Landisch Commits to Wisconsin

Like so many other Wisconsin high school players, Derek Landisch hit the summer camp circuit was a purpose - to show college coaches he had what it takes to be a next-level athlete. After only two days at Wisconsin, the Badgers coaching staff has seen enough, opening the door for Landisch to become Wisconsin's fifth verbal commitment for 2011.

MADISON - Being sidelined for five games his junior season with a broken growth plate in his ankle, Hartland Arrowhead linebacker Derek Landisch admitted to wondering if the injury had potentially cost him a future in football.

Giving credit to hard work and a touch of perseverance, Landisch no longer has to wonder. Impressive Defensive Coordinator Dave Doeren and Head Coach Bret Bielema on Sunday and Monday during Wisconsin's high school summer camp, Landisch was extended a Wisconsin scholarship - his fifth scholarship offer – Monday evening.

On Tuesday, he became Wisconsin's fifth verbal commitment in the 2011 class, joining four other Wisconsin high school athletes - Merrill tight end Sam Arneson, Baldwin-Woodville linebacker Jake Keefer, Waunakee tight end Austin Maly and Fond du Lac St. Mary's Springs tight end Eric Steffes.

The following is a question and answer segment with Landisch (6-foot, 220 pounds).

Badger Nation: Talk to us about the camp and your expectations heading to Wisconsin. Were you thinking an offer was a remote possibility when you started and when did an offer first enter your mind?

Derek Landisch: I wasn't thinking about an offer when I started. I was thinking about going out there and showing the coaches how hard I can play. The rest was going to take care of itself. I was really excited about getting that call up to Coach Bielema's office and getting that offer. It's a dream come true to become a Badger, especially when you grow up 55 minutes away from Madison.

I knew I was doing pretty good in camp. Coach Doeren said after the first day that he liked what he saw and that I should keep up the good work. On the second day after the camp, Coach Doeren told me to go meet with Coach Bielema up in his office. I was thinking about it a little, but I wasn't expecting too much. When he offered me, I was really excited.

Badger Nation: You took a day to think about the offer after getting it extended to you Monday. What was it like talking it over with your parents?

Derek Landisch: It was real good. I told Coach Bielema that I wanted to go home and talk it over with my mother and the rest of my family because only my dad came with me. So when I told my mother, she was obviously very excited and when I talked it over with my family, we decided that it was the right fit for me because it's close to home, great academics, great athletics and I like all the coaches. They are all down-to-earth guys. I just wanted to make sure it was the right move and get my family's opinion on it.

Badger Nation: How had your recruitment being going up until the Wisconsin camp? You had earned offers from Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Illinois State and South Dakota this summer, so was your recruitment building slowly?

Derek Landisch: I got a lot of interest off the camp circuit. I went to Bowling Green and Northern Illinois and they offered off my camp performance. I received a lot of interest from other MAC schools after I went to the Northwestern Showcase.

Badger Nation: How gratifying have all these offers been, especially the Wisconsin one, since you missed five games during your junior season?

Derek Landisch: It feels real good because I take pride in my work ethic. After my injury, I stayed focused and I kept working hard. It paid off for me, which makes me feel very gratified and honored to become the next Wisconsin Badger.

Badger Nation: Coach Doeren had a lot of time with you and he knows his linebackers. Are you coming to Wisconsin as a linebacker or is there a possibility you can be moved somewhere else?

Derek Landisch: I am coming as a linebacker. That's what Coach Doeren and Coach Bielema said to me when I talked to them.

Badger Nation: What was some of the feedback they gave as to why they liked you enough to offer you at that position and critique your camp? What do you think you did really well to be in the position you are in right now?

Derek Landisch: The coaches said I had a good center of gravity. They said that I was strong at the point of attack and that my speed was great. I can move, and they really like that. I had some good rating times during the session, but I think my speed really helped me. When I put pads on in pass rushing drills, I did very well at those. All the drills really helped me and I learned a lot from the coaches, so I feel very happy where I am at right now.

Badger Nation: Had Wisconsin had a lot of contact with you before you came to camp or did you come there and just blow them out of the water?

Derek Landisch: I had some contact with them. I went to their Junior Day and talked to Coach Bostad a lot. I talked to Coach Doeren when I went up for one of their spring practices. Coach Bostad came and saw one of my workouts and just finalized that I was coming to camp. That was the interest level I had got from them.

Badger Nation: What was it like sitting in Coach Bielema office with your dad hearing Bielema offer you a scholarship? Was it a combination of excitement and shock from both of you?

Derek Landisch: Definitely. I was shocked and I was completed gratified that hard work does paid off. I am continue to work very hard and hopefully become a great player for them some day. It was just a great learning experience all around for me.

Badger Nation: Tell me what that phone call to the coaches was like today.

Derek Landisch: From my perspective, I couldn't wait to tell Coach Bielema that my family wanted me to come. I was really excited about that and so was he. He said I was the perfect fit. That I am a Wisconsin kid that fits very well into their program. Coach Doeren said that I made his summer, so he's very excited about that.

Badger Nation: What's the next big thing for you this summer as you prepare for your senior season at Arrowhead and for your Wisconsin career?

Derek Landisch: Summer wise, I am going to head out to Oregon for a national Nike combine in July. I am going to continue to do workouts with the team from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. We're going to continue working now because our focus is on the team. I am very excited for the upcoming season and it's going to be a very good season if we do what we are capable of doing.

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