Wisconsin Badgers add 2020 wing Justin Taphorn as a preferred walk-on
In the 2013 recruiting class, Wisconsin took a long look at Nate Taphorn before he eventually signed with Northwestern. Friday, Greg Gard snagged a commitment from his younger brother.
Justin Taphorn, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound shooting guard from Pekin High School in Illinois, added his name to Wisconsin's 2020 class as a preferred walk-on. He joins Ben Carlson, Jonathan Davis, Jordan Davis, Lorne Bowman, Steven Crowl and Carter Gilmore in UW's incoming freshman class.
"Due to the pandemic, recruiting for me was in an odd situation," Taphorn told BadgerBlitz.com. "But I decided to reach out to Coach Gard and see if there was an opportunity for me at Wisconsin. We went back and forth for awhile and he treated me very well.
"My brother was recruited by Wisconsin. I never really followed Wisconsin but have always heard great things about the school."
Taphorn, who competed with the Illinois Irish on the AAU circuit, was also considering the same opportunity at Bradley. He averaged just over 10 points per game as a senior.
"I had a preferred walk-on offer at Bradley University," Taphorn said. "The coaches there treated me very well, but Wisconsin is a better fit for me. UW is a better fit for me with my major (kinesiology), what I want to pursue and the experience I want to have."
Pat Taphorn, who played at Wisconsin-Green Bay, was able to coach his son the last four years as an assistant at Pekin.
"Coach Gard liked how I could shoot the ball and saw that I was a threat behind the arc," Justin Taphorn said. "He also liked that I was a coach’s son and knew what it meant to be coachable.
"It's a great relief. I’ve waited a long time to make a decision. Since I’ve made a decision, I already feel very welcomed by the Wisconsin community."