of 10.64, beating the second place effort of 10.68 seconds.
While that time is incredibly fast, Taylor won last season’s state title in a blistering 10.61 and hit a season best time of 10.49 seconds earlier in the year.
He was also a member of the back-to-back state champions in the 4×100 relay.
Who said football players can't do track!! Back to Back 100 meter Champion, & 4×100 State champs! Great job fellas! Football season is here! pic.twitter.com/DtTxYYbFkr
— Montrey Wright (@MontWright856) June 11, 2017
While Shaw and James may bring more of the North-South style of running, Taylor seems to have the speed that could be a huge game changer for the Badgers backfield this season. The question may be if the Badgers want to use his skill set this season or allow him to grow a bit.
One look at UW’s backfield and there is a real lack of game-breaking speed in the backfield right now. It certainly will be hard to keep that kind of raw speed of the field for long. Taylor comes to the Badgers as the No. 24 ranked running back in the 2017 class according to the 247Sports composite rankings and was the No. 8 player in the state of New Jersey.
Of course, there is also Taiwan Deal to factor in. When healthy, Deal has given the Badgers a lot to like in the backfield.
After a few years of rocky play and little true depth, it appears the Badgers finally are back to a loaded backfield.