ACE: Catching Up With Taco Charlton

Submitted by Ace on December 6th, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I caught up with Pickerington (OH) Central DE Taco Charlton, an OLB/DE on the 2013 ESPNU 150 Watch List who's already ranked as the #118 overall player in the junior class by 247Sports, over the phone last night. It's been a busy fall for Charlton, as Central made it all the way to last weekend's Division 1 state title game before falling to St. Ignatius, while Taco has picked up offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse, and UCLA as well as interest from several big-name schools. Here's the latest on Charlton's recruitment:

ACE: How are things going with your recruitment?

TACO: It's been going well. We just had our state championship game Saturday, so it's just been a long road from that, and then looking past that.

ACE: You mentioned being in the state title game—you guys had a big run at the end of the season. How did the season go for you?

TACO: It was good, I definitely had a chance to impact my team more than I did last year. I don't know my statistics right now, but in the next couple weeks we'll get our stats from the start of the season to the championship game. But it was a successful season—I'm just working on getting better, being more dominating in my senior year.

ACE: How do you feel you improved your game over the course of the season?

TACO: Each game I started to do more and more to help my team out and make more plays to help our team in games. So if there's anything I could improve, you know, rush moves, rushing the passer, getting off the ball, stuff like that—anything to help my team out to win games and get us to a championship game.

ACE: Were you playing more outside linebacker or defensive end during the season?

TACO: At the beginning of the season I was playing outside linebacker, then towards the end of the year I started playing more defensive end.

ACE: Where do you like playing more?

TACO: It really doesn't matter. Wherever I go, wherever they like me at, you know, I'm athletic, so I can play either one. When I look at the college I want to go to and wherever they'd like to put me at, I'll play.

ACE: Now, back to recruiting, I see you're on Twitter (@thekidTC33) posting a lot of Michigan stuff and a lot of Notre Dame stuff. Are those the two schools that are sticking out for you right now?

TACO: I haven't been able to declare any favorites yet, but those are definitely schools I have good relationships with and I talk to their coaches a lot. Now there are more offers coming in and I have more options but those are definitely the two schools I have a lot of contact with. But no favorites, yet.

ACE: Who are you talking to from Michigan? Which coaches and which recruits?

TACO: Coach Smith, Coach Montgomery—I talk to Coach Montgomery a lot, almost every week at least. I talk a lot to [2013 DL] Billy Price, he's from Austintown Fitch, and he's a Michigan recruit, he got offered. Also [2013 Columbus Bishop Hartley TE] Jake Matuska, he's a recruit but he hasn't been offered yet, but he's interested in the University of Michigan. Just those guys right now.

ACE: Did you get a chance to watch Michigan at all after the Notre Dame game, and if so, what did you think of them?

TACO: Yeah, I watched them a lot, you know, to see how their defense is. They had a really good defense. Coach Mattison, he's a real great coach, he coached at Florida when Urban Meyer was there and he coached the Ravens too. So he's a real good coach, it'd be wonderful just to get a chance to play for him, and I know he could definitely improve my game.



December 7th, 2011 at 8:40 AM ^

All I can think of is how frighteningly close we are to making "Idiocracy" reality.

The main character's right hand man was Frito.  This was supposed to be a JOKE.  Now the world has a guy named Taco (not to mention a pro baseball player named Coco Crisp) and I'm hardly blinking.

turd ferguson

December 6th, 2011 at 11:37 AM ^

It seems like he'd be a great addition to this class.

Am I the only one who thinks it's a little crazy that 247Sports already has its 2013 rankings done?  Think about the timing of that.  That must be a several month (if not multi-year) process, meaning that most of what they've seen of kids probably comes from very early in their junior seasons and before then.  Hardly any of those kids have attended a camp, so there's no seeing them line up against one another.  I think it's hard to take those rankings very seriously right now.


December 6th, 2011 at 12:36 PM ^

Wouldn't worry too much about the Price connection—Charlton has made it pretty clear he likes Michigan, and he was clearly rooting for the Wolverines when he was watching The Game from home. Taco's twitter icon is him in a Michigan hoodie. Considering how close he is to Columbus, that says a lot.


December 6th, 2011 at 12:19 PM ^

Taco seems very aware of what Michigan has to offer in terms of ooaching. While we've seen recruits talk about Mattison, I don't think we've seen a guy run through Mattison's resume like that. He seems like he'd be a good fit here. His willingness to help the team by playing any position is what stands out to me.


December 6th, 2011 at 1:30 PM ^

There is nothing I want more in the world than to have Taco Charlton and Jake Butt on the same team.  I would make sure Taco took the Brazilian route and just went with the first name, so "Taco" would be on his jersey.  And then I would make sure Jake Butt played to his right.  And then Taco-Butt, the greatest DL pair ever would be born.

03 Blue 07

December 6th, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

I've gotta be honest, and I'm sure this is a common theme: I really want this guy to come to Michigan and it has virtually nothing to do with his actual level of play. I want a guy named Taco Charlton at Michigan. He could be a cult hero. And he's also really good at football, so there's that. What a name.

San Diego Mick

December 6th, 2011 at 7:12 PM ^

I know you're all having fun with the names and everything, but if you were the recruit and you were reading this thread, would you be looking upon it fondly?


I'm just saying let's be more respectful of peoples names, not everyone is gonna be named "John Smith" or "Mike Williams", just sayin'.


I would love to have Taco on the team and not because of his name but instead his game!