Salzwedel up to Five

Beaver Dam High School is not known for turning out multiple Division 1 players but running back R.J. Shelton's abilities have allowed some of his teammates - like junior tight end/defensive end Owen Salzwedel - to get noticed on the recruiting front.

MADISON - As college coaches poured over the game film of Beaver Dam running back R.J. Shelton, scouts likely saw the speed at which the 5-11 speedster sees the running lane, attacks the gap and gets up field.

Of course, some of those gaps in the defense wouldn't be possible if Owen Salzwedel wasn't there.

A defensive end by nature and a tight end by trade, Salzwedel has been one of the many blockers to create plenty of room for one of the top players in the state.

"I definitely think blocking for R.J. has helped me a lot," Salzwedel told Badger Nation. "R.J. is a great player and he got a lot of interest. He's obviously good if he's going to Michigan State. Blocking for him helped me get some good film to show."

A talented two-way player for the Golden Beavers, Salzwedel – 6-5, 235 pounds - is starting to make his own highlights. Last season, Salzwedel led the team in tackles and sacks, breaking the school's single-season sack record he set the year before. His two year quarterback blitz has set the school's career sack record with 25.5 with one year to go.

An all-conference player, Salzwedel did not have much an opportunity to catch the ball with Shelton in the backfield, but ‘caught every ball that was thrown my way.'

"I am big and I got beef, so I usually can get around the slow linemen," Salzwedel said, laughing. "I get off the ball real good."

Central Michigan, Illinois State, South Dakota State and Toledo have all offered Salzwedel – rated a three-star prospect and the No.67 defensive end in the country by Scout.com – on the defensive line but Northern Illinois offered him as a tight end on Tuesday following an unofficial visit.

"I was excited to go down there and get a visit in," Salzwedel said of Northern Illinois, which he visited before driving to Rockford to compete in an Illinois satellite camp. "I wanted to see what the facilities and the field were like.

"To have offers from all over is pretty crazy. To get my name out there and people from South Dakota, Illinois and over the Midwest offering me is pretty exciting."

Adding to his offers, Salzwedel is also starting to get BCS interest, as he plans to visit Minnesota Sunday after Gophers quarterback coach Jim Zebrowski stopped by his school. But while the Badgers showed a lot of interest in Shelton, the interest hasn't been there for Salzwedel.

"I've talked to them here and there," Salzwedel said. "They visited once and talked to me once, but it's been pretty quiet other than that."

Salzwedel plans on possibly visiting Iowa State, camping at the Northwestern Showcase and may camp at Wisconsin.


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