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January 4, 2010It's been six months since Frank Tamakloe, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound safety from Olney, (MD), gave his verbal commitment to play for Bret Bielema and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Tamakloe, whose senior season was cut short due to injury, was watching proudly during Wisconsin's win over Miami in the Champs Sports Bowl last week.
This weekend, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with Tamakloe to discuss his thoughts on the Badgers' bowl victory and his expectations when arriving in Madison.
The following is a question and answer segment with the three-star safety.
First off, what were your thoughts on the Badgers' bowl victory over Miami?
Tamakloe: It was an awesome game. Throughout the whole game I had teammates, coaches and friends texting me. It felt good because Miami is a big-time program and to beat a team like that will give us a lot of momentum going into the off-season. It really dispels the notion about speed and what not.
What were your thoughts on Wisconsin's defense?
Tamakloe: Just watching guys like Jay Valai, Devin Smith and Aaron Henry is always cool. It was neat because I was able to meet a few of those guys when I was up there on my visit. But also, watching guys like Chris Borland bringing pressure really makes it a lot easier on the defensive backs.
You have touched on Chris Borland, does it amaze you to see what he's been able to accomplish as a true freshman? Do you hope to have the same impact?
Tamakloe: I'm going to do my best to seize the opportunity. It's actually kind of funny because I was on crutches when I made my official visit and Chris actually carried me around town I told him not to, but he didn't listen (laughter). The ground was slippery and he insisted on it. He's a really great player.
What were you thoughts after watching the secondary? Do you like the scheme?
Tamakloe: (Chris) Maragos and Valai did a great job. The corners did a great job also. I actually had the chance to watch some of Miami's game film with Aaron when I was up there and they have a great group of receivers. So, it was really impressive to see our secondary shut them down.
How is the leg? How is rehab?
Tamakloe: It's going well, I'm starting to get my range of motion back. It's still pretty stiff after being in a boot for so long. I'm rehabbing it right now. I wear the boot when I go out to protect it, but I take it off when I'm around the house. I should be walking normal in about two weeks.
We haven't caught up with you since your official visit. How did it go?
Tamakloe: The visit was great. It was just like a family, everyone there was great. Like I said, Borland was giving me piggy-back rides. I loved the campus and being able to watch practice was great.
Did you hit it off with any of the players or the recruits?
Tamakloe: Well, my host the first night was Henry. We hit it off pretty well. We were able to go to their banquet. We sat at a table with (Niles) Brinkley and (Culmer) St. Jean. I also got to hang out with Tyler Dippel and David Gilbert. They kind of told me what it was like to be a freshman.
As far as recruits, I hung out with the Trotter brothers (Michael Trotter and Marcus Trotter), Warren Herring, Cody Byers and Bryce Gilbert. Everyone was really cool. I had a great time.
Note: This interview was conducted before the news of Kerry Cooks potentially leaving for Notre Dame surfaced. Cooks was Tamakloe's primary recruiter for UW.