More Pittsburgh Pride for Wisconsin

Scott Orndoff came to Pittsburgh's Seton La Salle HS as a quarterback. He will leave in two years as a Big Ten tight end, as the 6-5 up-and-coming athlete committed to Wisconsin's 2013 recruiting class Thursday.

MADISON - Already off to a strong start in the 2012 recruiting class, Wisconsin hasn't wasted any time in securing its first verbal commit in the 2013 class, and at one of most tradition-rich positions nonetheless.

At 6-5, 240 pounds and still growing, the Badgers had little reservations about offering Scott Orndoff, an emerging tight end from Pittsburgh Seton La Salle, after their summer camp and Orndoff didn't want to wait to the school his high school coach Greg Perry said was the perfect fit.

"He told me he was going to commit and I asked him if he was happy with Wisconsin," Perry told Badger Nation Friday about his conversation with Orndoff. "He told me he was and I told him I honestly didn't think he could do any better. It's a great academic school, it has a great football tradition and it's beautiful.

"I asked him who else he would wait for that's out there and he said, ‘I don't think there is anybody.' So, I told him to go."

Wisconsin hasn't had this early of a commit to a recruiting class since Menasha offensive lineman Andy Kemp pledged to the 2005 recruiting class in September 2003.

Orndoff only camped at Wisconsin over the summer, but the camp yielded impressive results, wowing the coaches with his big frame, his speed and the fact that he hasn't come close to reaching his potential.

"His size, his athleticism, has big arms and big hands, the fact that he can run and he has two seasons of high school football left, I think it's all something Wisconsin thought they can build into," Perry said. "He's more of a humble type of kid. He doesn't get wowed that way. He called me up after Wisconsin offered and said, ‘Coach, they offered me.' He doesn't brag about it."

He didn't brag, but there was no question that Orndoff was excited. Two weeks after Orndoff and his father, a former high school football coach, drove off to UW's camp, the whole family drove out for another visit to see more of the campus, spend more time with recruiting coach Joe Rudolph and to get more questions answered.

"They were really impacted with the staff, the facilities and the university," Perry said. "Both mom and dad were impressed with what the school could offer their son."

Perry described Orndoff as a more versatile tight end compared to the traditional type, being able to run more vertical than a normal tight end. Using him in space and spread sets to take advantage of his match-ups, Perry said he also likes to put him on the line to take advantage of his size in the blocking scheme.

"He's very fast and strong for his size," Perry said. "I don't know what he runs, but he runs the 200m and 400m on the track team. He's a long-legged kid that creates a lot of problems. With him making the tradition from quarterback to tight end at the end of last year, I think he's really going to grow in his development, which will increase his role with us."

The Pittsburgh area has been a new, but productive, recruiting spot for Rudolph. The Badgers have secured three players from the Steel City area: sophomores Manasseh Garner (expected to be the team's No.3 receiver) and A.J. Fenton (a redshirt who will backup senior linebacker Kevin Claxton) and true freshman Michael Caputo (who may make a dent on special teams).

"You don't really see too much about Pennsylvania kids going to Wisconsin," Perry said. "Wisconsin has concentration its efforts to get some of the better kids from here to go out there and I think once you get there, they must do a heck of a job of selling its program and selling itself. It's not an easy drive out there."

Perry said he fully expects other area and Big Ten schools to come in and try to recruit Orndoff. He fully expects them all to get a 'thanks but no thanks' answer.

"I can tell you that he'll be solid with his commitment," Perry said. "That's just the way he is."

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