Badgers RB Taylor has strong ending to memorable regular season

As Jonathan Taylor continues to pile up rushing yards for Wisconsin, it’s hard not to be appreciative of the freshman running back’s season.

There was some noise in spring and fall camp that Taylor was too good to redshirt, and indeed he got nine carries (for 87 yards) in the Badgers’ season-opening win against Utah State. With Bradrick Shaw banged up, Taylor was given the No. 1 role and proceeded to rush for over 100 yards in nine of the next 11 games, including 149 yards and a touchdown in the regular-season finale at Minnesota.

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It’s fair to wonder if Wisconsin would have been unbeaten if not for Taylor as not only has Shaw been limited in 2017, but backup Chris James has missed time and Taiwan Deal missed the entire season.

With the second-most rushing yards by a Badgers freshman in history, behind just Ron Dayne, it’s pretty obvious the impact Taylor has had on Wisconsin. But beyond being second on that all-time list, Taylor is a rarity among recent Badgers teams — a freshman skill player making a big impact.

Looking back over the past 10 years, only three freshmen have topped 200 receiving yards — and one is Danny Davis this year (the others were Nick Toon and Jared Abbrederis, both of whom had under 300 yards).

Since 2008, a few freshmen running backs have caused people to notice, such as John Clay, Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement. But those three were all backups and rushed for under 900 yards.

The one freshman, other than Taylor, who really stands out in the last decade is James White. In 2010, White rushed for 1,052 yards on 156 carries (which was actually third on the team) with 14 touchdowns, caught 11 passes for 88 yards and even returned 17 kicks for 329 yards.

No matter how you slice it, that’s pretty good company to be in. In fact, one might say Taylor has created a class of his own.

Here’s the complete rundown of the young Badgers through the regular 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
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: 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
Iowa: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Minnesota: 2 for 2 passing, 18 yards
Season totals: 5 for 5 passing, 36 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
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Did not play
Minnesota: 1 tackle
Season totals: 1 tackle

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
Iowa: Started, 4 catches, 74 yards
Michigan: 1 catch, 27 yards
Minnesota: 5 catches, 41 yards, TD
Season totals: 18 catches, 312 yards, 2 TDs; 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
Iowa: Started, 29 rushes, 157 yards; 1 catch, 14 yards
Michigan: Started, 19 rushes, 132 yards; 1 catch ,-3 yards
Minnesota: Started, 20 rushes, 149 yards, TD
Season totals: 258 rushes, 1,806 yards, 13 TDs; 4 catches, 52 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

Badgers all-time 100-yard receivers

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
Iowa: Did not play
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Did not play
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
Iowa: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Minnesota: 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
Iowa: Started, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Started, did not record a statistic
Minnesota, 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
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 2 tackles (2 solo), QBH

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)
Iowa: 1 tackle (solo), PBU
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Season totals: 6 tackles (4 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)
Iowa: Started, 1 tackle (solo)
Michigan: 1 tackle (solo)
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 24 tackles (17 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
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: 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
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Did not play
Minnesota: 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
Iowa: 2 rushes, 8 yards
Michigan: 4 rushes, 7 yards
Minnesota: 5 rushes, 40 yards
Season totals: 56 rushes, 297 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
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: 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
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: 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
Iowa: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Season totals: 10 tackles (5 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)
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: 3 tackles (1 solo)
Season totals: 10 tackles (6 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
Iowa: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Minnesota: 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
Iowa: 1 catch, 12 yards, TD; 1 rush, 25 yards, TD
Michigan: 3 rushes, 38 yards, TD
Minnesota: 3 catches, 51 yards
Season totals: 10 catches, 143 yards, TD; 4 rush, 63 yards, 2 TDs

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
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: 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
Iowa: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
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

Badgers 100-yard rushers

“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
Injured, out for the season
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
Iowa: Started, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Started, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: 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 (37.0 average)
Iowa: 5 punts, 218 yards (43.6 average)
Michigan: 8 punts, 298 yards (37.2 average)
Minnesota: 2 punts, 64 yards (32.0 average)
Season totals: 43 punts, 1,697 yards (39.5 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)
Iowa: 1 tackle (solo)
Michigan: 1 tackle
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 5 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
Iowa: 10 rushes, 47 yards, TD
Michigan: 4 rushes, 12 yards
Minnesota: 3 rushes, 6 yards
Season totals: 96 rushes, 365 yards, 4 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
Iowa: 1 catch, 5 yards, TD
Michigan: Started, 3 catches, 79 yards, TD
Minnesota: 3 catches, 39 yards
Season totals: 21 catches, 354 yards, 4 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