The coaching staff has been hitting the 2014 recruiting trail hard and it has already been paying off with five early commits, but that still hasn't stopped them from trying to get others to hop on the bandwagon. Fort Atkinson (Wis.) High has produced another player to watch in 6-1, 200-pound wide out/defensive back James Nachtigal.
"So far so good on our season," Nachtigal told Badger Nation. "We have had a few tough losses, but those are probably the best two teams that we will play all during the season except during the playoffs. We are 2-2 right now and it should probably be a straight shot from here on out, so for the rest of the season we should probably win on out. First game, I didn't have a ton of yards and only a few catches. Second game I had like 120 yards on six catches and on our third game I had 160 yards on eight catches."
While Nachtigal has been impressing on the field, the interest has been coming from a number of programs courting this standout.
"I don't have any offers just yet," said Nachtigal. "I have been hearing from Wisconsin mainly. I got a letter from Dartmouth, Harvard, Michigan State and Nebraska. I got some questionnaires from Northern Illinois and some other MAC schools like Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan."
With the Badgers and defensive backs coach Ben Strickland sending him plenty of letters and invites (he attended the Northern Iowa game and will attend this weekend's game against UTEP), Nachtigal could see Wisconsin as an home, especially if that dream offer came his way.
"They had sent me a letter around my sophomore year towards the end is when they first began talking to me," said Nachtigal. "They invited two weeks ago to their opening game and I got to go and meet some of the coaches and a few other guys. This time they had contact with me and I was talking to their defensive backs coach a lot. He has been just telling keep up the good work and that we are interested.
"It would mean the world on getting an offer from Wisconsin, I want to play college football more than anything right now. That is my goal and if I could get that far, then that would be phenomenal. I would just be happy as I could ever be."
Calling the visit for the season opener an ‘eye-opening experience' because of his ability to watch the players warm up on the field in front of 80,000 people, Nachtigal first experience of that magnitude at Wisconsin couldn't have gone any better.
" The season opener was just really, really fun and a sweet thing," said Nachtigal. "I got to walk on the field, went through the weight room and got some pretty nice seats. It was a great atmosphere and really fun. Plus it got me hyped up, so it really makes you want to play ball there. It is just a great feeling."
Many of the prospects that visit Camp Randall get to experience something that you don't see anywhere else in America with the traditional Jump Around that the fans in Wisconsin perform after the third quarter. Like most first-time recruits to the campus, Nachtigal was amazed from the sight.
"The Jump Around is crazy," said Nachtigal. "I don't know how to describe it, especially around the upper level and the stadium shakes. It is just vibrating and everybody is just screaming and hollering. Everybody is participating and it is just crazy loud, so it is very exciting. You get a good feeling and want to just play."
Some prospects like to hide their hand and not say how the visit really went, but Nachtigal wasn't shy at all and gave high remarks on the overall visit.
"I would obviously give my visit a 10 and it was just awesome," he said. "It was sweet meeting the coaches and it was crazy there being there to watch the game. It was a really good game and it was fun to watch it. It had really inspired me and hopefully someday I will be at that level."
With the individual goal of being selected as a first team all-conference player and a team goal of making it deep into the playoffs, Nachtigal – who is working at wide receiver, safety and linebacker so far this season – wants to be one of the leaders on his team in the second half of the high school season.
"I just want to play my best every play, try not to make any mistakes, giving it my all and (make it to) state," he said. "It is a long shot obviously, but we are going to try and give our best effort. We are not going to be giving up anytime soon and give the other teams the best and just keep on trying."