MADISON — The Wisconsin Badgers football program has been ‘Taylor-made’ for standout running backs to make an immediate impact at the college level — and it’s especially true this season.
When you win a football game 59-10, it stands to reason that there would be lots of highlight plays, but one play stood above the rest in Wisconsin’s crunching of Utah State on Friday, September 1st. Freshman Jonathan Taylor’s 41-yard run jolted the whole stadium, and pushed the home team to 49 second-half points.
“You know, you want the whole offense rolling. You want the whole offense clicking, so whenever you can be that game to give a spark, the guy to help other guys make plays, that says a lot,” said Taylor.
Friday night’s game was the unveiling of Jonathan Taylor. This is a guy who has been much talked about in Badgers’ football circles, so to actually see him out there is to see a lot.
“I will say that no one was surprised. J.T. is the one that had the big run at the start of the second half; there wasn’t anything that he did tonight that surprised anyone on our sidelines,” said Badgers Head Coach Paul Chryst.
“It was very exciting,” said Taylor. “Coach harps on you: practice how you play, so every play that was called, you just remember all the practice that you had on that play that was called and you lock into your assignment. The main thing is you just focus on executing and competing against the other team.”
Taylor set the New Jersey state high school single season rushing record last fall. Now, he’s the latest in a long line of UW running backs to bring a gaudy resume to campus. Many of those same running backs went on to the NFL.
“It’s very humbling being able to play for this university. I’m at a position where a lot of great guys have come through here so you kind of play with an edge because you know there’s a lot of guys that played here before and you want to keep that same standard. You hold yourself to that same standard,” Taylor said.
One game into his college career, Taylor has folks eager to see what’s next.
Taylor should be a run to watch as his career continues at Wisconsin. Game two of the Taylor era is Saturday, September 9th against Florida Atlantic.