Badger, a 6-0, 180-pound safety from Timpview High School, took the red eye from Provo, Utah late Friday night and arrived in Baton Rouge in the wee hours on Saturday morning to take an unofficial visit to LSU.
The 1,600-mile trek to spend a little more than 28 hours in the Capital City may have been a lot shorter than Badger would have liked, but it was an experience he will never forget.
“To be able to come in with “X” [Xavier Su’a-Filo] and to experience it with him was a really good time and there is really nothing like it,” Badger said. “I’ve never seen anything like what I saw at LSU.”
Badger, who holds an offer from BYU and Utah, has visited both of the in-state schools on a game day, and he plans to make a trip out to Stanford this season, along with UCLA for the Bruins’ matchup with rival USC.
The trip to Baton Rouge marked the second time that Badger has been to Baton Rouge after camping with the Tigers over the summer. However, this latest excursion allowed him to see a side of LSU that he did not see over the summer.
“The fans down here are so crazy and are so into it,” said Badger. “They get there like nine hours before the game and there are 100,000 people around tailgating. Then you get to the game and it’s the loudest stadium I’ve ever been in. It just seems like everyone really loves football here and that really stood out to me.”
In addition to taking in the sights and surroundings, Badger also spent some time with a couple of coaches that will both play a prominent role in his recruitment.
“I talked to coach [Doug] Mallory for a bit, and of course with coach [Gary] Crowton,” said Badger. “Coach Mallory said that he was going to be watching my film since I handed it to him this weekend and that he likes me.
“Then I talked to coach Crowton for a while and we just talked about a lot of things because he and I have a real good relationship.”
Badger said that the Tigers did not extend an offer since the coaches hadn’t had the time to watch his film, but he does feel good about the feedback he’s already received.
“Coach Mallory said that he likes what he saw of me at camp and said that he just wants to see me lay some people out on my film,” said Badger. “I think he wants to come see me do some drills during the spring evaluation too.”
As for the game itself, Badger thought that it was a “great game” even though LSU came up short.
Coming up on the losing end of things is something that he is not accustomed to as a player as Timpview High School has won 34 games in a row and is gunning for its third straight state title.
But when Badger reflects on his trip down south he will not think much about the loss.
“Not at all,” said Badger. “They played the No. 1 team in the nation and they played a tough game. They made a couple of mistakes that hurt them, but they played tough.
“I’ve never lost a game since I’ve been starting as a sophomo,e so losing is something that I’m not used to and that I don’t ever want to get used to,” added Badger. “A winning program is something that I’ll look for and LSU is at the top of the line when it comes to football. They’re the best at what they do regardless of a few losses.”
Something that the standout defender will also consider is the distance factor which is to be expected. However, that doesn’t seem to be a problem at this point in time for LSU.
“It’s not horrible, but it is a long way,” said Badger. “But I feel like I could definitely manage it and I would love it if I did come here to LSU.”
That distance from home could be easier to manage if Badger’s good friend and teammate signed with LSU.
“X [Su’a-Filo] has been having a great time,” Badger said. “I could tell he was really liking things. He’s going to church with coach Crowton and Andrew Hatch this afternoon. It would definitely make it easier if “X” was at LSU too.”
Badger also added that the relationship Su’a-Filo has already built with some of LSU’s current commitments and other recruits grabbed his attention.
“I could tell he’s already friends with a lot of the recruits and I was able to meet them and have a good time with them,” said Badger. “I met Russell Shepard and then Jarvis Jones was on our tour. Akiem Hicks was with us too and they all seemed like they were having a great time.”
Now that Badger is on his way back home he will focus on helping his teammates win another ring. But he’s already thinking about another possible trip down on the bayou.
“I’m real excited about LSU and I’ll be trying to make it back down this summer for another camp,” he said. “But, I’m real excited about LSU.”
For more on LSU sports and recruiting visit the TSD Premium Forum