Missouri City (TX) Marshall tailback Davon Crookshank kept pouring over his calendar, trying to figure out when the best time for him was to visit the University of Wisconsin. He had done his research into a lot of the other schools in his area that were recruiting him or had offered him, but he felt a visit to Madison would have sealed the deal for him.
Imagine his surprise, and relief, when he heard the Badgers coaching staff wanted him so badly that they would gladly accept his commitment before he made the trip.
“We’ve been talking a lot and I was ready to commit when I went up there, but I got a text (from the UW staff) saying that would accept my verbal because I talked to everybody I needed on the coaching staff,” Crookshank told BadgerNation. “That was a relief.”
It was so liberating that the 5-10, 195-pound tailback didn’t wait much longer, ending his commitment on Sunday night and becoming the 16th commitment in Wisconsin’s 2015 recruiting class.
Holding other offers from Baylor, Colorado, Fresno State, Houston, Indiana, Kansas, Memphis and Tulsa, Crookshank is the biggest of UW’s four Texas commits in the class and the first from outside the Dallas Metroplex area, signaling UW’s recruiting efforts in the state are starting to gain a foothold.
For Crookshank, the chance to play at a power running school in the Big Ten with a rich tradition of tailbacks was the perfect combination.
“I like the big upfront line, the downhill running and the former running back is one of my idols,” said Crookshank. “All those things made Wisconsin the right place.”
The former UW tailback Crookshank idolizes is current Denver Broncos tailback Montee Ball. The 2012 Doak Walker Award winner and the conference’s tailback of the year, Ball rushed for 5,140 yards in his career and scored an NCAA-record 83 touchdowns.
“I can translate myself over to him,” said Crookshank. “The way he runs the ball is the way I run the ball. I can learn a lot from him, just from studying and watching him. He did a great job making it to the next level by going to Wisconsin. That adds a little extra.”
The 5-10 Ball played the final two years of his college career between 200 and 215 pounds. It’s the main reason Crookshank wants to add about 10 pounds to his frame before enrolling.
“I know everybody at the next level is bigger and faster,” said Crookshank. “I am running right now to stay in shape and get better at what I am doing, but I know eventually I’ll have to put some more weight on.”
Crookshank is still working on picking a date for his Wisconsin visit. He also is open to visiting other schools, mentioning Baylor, Kansas and Memphis were aggressively recruiting him over the last several weeks. If he does visit elsewhere, he said it would have to be something amazing for him to not play at Wisconsin.
“(The UW coaches) were all excited, and I was excited, too,” said Crookshank. “It feels real good.”