Wisconsin Gets Some Love

Spanish River (Fla.) High School's Reggie Love never pictured himself as a football player. Over the course of the last year, Love can't picture himself doing anything else. Developing as a pass catcher, Love will get the opportunity at the University of Wisconsin after giving the Badgers his verbal commitment Saturday.

MADISON - After three seasons playing basketball for Spanish River HS in Boca Raton, Florida, Reggie Love was ready to try something new. Love had gotten no college interest playing basketball and had been pestered by the Sharks football coach to give football a try.

"My head football coach told me to give it a try and if I didn't like it, no hard feelings," Love told Badger Nation Sunday. "The only thing I played was basketball and to be honest, basketball really wasn't getting me acknowledged. I wanted to try something new."

It turned out to be a smart decision. Not only did Love – a 6-2, 200-pound receiver - turn out to be the top receiving threat on his team, leading the Sharks in catches (34), yards (686) and touchdowns (9), he got a BCS scholarship offer in the process, as he committed to Wisconsin's 2012 recruiting class on Saturday.

Love had scholarship offers from Boston College, Georgia State, Middle Tennessee and UCF, but he was getting the most interest from Wisconsin. Being recruited by defensive line coach Charlie Partridge from the time Love started playing football in the spring, Love knew that in order to get an Wisconsin offer, he would have to first visit the campus.

"Coach Partridge kept in contact with me, only of the ones to keep in contact with me, so I liked that about them that they believed in me," Love said.

Having an idea that he would get an offer during his official visit Saturday, Love's premonition came true when he was sat down with coach Bret Bielema following the game with his uncle and his aunt.

"It meant a lot to get the offer and that they wanted me to be a part of their program," Love said. "I knew (an offer) wasn't a guarantee. Coach Bielema told me how much I would mean to their program and they offered me."

Hearing that, Love said someone could have timed his decision with a stop watch.

"I told him (Bielema) now much Wisconsin meant to me also and how much I liked it," Love said. "I said that and I committed."

Love was hosted on his visit by junior defensive end David Gilbert and true freshman Terrance Floyd, one of the Florida players Love had developed a close relationship with.

"He is one of my close friends growing up," Love said of Floyd. "David was a pretty cool guy. The players greeted me with open arms and made me feel like home, which was one of the big reasons why I chose Wisconsin. They have a great coach, great coaching staff and unbelievable players. They are the type of players I want to be around."

Love is the 12th commit in Wisconsin's 2012 class and was told with the Badgers graduating only one senior wide receiver (Nick Toon) that he was going to be the only wide receiver in the class. That indicates that Amara Darboh, long thought to be the Badgers' top receiving target, will end up at Iowa, Florida, Michigan or Notre Dame when he makes his final decision.

Love plans to enroll in the summer and start to show people what talents he has on the gridiron.

"I am definitely a player that can go up for the ball," Love said. "I am a player that has good technique and I can translate my basketball skills over to the football field. Like going for a rebound, it's like going up for the ball against a cornerback. I am excited to show what I can do."

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