A Man of his Word

Committed to Wisconsin since late April, Walnut Ridge (OH) four-star receiver Rob Wheelwright will finally see his first home game in person when the Badgers take on Ohio State November 17.

MADISON - Committing to Wisconsin at the end of April, Walnut Ridge (OH) senior Rob Wheelwright was excited about his decision to end his recruitment, but left the door open far enough to make some fans uncomfortable.

Saying he would think about taking other visits if coaching staffs approached him, Wheelwright kept an open mind heading into the summer. As time wore on, the 6-2 receiver made sure he shut the door.

"I just really like Wisconsin," Wheelwright told Badger Nation. "As they grew on me and got closer to me, I just really wanted to go there. I felt really strong about the decision I made, and I wanted to stick to it.

"Once the summer hit, I understood where I wanted to go. I gave them my decision, gave them my word that I was committed to play there."

Wheelwright committed on April 29 over offers from Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Syracuse and West Virginia. Since that point, Wheelwright has continued to build his relationship with wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni, who made Wheelwright one of his top priorities after he was hired following the Rose Bowl.

"It's been real great because we have gotten a lot closer," said Wheelwright. "We talk every once in awhile, which is always good. He keeps me updated on how the receivers have been and stuff like that. We've gotten close over the last couple months since he's been there that we really aren't strangers anymore."

The two will get a chance to further their relationship next weekend when Wheelwright takes his official visit to Wisconsin when the Badgers close the home portion of their schedule against Ohio State. Growing up in Columbus, Wheelwright was a fan of the Buckeyes growing up, but Urban Meyer and his staff never showed high interest.

"It's going to be a great experience and I am going to cherish the moment," said Wheelwright, who has yet to see a Wisconsin game live. "I know I am going to have a great time and they are going to welcome me into the family. I am really excited to meet my new teammates, too."

During the summer, Wheelwright admitted that a couple schools tried to continue to recruit him, but saw a lot of coaches come talk to him with a different message.

"A lot of coaches came to wish me congratulations," said Wheelwright. "Most of the coaches were really respectful."

Ending the season on a four-game winning streak to go 7-3, Wheelwright estimates recording over 1,200 all-purpose yards his senior season, including 800 receiving yards. More importantly, Wheelwright has seen his game strengthen, especially when it comes to route running.

"From other guys who play sports to my family, people keep telling me to work on my routes," said Wheelwright. "That's the biggest thing I really tried to improve on, especially tying to get together with the quarterback. It's all about my routes and my speed."

Wheelwright will stay active for the rest of the school year – playing basketball and track – and enroll at Wisconsin in the summer.


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