During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.
With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a running feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.
Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.
Taj Mustapha, an up-and-coming wide receiver for the Badgers is the focus of today’s version of our running profile series.
Name: Taj Mustapha
Position: wide receiver
2020 eligibility: redshirt sophomore
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 composite 3-star, No. 121 wide receiver, West Bloomfield, Mich.
2018 recruitment: Taj Mustapha was one of a handful of Michigan prospects that visited Madison during early June of 2018. Mustapha and high school teammate A.J. Abbott each opted to spurn in-state Michigan State in choosing to become Badgers in what was a surprise win for Wisconsin on the recruiting trail at the time.
In addition to Michigan State, Mustapha held offers from Boston College, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Syracuse, and multiple MAC offers.
Career statistics: five games played, one reception, three yards receiving, one touchdown
2019 statistics: one game played
Player overview: A talented wide receiver that has good ball skills and speed, Taj Mustapha is a player that the coaching staff has been high on for some time.
After playing in four games as true freshman and catching a touchdown pass from Danny Vanden Boom, he was able to keep his redshirt. The reemergence of Quintez Cephus last season though did not provide a lot of opportunities for the Michigan product to see the field in 2019.
Paul Chryst has come out and said that the staff is looking for the “next ups” at wide receiver, and Mustapha is a player that fits that mold heading into 2020.
Best case scenario for 2020: After waiting in the wings his first two seasons, Mustapha is able to break into the receiving rotation and be part of the “next up” solution that Paul Chryst was looking for heading into the season. He is able to compliment the four senior pass catchers that should see the bulk of the playing time by becoming a consistent contributor that the team can turn to.
If Mustapha is able to help the team out in 2020 he should have an opportunity for an even bigger role come 2021.
Likely role on team in 2020: As previously noted, the Badgers return four senior wide receivers that are projected to be the primary options at the position. Mustapha is one of the better young players in the wide receiving room, so assuming he progresses he should be vying for an increased role. New wide receivers coach Alvis Whitted has a number of players that are in a similar position to Mustapha, the major question remains of who will emerge? At this point, the redshirt sophomore is one of the better guesses.