Lead Recruiter

Not only is he the first member of Wisconsin's 2013 recruiting class, Rochester (Ill.) linebacker Garret Dooley - who visited the Badgers last week for spring practice - recognizes that he is the one of the best people who can give a different perspective on the UW program to prospective recruits.

MADISON - After being the first commitment in the 2013 recruiting class, Rochester (Ill.) linebacker Garret Dooley recognized that his life was going to change. Not only that, his role had changed from committed athlete to ‘lead recruiter' for the University of Wisconsin.

Dooley – a 6-2, 215-pound three-star athlete by Scout.com – committed less than 10 days after first getting in touch with the Wisconsin coaching staff, and now he sees his role as helping to establish one of the top recruiting class in the Big Ten however he can.

"I have talked to the coaches about that and I am definitely going to be one of the people helping out with recruiting," Dooley told Badger Nation. "I have contacted Francis Owusu (wide receiver from California), so I am happy to be able to help put together a good class."

Dooley's excitement for joining the Badgers program continues to increase every time he makes the four hour drive to campus. Retuning on Thursday for the first time since he committed in late February, Dooley was able to watch the Badgers first spring practice of the season.

"It was definitely intense and I liked how it was run," said Dooley of UW's first practice. "Everything went extremely smooth. With it being the first practice with the new staff members, I thought it would have been a little choppy, but everything was organized great. I really like how the practice was run. It was a lot different from high school, but I think I'll be able to get accustomed to it rather quickly."

One of the new coaches – linebacker coach Andy Buh – has already made a profound impact on Dooley. Although Dooley was recruited by co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash, Dooley said him and Buh talk at least once a week.

"Our relationship has grown immensely," said Dooley. "He's a great guy and I have gotten extremely close with him. We don't always talk about football. We talk about each other's family and other stuff. I am glad he'll be my position coach."

Much like the experience the in-state kids received on Saturday, Dooley also spoke to in-state players on the Badgers' roster to get their take on the UW program.

"I asked them all about their days and if any of them had ever regretted committing to Wisconsin," said Dooley. "Every single answer from them was no and that they wouldn't change it for anything, everything has been perfect and it's been everything they've wanted."

Last season for Rochester, Dooley finished with 147 tackles at linebacker and 1,209 rushing yards, 598 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns as the team's running back. He chose Wisconsin over offers from Illinois, Indiana and Vanderbilt and said that schools have respected his decision.

"I called each coach personally that recruited me, told them about my commit and they were all respectful," Dooley said. "They didn't show any anger toward me. They were all really nice about it and they wished me good luck."

Dooley said he is undecided if he will participate at a one-day camp at Wisconsin this summer, but said he is hopeful that he'll be able to attend UW's spring game on April 28.

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