In the state of Florida, especially with a number of South Florida players on its roster, high school players – like Plantation defensive tackle Monty Nelson – have taken a notice and appreciation for why the Badgers have won the last two Big Ten conference titles.
"From watching those guys on television, I love to watch them because they offensive and defensive line are massive at the line of scrimmage," Nelson told Badger Nation. "That's how they've won a lot of football game. They love to get down in the trenches and I like that."
That made March 23 special for Nelson – 6-3, 292 pounds - when his coach told him that the Badgers were coming through with a scholarship offer.
"I was really excited to add them to my list of offers," said Nelson. "It wasn't a huge surprise, but it was a surprise. They were talking to me and my coach previous to that."
Being recruited by assistant coach and Plantation, Fla., native Charlie Partridge, Wisconsin is looking to take one or two defensive tackles in the 2012 recruiting class. With UW having offered only three defensive tackles, including Nelson, the junior knows the Badgers view him highly.
"It's gone very well from the couple times I've talked with him," said Nelson. "From the instance he saw my highlight tape he liked me because he saw that I loved to use my hands and be explosive at the line of scrimmage. He has a very good relationship with my coach. They talk a lot outside of football. It's a great relationship to have."
In addition to Coach Partridge, Nelson talks to running back coach Robert Gillespie of West Virginia and defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler of Indiana, the two schools that represent Nelson's other offers.
"I like West Virginia a lot but I also like Indiana a lot, too," said Nelson. "All three coaches have good relationship with me where he can talk outside of football. I really don't have any favorites at this point."
In addition to his three offers, Nelson has been getting interest from Alabama, Boston College Central Florida, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, North Carolina and South Florida to name a few. While the interest list is very heavy with Florida schools, Nelson is planning on going somewhere different.
"To be honest, I would prefer to go out of state to be honest," Nelson said. "It's a chance to go out and see a different part of the country, see something different. I want to experience different things."
Nelson finished his junior season with 10 sacks and nine forced fumbles. He defines himself as naturally explosive, which comes from a combination of a lot of hours in the gym and on the school's wrestling team.
"The hard work has helped a lot," said Nelson. "I've put a lot of hard work into it with my natural instincts. You mix those two things, you can be dangerous. In wrestling, you can't hide behind 10 other guys, so it makes you be aggressive."