During Taphorn's games in Riverside-Brookfield High School with the Illinois Wolves, Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody and associate head coach Tavaras Hardy watched the action courtside, making it clear: the talented forward needed to be a Wildcat.
Taphorn had a change of heart from his previous plans; he committed to Northwestern on Sunday night.
"I really won't get a better opportunity than this," Taphorn said of his decision. Northwestern is one of the top schools in the country."
During the weekend's action, which saw the Wolves take the title, Taphorn excelled, displaying his versatile game.
While many coaches passed in and out of the doors, Carmody and Hardy were glued to their seats for each game.
"It meant as much as having my mom and dad there for me," Taphorn said of the NU coaches. "It showed they really need me and want me at their school."
Taphorn is also Northwestern's second addition for its 2013 recruiting class, joining three-star point guard Jaren Sina.
"I don't know him but I've seen his video (highlights)," said Taphorn of Sina. "I like his game."
Many scouts have compared Taphorn's game to that of Northwestern's all-time leading scorer, John Shurna. Nate is focused on just being Nate.
"I don't like comparing myself to other people because I always end up looking up," he said. "I like being myself. "
With his decision in the books, Taphorn is eager to begin his career as a Wildcat. He said: "I really look forward to being up at Northwestern for the next four years and having the best time of my life."