Time for Badgers’ other Taylor to step to forefront

The emergence of wide receiver Quintez Cephus has been a pleasant surprise for Wisconsin this season, which made seeing him leave with what looked like a serious leg injury last Saturday against Indiana a crushing blow.

After nine games, Cephus led the Badgers in receiving yards (501) and touchdowns (6) and was tied with Troy Fumagalli in catches (30).

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Naturally, there might be a bit of hand-wringing from Wisconsin fans. A.J. Taylor could help ease the tension.

The sophomore wide receiver is coming off his best game as a collegian. Taylor, no relation to super freshman running back Jonathan Taylor, grabbed three receptions for 63 yards. The receiving yards were career high while the catches matched his best of 2017 — but were his most in Big Ten play; he had four receptions combined in conference games entering last Saturday — and equaled his total for all of 2016.

Taylor also rushed for 10 yards on a jet sweep, which might not seem like a momentous occasion, but Wisconsin’s long run on those plays this season had been just five yards (and not for a lack of trying).

Taylor is currently third on Wisconsin in targets, so there’s a reasonable expectation that he’ll be the main wide receiver Alex Hornibrook will look to when he passes.

A Taylor and Taylor show against Iowa? It might just be in the offing.

Here’s the complete rundown of the young Badgers from the first nine games of the season:

“TRUE” FRESHMEN
Adam Bay, LS
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Jack Coan, QB
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: 1 for 1 passing, 6 yards
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Did not play
Maryland: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Indiana: 2 for 2 passing, 12 yards
Season totals: 3 for 3 passing, 18 yards

Madison Cone, CB
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Danny Davis, WR
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Started, 1 catch, 35 yards; 1 rush, 1 yard
BYU: 2 catches, 67 yards
Northwestern: 3 catches, 50 yards, TD
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: 1 catch, 8 yards; 1 rush, 3 yards; 1 kick return, 23 yards
Maryland: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Indiana: 1 catch, 10 yards
Season totals: 8 catches, 170 yards, TD; 2 rushes, 4 yards; 1 kick return, 23 yards

Jonathan Taylor, RB
Utah State: 9 rushes, 87 yards, TD
Florida Atlantic: Started, 26 rushes, 223 yards, 3 TDs
BYU: Started, 18 rushes, 128 yards, TD
Northwestern: Started, 19 rushes, 80 yards, 2 TDs
Nebraska: Started, 25 rushes, 249 yards, 2 TDs
Purdue: Started, 30 rushes, 219 yards, TD; 1 catch, 17 yards
Maryland: Started, 22 rushes, 126 yards, TD; 1 catch, 24 yards
Illinois: Started, 12 rushes, 73 yards
Indiana: Started, 29 rushes, 183 yards, TD
Season totals: 190 rushes, 1,368 yards, 12 TDs; 2 catches, 41 yards

Have not played
Michael Balistreri, DE; Tyler Beach, OL; Logan Bruss, OL; Ethan Cesarz, ILB; Jake Collinsworth, ILB; Sam DeLany, WR; Alex Fenton, OL; Jake Ferguson, TE; Izayah Green-May, OLB; Matt Hennigsen, DE; Faion Hicks, CB; Hunter Johnson, RB; Collin Larsh, K; Kayden Lyles, OL; Tyler Mais, S; Scott Nelson, S; Emmet Perry, WR; Josh Seltzner, OL; Blake Smithback, OL; Danny Vanden Boom, QB; Aaron Vopal, OL; Coy Wanner, TE

 

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN
Christian Bell, OLB
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo)
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: 1 tackle (solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 FF
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 2 tackles (2 solo), sack, TFL, FF

Luke Benzschawel, TE
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Did not play
Maryland: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Indiana: Did not play
Season totals: n/a

Tyler Biadasz, C
Utah State: Started, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Started, did not record a statistic
BYU: Started, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Started, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Started, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Started, did not record a statistic
Maryland: Started, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Started, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Started, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Noah Burks, OLB
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo), 1 QBH
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Maryland: 1 tackle (solo)
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 2 tackles (2 solo), QBH

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Eric Burrell, S
Utah State: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: 1 tackle (solo)
Season totals: 3 tackles (2 solo)

Dontye Carriere-Williams, CB
Utah State: 5 tackles (2 solo)
Florida Atlantic: 1 tackle (solo), 1 PBU
BYU: 8 tackles (6 solo), INT
Northwestern: 3 tackles (3 solo)
Nebraska: 1 tackle (solo), 1 PBU
Purdue: Started, 1 tackle, 2 PBU
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Started, 3 tackles (2 solo), 2 PBU
Indiana: Started, 1 tackle (solo)
Season totals: 23 tackles (16 solo), INT, 6 PBU

Seth Currens, S
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: 1 tackle
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 1 tackle

Jack Dunn, WR
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Did not play
Indiana: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Garrett Groshek, RB
Utah State: 2 rushes, 29 yards, TD; 1 tackle (solo)
Florida Atlantic: 5 rushes, 10 yards; 1 catch, 6 yards; 1 tackle
BYU: 9 carries, 43 yards; 1 tackle
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: 1 rush, 7 yards
Purdue: 2 rushes, 32 yards
Maryland: 5 rushes, 47 yards
Illinois: 12 rushes, 51 yards, TD
Indiana: 9 rushes, 23 yards; 1 catch, 7 yards
Season totals: 45 rushes, 242 yards, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 13 yards; 3 tackles (1 solo)

