Third Time the Charm

After once committing to Auburn and Wake Forest, three-star cornerback Devin Gaulden started to wonder if he would find the right school for him. After a crowded in-home visit and a couple chips falling into place, Gaulden made the decision to commit to Wisconsin Monday night.

MADISON - Having a great time touring the Wake Forest campus, Devin Gaulden, citing the excitement of being with some old friends and the wanting to get the process over with, happily committed to the Demon Deacons on December 7.

The three-star cornerback, rating No.84 at his position by Scout.com, didn't talk it over with his parents, family or his coaches.

"I rushed my decision," Gaulden told Badger Nation Monday night. "When I got back home, I came back to my senses and really thought about the whole thing and thought about what was the best decision for me."

That decision, which Gaulden slept on Sunday night, was finalized finally when he called the Wisconsin coaches and flipped his decision for the second time, becoming the Badgers' 20th verbal commitment in the 2011 recruiting class.

"I love the winning the tradition Coach Bielema is building there," Gaulden said. "I love that they go about it the right way – bringing in the right people in to their program. I came on my visit and it was a great college town. They really love their team there. I enjoyed it a lot and I'll love to help the team continue that winning tradition."

The recruiting process has been a tough one for the 5-foot-10, 177-pound Gaulden. Originally backing out of a commitment to Auburn in October, Gaulden (Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School) really started to rethink his second decision last Thursday when Head Coach Bret Bielema, Recruiting Coach Charlie Partridge, Secondary Coach Chris Ash and Nickel Backs Coach Greg Jackson came for an in-home visit.

"They told me everything – talking about how things are football wise there, how they would help develop my playing career, me as a person and talked to me about academics and athletes," Gaulden said of the visit. "They were telling me how I have to come in and compete for playing time, how much they love my game and how I play the game of football. They felt I was a good fit for them and I felt they were a good fit for me."

Even though it wasn't part of their recruiting pitch, Gaulden was also swayed by the fact that Wisconsin lost two cornerback commits – Makinton Dorleant (academics) and Bennett Okotcha - since Nov.30. Dorleant has since committed to Maryland and Okotcha to Notre Dame, meaning the Badgers were in dire need of another defensive back.

"The coaches didn't tell me about the decommits, but I did my research before they came down and saw they lost two cornerbacks," Gaulden said. "That opened my eyes a lot seeing that."

After conferring one more time with his parents and grandparents, Gaulden called Wisconsin to say yes and Wake Forest to say no.

"Coach Partridge, Coach Bielema and Coach Ash were on one end and my family was on the other end and we were all excited," Gaulden said. "We were all ecstatic. I called Wake and told them that I had a change of heart and had to do the best for my family. They were disappointed, but they respected my decision and wished me the best."

Wisconsin currently sits at 19 verbal commitments and four preferred walk-ons to the 2011 recruiting class.


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