Following Big Brother?

In just two seasons, walk-on linebacker Ethan Armstrong has already made an impact on Wisconsin's two-deep depth chart. Heading into his first varsity season, Ottawa Township High quarterback Thaddeus Armstrong hopes to make a similar impact as he works on his recruiting stock.

MADISON - When it comes to recruiting, the University of Wisconsin coaching staff looks for ties. Whether it be a Midwest kid living in a different part of the country or a kid that fits the program's blueprint and ideals, the staff looks for any advantage that could swing a player in their favor.

Now it seems to coaching staff are looking at siblings to help fill their scholarship allotment. With the Badgers having interest in 2011 running back Ryan Herring, brother of current true freshman Warren, the coaching staff has started to take early interest in Ottawa Township High 2012 quarterback Thaddeus Armstrong.

With his brother, redshirt freshman linebacker Ethan, picking a preferred walk-on route at Wisconsin because of the tradition UW has of rewarding hard-working, contributing walk-ons a scholarship at some point in their career, Thaddeus has taken a shine to Wisconsin, making the Badgers a priority during his summer camp stop.

"The camp went pretty good," Armstrong told Badger Nation. "They obviously like my brother a lot, so they gave me a good look and talked to me a lot. It was fun, and I know them all through the recruiting process."

Armstrong (6-foot-4, 195 pounds) was progressing nicely during his sophomore year to the point where he was in line to get called up to the varsity level. Unfortunately for him and his teammates, the last half of the Pirates' season was cancelled due to a teacher's strike.

"I think I would have been real good on varsity, but the strike cost me the chance," Armstrong said.

With the inability to impress coaches on his field, Armstrong found his competitiveness on the camp circuit. Heading throughout the Midwest, Armstrong's camp performance apparently made the biggest firest impression on the coaches from Illinois State, Iowa and Wisconsin.

"The camps went good for me because you get to see the best talent in the area for those schools," Armstrong said. "I was still hungry after the season was over, so I tried to stay with some quarterback camps and working out. It was good to get into a competitive environment again and challenge myself to get even better."

A competitive environment is nothing new in the Armstrong family, especially between Ethan and Thaddeus. With a two-year age difference, Thaddeus sees him and his brother as similar football players, with him being more finesse and Ethan having more power.

"We have similar personalities with wanting to win, being aggressive and both determined and hard working," Armstrong said.

With having such similar personalities, it would be a given that Thaddeus would jump at the chance to join Wisconsin and play alongside his brother. That's where the competitiveness comes into play.

"I have thought about it from both sides. It would be fun to play with him on the same, but I also thought it would be fun to beat him because of how competitive I am," Armstrong said. "Nothing better than beating your older brother at anything from flag football to basketball pick-up games or Nintendo. I've always been extremely competitive with him. I think there is good and bad to both sides."

Whether or not they decide to play together remains to be seen but when it comes to the recruiting process, Thaddeus doesn't hesitate to confide in his brother and ask for guidance.

"He's definitely helped me out with learning how to read into things and learn what people are saying," Armstrong said. "He hasn't helped me a ton yet because he's been busy working with the team during the spring, summer and fall. We'll definitely talk more about it and hopefully, I can get a lot more out of him."

Badger Nation Top Stories