Patrick Kasl, OL
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

 

Adam Krumholz, WR
Utah State: Did not play
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Maryland: Did not play
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE
Utah State: 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Northwestern: 1 tackle, .5 sacks, .5 TFL
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Maryland: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Indiana: Did not play
Season totals: 6 tackles (3 solo), 1.5 sacks, 1.5 TFL

Mike Maskalunas, ILB
Utah State: 1 tackle, 1 FR
Florida Atlantic: 1 tackle (solo)
BYU: 2 tackles (1 solo), 1 TFL
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: 1 tackle (solo)
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Did not play
Indiana: 2 tackles (2 solo)
Season totals: 7 tackles (5 solo), TFL

Keldrick Preston, DE
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo), 1 QBH
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Maryland: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Indiana: Did not play
Season stats: 1 tackle (solo), QBH

Kendric Pryor, WR
Utah State: Did not play
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Purdue: 1 catch, 20 yards
Maryland: 2 catches, 9 yards
Illinois: 2 catches, 37 yards
Indiana: 1 catch, 14 yards
Season totals: 6 catch, 80 yards

Cole Van Lanen, OL
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Caesar Williams, CB
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo)
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Maryland: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Did not play
Indiana: Did not play
Season totals: 1 tackle (solo)


Have not played
Josh Bernhagen, LS; Cade Green, WR; Deron Harrell, WR; Gabe Lloyd, TE; Kare Lyles, QB; Hegeman Tiedt, OLB; Cristian Volpentesta, CB

Injured, out for season
Sam Brodner, RB; Mason Stokke, ILB

Best of the Badgers

“TRUE” SOPHOMORES
Quintez Cephus, WR
Utah State: Started; 3 catches, 31 yards, TD
Florida Atlantic: 2 catches, 47 yards
BYU: Started, 5 catches, 54 yards, 2 TDs
Northwestern: 4 catches, 99 yards; 1 rush, -3 yards
Nebraska: Started, 4 catches, 68 yards, TD
Purdue: 5 catches, 100 yards, TD
Illinois: 2 catches, 31 yards
Indiana: 2 catches, 24 yards, TD
Season totals: 27 catches, 456 yards, 6 TDs; 1 rush, -3 yards

David Edwards, RT
Utah State: Started, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Started, did not record a statistic
BYU: Started, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Started, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Started, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Started, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Started, did not record a statistic
Indiana: Started, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

Patrick Johnson, S
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Did not play
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Did not play
Injured, out for the season
Season totals: n/a

Anthony Lotti, P
Utah State: 3 punts, 129 yards (43.0 average)
Florida Atlantic: 5 punts, 191 yards (38.2 average)
BYU: 2 punts, 93 yards (46.5 average)
Northwestern: 6 punts, 245 yards (40.8 average)
Nebraska: 4 punts, 169 yards (42.2 average)
Purdue: 1 punt, 44 yards (44.0 average)
Maryland: 1 punt, 26 yards (26.0 average)
Illinois: 5 punts, 183 yards (36.6 average)
Indiana: 1 punt, 37 yards
Season totals: 28 punts, 1,117 yards (39.9 average)

Garrett Rand, DE
Utah State: 1 QBH
Florida Atlantic: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: 1 PBU
Northwestern: 1 tackle
Nebraska: 1 QBH
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Maryland: 1 tackle
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Indiana: 1 tackle (solo)
Season totals: 3 tackles (1 solo), 2 QBH, PBU

Bradrick Shaw, RB
Utah State: Started; 18 rushes, 84 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 10 yards
Florida Atlantic: Did not play
BYU: 4 carries, 19 yards
Northwestern: 9 rushes, 34 yards
Nebraska: 12 rushes, 43 yards, TD
Purdue: 12 rushes, 41 yards; 2 catches, 11 yards
Maryland: 7 rushes, 18 yards
Illinois: 12 rushes, 40 yards
Indiana: 5 rushes, 21 yards, TD
Season totals: 79 rushes, 300 yards, 3 TDs; 3 catches, 21 yards

A.J. Taylor, WR
Utah State: 3 catches, 38 yards; 2 kick returns, 46 yards
Florida Atlantic: 1 kick return, 21 yards
BYU: 3 catches, 34 yards, TD; 2 kick returns, 65 yards
Northwestern: 1 catch, 33 yards; 1 kick return, 18 yards
Nebraska: 1 catch, 5 yards; 1 kick return, 25 yards
Purdue: 1 catch, 17 yards; 2 rushes, 5 yards
Maryland: 2 catches, 41 yards, TD; 4 kick returns, 83 yards
Illinois: 1 rush, 4 yards; 1 kick return, 29 yards
Indiana: 3 catches, 63 yards; 1 rush, 10 yards
Season totals: 14 catches, 231 yards, 2 TDs; 4 rushes, 19 yards; 12 kick returns, 287 yards (23.9 average)

Have not played
Griffin Grady, ILB

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns