Making Second Chances Count

After breaking the news to Badger Nation Tuesday, Oak Ridge Military (NC) wide receiver Kenzel Doe admitted to making an early mistake by not taking a closer look at Wisconsin during his camp visit. On his official, Doe's experience was enough to make him change his decision.

MADISON - Kenzel Doe didn't receive a plethora of offers during the recruiting process. That didn't bother him as much as the fact that he failed to take a close enough look at one of his offers.

Earning his first offer after camping at Oregon State, Doe enjoyed toured the campus, seeing the facilities and talking to Beavers Head Coach Mike Riley. When he received his second offer after camping at Wisconsin, Doe finished camp, jumped back on a plane and heading home to Oak Ridge, North Carolina.

"I really didn't give Wisconsin a chance," Doe said. "I didn't get a tour, meet Coach Bielema or anything."

That's the main reason Doe returned to Madison for an official visit on Sept. 18. Although he committed to Oregon State on June 30, Doe still wanted to weight his options, look at a different types of college and give Wisconsin a chance. His decision gave the Badgers the speedy slot receiver/kick return the coaching staff desperately wanted.

Admitting to being ‘blown away' by Wisconsin's facilities and game day atmosphere, Doe broke the news to Badger Nation late Tuesday night that he was switching his verbal commitment and plans to play for the Badgers in 2011, becoming the class' 12th verbal commitment and second wide receiver.

"That's what I went on my official visit, to get shown around, see the atmosphere and see how everything is," Doe said. "When I went to Madison, I got to meet all the coaches, talk to everybody I needed to talk to and it changed my whole mindset when I went up there.

"I really don't know everything about Oregon State, but I know Wisconsin people and the coaches are so friendly. Everybody greets you, makes you feel special and makes you feel like family. That's one of the things about the fans and students, they love their football team and cheer for you."

A 5-foot-9, 175-pound wide receiver from Oak Ridge (NC) Oak Ridge Academy, the coaching staff wasn't shy about continuing to pursue Doe. Led by the recruiting efforts of running back coach John Settle and assisted by receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander, the UW staff sent what Doe estimates to be over 60 letters, telling him more about the school, persuading him to visit and give the school a second look.

"They would call when they were allowed to call and Coach Settle and Coach Alexander would call all the time," Doe said. "My parents had known Coach Settle for awhile now, and that made them feel comfortable. They made me feel like I was at home. I could talk to them about anything and they understand, listen to me and be reasonable."

The pursuit by the coaches paid off and now Doe hopes to step in for departing senior David Gilreath to be a dynamic return man. Running a 4.4 40-yard dash, Doe, in only four games this season, has return two kickoffs for touchdowns and two end-arounds for touchdowns, a fact that will excite Offensive Coordinator Paul Chryst.

"The coaches are telling me they want me to come in from day one and be the punt returner and the kick returner," said Doe, who does a little bit of everything for Oak Ridge Military. "That's what I am really looking forward to because with Gilreath leaving, they really don't have anybody to do the job like he does.

"That's why they still recruited me, still gave me a chance because they knew that I can help them. I am not the kind of person to let people down, so I am going to work hard to get Wisconsin to where they want to be."


Badger Nation Top Stories