Updated: Traylor Locks in to Wisconsin

Austin Traylor's numbers scream defensive end, registering 82 tackles and 14 sacks last year. But with a high athletic skill set and still growing, Wisconsin and Tight End Coach Joe Rudolph saw Traylor developing into an H-back. With the success the Badgers have had this season and of the tight end position, it was too much for Traylor to turn down.

MADISON - With Wisconsin getting verbal commitments from defensive ends James Adeyanju and Jesse Hayes, it appeared that Austin Traylor was no longer an option for the Badgers' 2011 signing class.

With the Badgers wanting to take another offensive weapon and after his impressive performance in UW's summer camp, the Wisconsin coaching staff felt the 6-4, 215-pound prospect could easily mold into the position.

Traylor apparently agreed, giving Tight End Coach Joe Rudolph his verbal commitment to Wisconsin's 2011 recruiting class Thursday night.

"We went up there for a camp and he really enjoyed it, getting a chance to spend some time with the players and they made him feel real comfortable," Walnut Ridge Coach Byron Mattox told Badger Nation. "He was comfortable academically and the advisers took some time and talked with him. He just liked the town, the college atmosphere and how successful the program is. Coach Bielema has good job security right now, and he liked that.

"He's not going to turn 18 until December and once he gets up there with the weight room, I think he can turn him into whatever they want him to be. With the success the H-back has had, I think he fits that mold."

Traylor, a three-star athlete and Scout's No.77 defensive end in the country, recorded 82 tackles and 14 sacks last year, five forced fumbles, three recoveries his junior year for Walnut Ridge (Ohio) High.

After finishing his senior season with 99 tackles (16 for loss) and 10 sacks on defense and making 31 catches for 639 yards and five touchdowns on offense, Traylor chose Wisconsin over finalists Arizona, Cincinnati and Michigan and other offers from Boston College, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and Minnesota among others. He took his official visit to Wisconsin for the Arizona State football game.

"He's the hardest worked on our team," Mattox said of Traylor. "He's the leader of our team. On the field, he's so versatile and can do so many different things. On offense he played several positions and defensively, he was a problem solver. We put him whatever we needed to put him to take away something from the offense, and he was great at that."

Traylor was expected to take a trip to Cincinnati on Dec.4 when the Bearcats take on Pittsburgh but canceled his visit after Rudolph assured Traylor that the UW staff still wanted him.

"He's a four-year starter on our basketball team, too, and that's really important to him," Mattox said. "We have an opportunity to be a special team this year, and I think he felt he saw enough and he wanted to get locked in and not be distracted by anything else."

Wisconsin first heard of Traylor from Tony Lowery, the 1987 Big Ten Freshman of the Year who lettered at quarterback for Wisconsin from 1987-91. Lowery saw Traylor in action and sent him film to Rudolph.

The Badgers' 2011 recruiting class stands at 20 verbal commitments, and appears to have room for possibly one more prospect.


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