Stave is Almost Positive

After taking his official visit to Wisconsin last weekend, Whitnall (Wis.) High senior quarterback Joel Stave is ready, baring any last minute changes, to see himself in a Wisconsin uniform.

MADISON – A lifelong Wisconsin fan, last weekend was perfect for a guy like Joel Stave. Hanging out and having dinner with members of the 2010 Big Ten Champion Wisconsin football team and watching Wisconsin's basketball team in action, things could not have gotten much better for the top high school quarterback in the state of Wisconsin.

"I talked to a lot of the coaches, spent a lot of time with them and the other prospects that are committed there," Stave told Badger Nation Tuesday. "It was a lot of fun going to the football banquet. I was impressed with the number of guys that they had on the All-Big Team and 22 guys on the Academic All-Big Ten team. Wisconsin is a pretty impressive program right now."

So impressive that Stave is ready to commit … almost. There are some things that 6-foot-6, 220-pound senior is still trying to figure out, but he says he expects to be a member of the Badgers this spring.

"This weekend, I got offered more of a scholarship from Wisconsin and I am almost sure I am going to accept that and go to Wisconsin," Stave said. "It's a very good school to go with and I know that I can go in there, compete, get better and see where it takes me."

Stave said that he would have to walk on to Wisconsin his first year and, depending on scholarship allotment, would be on scholarship during his redshirt freshman season or earlier. What has Stave even more excited is that after originally being one credit short from graduating at semester from Whitnall High, Stave is on track to graduate early and enrolling in January this coming semester.

"I have all the necessary credits," Stave said. "My offer is subject to change based on the recruiting for the rest of the year or my performance when I get there. (A full offer) isn't out of the question. That's more up to Coach Bielema and Coach Chryst. If that were to happen, I'd be very happy."

Stave's recruitment can be loosely compared to current UW senior Scott Tolzien. Tolzien was not highly recruited out of Rolling Meadow, Ill., but had his heart set of playing for Wisconsin. Tolzien waited patiently for other targets Wisconsin was recruiting to make his decision, a choice that turned nerve wracking when other schools got commits and pulled its scholarship.

Tolzien wasn't offered until a week before signing day and now is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm winner (given to the top senior quarterback in the country) and is leading No.4 Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl with a record of 21-4 as a starter.

"It's exciting to get that opportunity to succeed at Wisconsin," Stave said. "Scott Tolzien did that as well as anybody."

Finishing his senior season with 2,635 passing yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 games, earning WFCA First Team All-State honors, Stave is still talking to Minnesota, Western Michigan and other Division 2 schools. Still, Stave admits that something impressive would have to peak his interest.

"Wisconsin is the place growing up that I've always wanted to go," Stave said. "I really like Coach Chryst and I got a chance to work with him at camp and had to talk to him quite a bit over the weekend. I like his approach to the game and he's very knowledge. He'll be able to teach me much better."


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