Traveling down to Wisconsin for a mini-junior day with his parents, sisters and grandpa, Blue Earth (MN) High junior Jonah Pirsig was on campus with Wisconsin Rapids linebacker Vince Biegel and St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Tyler Drake to experience the other side of Wisconsin's campus.
"I definitely liked learning more about the academics and getting a chance to talk to a professor," Pirsig said Sunday. "My grandpa said that he liked the fact that even on a gameday, they hardly talk about football. They focus on academics, so I know my family likes it."
Making the trek to Wisconsin is nothing new for Pirsig. The three-star lineman camped at Wisconsin last season and was an unofficial visitor at three games. With the Badgers having seen so much of him, Wisconsin was confident in not only offering him, but telling him he was the school's top offensive target.
"I had a good meeting with Barry Alvarez, Coach Bielema, Strength coach Ben Herbert and Coach Bostad quite a bit, too," Pirsig said. "We talked about me being their number one guy on the whole offensive side for 2012. They really put in perspective about what it would be like coming in as a freshman. Coach Bostad and I got to know each other real well."
Pirsig also got a bonus on his visit, being able to watch his cousin – Minnesota freshman Jared Larson – skate for the Gophers in Friday night's 5-2 victory for the visitors.
"I don't play hockey, but I really like to watch it," Pirsig said. "I got to watch my cousin play and I have two cousins that play hockey team. It was a lot of fun."
It's already been a big month for Pirsig, as the competition for the 6-9, 300-pound lineman starts to heat up. In addition to getting steady mail from Nebraska, Notre Dame and USC, Pirsig has grabbed offered from Minnesota and Ohio State since the start of the calendar year.
"It's been pretty crazy, getting all the mail from all the coaches and all the calls to my coach," Pirsig said. "I didn't think it would happen this early. I thought maybe I'd get my first offer in the summer. Ohio State was a pretty surprising offer getting that call. I had three days where I just tried to soak in the interest from them before even getting the offer. Iowa was my first offer and that was pretty surprising, too."
Pirsig has already visited Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin and plans to go to Michigan State and Ohio State in March. In addition to hitting as many camps as possible within driving distance, Pirsig is set on using at least four of his official and making his official visit in the fall.
"The recruiting process hasn't been too stressful yet," Pirsig said. "I know some kids said it will get stressful, but I am hanging in there right now."
Wisconsin, according to Pirsig, is expected to take two or three linemen in the 2012 class.