Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha Catholic
No. 25 RB
Taiwan Deal is kind of a big... guy. He is listed at 6'2, 225 pounds, which puts him firmly in the "bulldozer" category of running backs, and that's great. He will fit in snugly on the depth chart from Day 1 on campus, on the opposite end of the spectrum from the ultra-speedy Melvin Gordon and next to the more balanced style of Corey Clement.
Deal was a three-star recruit when he initially committed to the Badgers in June, but swiftly moved up the rankings in the seven months hence. 247 Sports is the most bullish, ranking Deal as the 14th-best high school senior running back in the country, third-best player in Maryland and 216th-best player in the country. Rivals also gives him four stars, calling Deal the 26th-best running back, 10th-best player in the state and presumably something lower than the 216th best player in the country. Deal is 396th in 247 Sports' composite ranking.
Deal's physical gifts are undeniable. His senior year highlights suggest a pure North-South runner who seeks contact and has an encouraging tendency to fall forward. There is little wiggle in his game, nor is there any sign that he will produce as a receiver -- Deal is the anti-James White -- but that may not matter if Deal spends his days just trucking fools. Flash isn't really Deal's thing, anyway. Via 247:
"I wasn't raised to be a flashy person," Deal told Badger247. "My dad always told me to be humble about my situation. When big things started happening, he told me I had to dedicate myself even more, become even humbler, and stay out of trouble.
"Social media--it's just a thing to me. I'm not the type of guy to run around and rack up fans, talk a lot of trash on Twitter. I made my decision and I'm happy with it."
The offer list is excellent -- Iowa, Michigan State, Pitt, Tennessee and Virginia Tech were among Deal's suitors -- giving you all the more reason to be excited.
Verbally committed June 25, 2013
Running backs coach Thomas Hammock, of course, gets credit for being Deal's primary recruiter. Wide receivers coach Chris Beatty helped out with the assist. Deal's commitment didn't waver once; he took one official visit, on Dec. 13, to Madison.
Junior year: 69 carries, 438 yards, 6.35 YPC. One reception, 21 yards.
Named 2013 Gatorade Maryland Player of the Year