Commits In Awe

With all the press the official visitors from Florida and Ohio have gotten in recent days, Badger Nation talks to the recruits that have already pledged their loyality to Wisconsin, and were rewarded by watching their future team knock off No.1 Ohio State Saturday.

MADISON - With big-time five uncommitted official visitors on campus over the weekend, the focus has been understandably on a group that has Wisconsin near or at the top of his list.

Let's not forgot about the kids that have Wisconsin as the only school on its list.

Not only did the Badgers welcome cornerbacks Makinton Dorleant and Terrance Floyd on official visits, the coaching staff welcomed linebackers Derek Landisch and Jake Keefer and tight ends Sam Arneson, Austin Maly and Eric Steffes to campus to see their future team knock off the top ranked Buckeyes.

Badger Nation caught up with most of the group to get their reactions to the 31-18 Wisconsin victory.

Badger Nation: Is that game last Saturday the main reason you can't wait to start playing college football at Wisconsin?

Keefer: Oh wow. Yeah, I mean, that game was just epic. I had so much fun. If you aren't excited to play college football after that game, you shouldn't be playing. It was just a great, great game.

Maly: Yes! I like the big games. I am just excited all around for the different atmosphere and how can you not be after that game? I don't know what else to say, but I am excited for college football, just to play with the other guys that are really talented.

Arneson: It was a special night. One of the best experiences I have had at a football game, and it definitely makes me look forward to being down their next year and being a part of that.

Floyd: It makes me very excited to play football there in the fall. I got picked up at the airport along with my parents by a car service and they took us to the school. There, we met up with some of the other recruits to go eat at a cafeteria at the stadium. We socialized with a lot of different people before the game. After the game, they had all the recruits matched up with a player, and I was with Antonio Fenelus. He was a lot of fun and played a great game.

Steffes: It was awesome. It was just a really good time and gets me excited to play football. It was unlike any other game that I've been at. It was louder and the atmosphere gave me butterflies thinking about it. It was cool to have everyone there and getting the win was just awesome.

Badger Nation: What impressed you the most about your future school – the fact that they came out, punched Ohio State in the mouth with 21 straight points or the fact that when the Buckeyes closed the game to three, the Badgers responded with that big drive?

Keefer: I would have to say both things were equally impressive. They really came off strong right off the bat and they never took their foot off the peddle at all. They had a little lull in the third quarter, but they took the momentum right back. The offense had some great drives and capitalized and the defense played really good against a really good offense. They contained Pryor really well and it was really impressive. Being able to step on the field with some of those athletes will be a dream come true.

Maly: I was impressed by a lot of things. I was impressed with how they ran the ball and punched them in the throat, kind of like what we do (at Waunakee). Just keep running and pounding the ball and when they needed to pass, they passed to Nick Toon. I was really impressed by their special teams. They covered the punt well, kickoffs were great, they are cleaning up a lot of things that I was impressed on to make them a really good team.

Arneson: I would say it was when they responded. Ohio State is this great team and they had all this momentum on their side and they were poised to get the win, but Wisconsin responded. They really stepped up, got the job done and won the game.

Floyd: I think how Wisconsin started off. They came right out with the big kick return and I thought that was really cool that they were focused the whole time.

Steffes: I think I was more surprised that they come out right away and put up 21 points just like that. I didn't expect that to happen, but I was more impressed with the end of the game and how they answered with James White and everything. It was just a great game to watch.

Badger Nation: What was it like watching the game with some of your future teammates and some of the uncommitted prospects that were up at the game? How much fun were all of you having?

Keefer: It was really cool. Everybody seemed like they were in to the game. When we scored, everybody was given each other high fives. Everybody was cheering and everybody there was having a great time. It was great talking to my future teammates before and after the game. Overall with how the game went and the people around, it was a great day.

Maly: We were all having a ball. We were sitting next to each other, giving each other high fives. I brought some of my buddies from my school, and they got a long with them perfectly because they are such nice guys. We had a ball, just joked around and had fun and when they scored, we got jacked with each other, which I am sure we will do in the future. It's a good step with where we are about to go.

