The Badgers traditionally pitch the opportunity to get a solid education with great academic support, playing in front of 80,000 people every home game and the chance to be a part of a tradition of winning and competing in the Big Ten.
One doesn't need to tell Recruiting Coordinator Joe Rudolph how special adding a trip to Rose Bowl adds to the level of excitement among the committed prospects in the 2011 recruiting class.
"I think the recruits are very excited and it's garnered a lot of interest in the program," Rudolph said. "Guys are buying in to what we are doing and they are excited to be a part of that. You get reception from the coaches when you go on the road recruiting. The interest levels are high, and that's great and fun because they are excited to see you."
Wisconsin has 20 committed scholarship and gray shirt (delayed enrollment) prospects and four committed preferred walk-on prospects for the 2011 recruiting class. The class – comprised of one four-star recruit (Baldwin-Woodville (Wis.) linebacker Jake Keefer) and 16 three-star recruits – is currently ranked No.32 in the country by Scout.com.
Ironically, TCU, the Badgers opponent Jan.1 in the Rose Bowl, is ranked No.31.
"We're happy with where we're at, but you're never done," Rudolph said. "You are always extremely active and guys on our staff are always working hard evaluating and finishing things the right way. The guys that have come on visits have been real excited with the type of people. It makes you feel like you are doing the right thing."
If anyone can sell the Wisconsin program and the Rose Bowl, it's Rudolph. Rudolph was a member of head coach Barry Alvarez's first recruiting class and went on to earn three letters (1992-94) on the offensive line.
More importantly, Rudolph, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten guard and team captain in 1994, was part and help the Badgers to the 1993 Big Ten title and 1994 Rose Bowl victory.
"It's a special thing for this program and it means a lot of the people of this state to play in the Rose Bowl," said Rudolph, a native of Belle Vernon, Pa. "It's a special because it means you did something great with your season. To win it means just as much."
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