Not Caving to Pressure

Brookfield Central defensive end Chikwe Obasih knows how important the University of Wisconsin is to in-state players and he doesn't deny he's getting pressure from friends and family. Still, the three-star defensive end isn't rushing through the process.

MADISON - Brookfield Center defensive end Chikwe Obasih can see the writing on the way.

"I think Wisconsin is pretty much better than anyone else," Obasih told Badger Nation. "There is no other Division 1 school in the state, so either you watch the Badgers or you aren't a fan of college football."

But before he pulls the trigger on his college decision, the 6-3, 230-pound Obasih wants to evaluate more schools and take his time throughout the process, looking at his other offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Purdue and Vanderbilt. Problem is his friends and his family aren't as patient.

"Once I got the offer from Wisconsin, I've heard from everyone that I should commit, even some teachers from school," said Obasih. "One of my teachers was at a reception and he talked to Coach Bielema. He saw where my teacher was from and he brought up my name. He came back and said that he talked to Coach Bielema, and that I really have to go to Wisconsin.

"It's kind of a challenge. Sometimes the recruiting process is stressful and I want to get it over with, but I have some people who understand me and want to help me out."

Ironically, some of the people providing the least pressure on Obasih – ranked a three-star prospect and 25th-best defensive end in the country by – are the coaches at the University of Wisconsin and the fellow in-state recruits at his position.

Invited to attend UW's second spring practice on Saturday, Obasih watched practice with fellow defensive ends A.J. Natter and Alec James, who plays at nearby Brookfield East.

"It was a blast," Obasih said. "It really was overall. The three of us got to see a lot and got to hang out with the players. From breakfast through practice, we're just having a good time, cracking jokes and enjoying better there. Alec James is my bud and I've been talking to A.J. for a long time since we camped together. It was all a lot of fun."

When he sat down with the coaching staff, Obasih got more of the ‘easy-going' atmosphere.

"Coach Partridge is very understanding of my decision," said Obasih. "He gives me subtle hints, but him, Coach Strickland and Coach Bielema is letting me decide when I want to. Coach Bielema said they really want me here, and there is some pressure with only 10 scholarship spots, but said they will wait for my decision."

If Wisconsin is the ultimate spot for an in-state college football fan, what is holding Obasih back from making a decision?

"It's tough to commit when you haven't seen every school you are talking to," said Obasih. "If you go on all these visits with one thing in your mind, you aren't doing yourself any favors. I want to go through the process with an open mind with all the schools that are talking to me. Some schools are getting me two or three letters a day, so I know that they care and see what they have to offer."

Obasih finished his junior season with 67 tackles (32 solos), 13 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and two sacks. He said he plans to visit Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State over the next few weeks. He also said coaches from Vanderbilt have asked him to visit and coaches from California and Stanford have reached out to him recently, hoping to get him to visit in the summer.

For Obasih, he plans to go through all those schools before making those decisions.

"I have an idea in my head," said Obasih, "but I haven't told anyone because I want to be fair with other schools."

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