Another Positive Experience for Natter

A little more than one month after his private junior day and receiving a Wisconsin offer, Milton (Wis.) four-star defensive end A.J. Natter returned to campus to watch the Badgers' second spring practice and mingle with fellow in-state recruits.

MADISON - Living roughly 30 minutes from the University of Wisconsin, four-star Milton defensive end A.J. Natter is in the unique position that he can visit the two-time defending Big Ten champions whenever he wants.

On a day when the Badgers coaching staff was inviting some of the top juniors in his class to campus, Natter wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to watch the Badgers go through their second spring practice while mingling with some of the other top players in the state.

"I got a chance to meet a lot of the other Wisconsin recruits, which was the main thing," Natter told Badger Nation. "Chikwe (Obasih) and Alec (James) know each other a lot better than I do because they are from the same city, but I've seen both of them on the recruitment trail.

"We have a lot of respect for each other. We all understand what each other is going through and, I think, we all are basically on the same page for what's happening. I think that makes the experience more enjoyable." The ‘same page' Natter referred to was the fact the only Division 1 in-state school is short on scholarships (expecting to sign a class between 10-12 for the second straight year) and that all three players are defensive ends, although James could grow into a defensive tackle or tight end. Getting addressed by the coaching staff, Natter, James and Obasih left their visit knowing how important each of them is to the program.

"The coaches really made the point that Wisconsin guys are a priority to them," said Natter. "Ever since Barry Alvarez came in, in-state guys are important to the program. Every in-state guy isn't going to commit to the program. That's a fact, and not everyone can. They wanted to bring us in, show us what they had to offer and keep as many of us in state as they can. Positions will get filled up, but we're just enjoying the ride."

After what Natter called a ‘fast-paced practice,' the defensive end spent time talking with some of the players and spending more one-on-one time with the coaches.

"You get to know them a little bit better each time you meet them," Natter said of the UW coaches. "When I talked to Coach Partridge, we were able to sit down and watch some film from the practice that day, and he was able to show me some things. Every day I visit with them is a little bit difference, and every second talking to those coaches helps."

In addition to Wisconsin, Natter has offers from Boston College, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue and Western Michigan. This week, he picked up his latest offer from Wyoming.

"My family lives out in the country, we're hunters and we've been out to Wyoming to hunt, so I am excited," said Natter. "I am excited by every offer. Every offer is an opportunity to get better. No offer is just another offer, so I am thankful for every school that gives me an opportunity."

Natter is preparing for his track season, but is trying to schedule a trip to Iowa and will likely come up to another Wisconsin spring practice. Natter also is planning on spending a three-day weekend in Lincoln centered on the Huskers spring game.

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