Arneson: It was a blast. You high five them every time Wisconsin got a touchdown or made a big play, realizing that's going to be us out there in a couple years. It's a really cool feeling. Meeting the guys from Ohio, they were getting excited about the Badgers making plays. It was a really cool experience and it was fun to share it with your future teammates and have that bond.

Floyd: It was cool to be around kids that will be your teammates and quite possibly your teammates in the future so we can start building that relationship now. It was a lot of fun to hang out with all the guys.

Steffes: It was really good. The game itself, we were really into it with Jump Around and high fives. It was nice to talk to a couple different guys. I am sure being at the game makes them want to come to Wisconsin a little more, beating Ohio State like that. We talked to Ray Ball and Trayion Durham and they were really cool guys. We were all doing Jump Around at the end of the third quarter, but then I stopped because I wanted to feel the whole stadium shake.

Badger Nation: You talked about the game itself. What about the atmosphere? How cool was it seeing the stadium rocking the entire night and what was it like seeing the students rush the field?

Keefer: Yeah, the crowd … wow! It was just amazing. Every third down, the crowd would be standing and going crazy. Even on most first downs. Just being able to have an opportunity to play in front of some great fans like that is just amazing. I thought the fans did a great job. It was fun to be a part of it, but it'll be a lot more fun to play. Wow, it was very loud and just a great atmosphere. I was late getting to the game because I had something to do for our fifth/sixth grade football program. We were running behind and they couldn't even get a parking spot. My parents had to drop me off and take a bus in. They barely made it for kickoff. It was crazy with a sea of red everywhere. It was a good problem to have.

Maly: That was crazy. It was just awesome. I can't describe it. All the fans and the student section was amazing. They got everybody into it. It was just crazy that I can't believe it.

Arneson: It was wild and electric the home game. I have never seen a crowd stand so much. We're standing pretty much the entire fourth quarter it felt like. It was just a great atmosphere and so much fun to be a part of.

Floyd: I really love the student section and all the different chants they have going on. Not so much organized, but that they were really thought out. It's really cool to have a fan base there that supports the team and backs us every game. When they rushed the field, I thought that was really great because they beat No.1. If I was closer to the field, I would have done it, too.

Steffes: That was so cool. I went to the San Jose State game and the Austin Peay game, and those games didn't have the atmosphere. The atmosphere Saturday was amazing. Everybody was standing up the whole game and everybody was getting into it, screaming and yelling. We were in the top row, so I can't imagine how loud it must have been closer to the field. It was loud where we were. The locker room was really happy. Everybody was so happy.

Badger Nation: How has the season gone in your eyes and what are you trying to get better at before coming to Wisconsin?

Keefer: Our season has been going pretty well. We're 7-1 and just lost a close one last weekend, 33-31, and we didn't up to our ability. There are always good things you can take from a loss, and it was slaps in the face to get us geared up and get rolling for the playoffs. The guys are really hungry and ready to get after it in the playoffs.

Maly: The season has gone alright so far. We need to clean up the penalties still, but other than that it's been pretty good. We need to focus on the offensive line. If you can't run the ball, you can't pass the ball. Running is the main thing of our offense, so it's all about the hogs and see how they play.

Arneson: The season has gone well so far. We've had a successful year as a team and I have had a successful year personally. I am going to continue to lead the team and try to get as many wins as we possibly can. I will continue to become a better football player in every aspect.

Floyd: Our season is not going great, but our conference games are going better. If we win both those games, we can still be district champs. We just have to stay focused and keep our mind on the prize.

Steffes: We just lost our first game before the Ohio State game, so I was kind of bummed. It was basically our conference championship game because both teams were undefeated and we lost 27-24. The season has been going really well. Coming into the year, we lost 22 seniors and we really didn't know what to expect. For me, we really don't pass as much. I get some catches, but not as many as last year, so my blocking has been getting better with my footwork and my technique. Hopefully, I can keep doing that and get to state again, because a repeat would be nice.

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