In the eyes of Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln offensive lineman Hayden Biegel, not he or other official visitors Keelon Brookins, Garret Dooley, Troy Fumagalli, Matt Hubley, Alec James, Jack Keeler, Matt Miller, Chikwe Obasih, Austin Ramesh and T.J. Watt are going anywhere.
"We were surprised, and so were all the players on the team, but we know Barry was going to take care of the team and hire the right head coach," Biegel told Badger Nation. "I don't know what coaches are going to stay or go, but I have faith in Barry Alvarez. We all like Barry a lot."
That bond got stronger over the past week, as Bret Bielema left for Arkansas's head coaching job without letting anyone in on his decision. Having dinner at the team's award banquet Friday, the group spent time together throughout the weekend. Hosted by sophomore tight end Sam Arneson, Biegel and some of the players went to Wisconsin's hockey game Saturday.
"We are a pretty tight-knit group," said Biegel. "We've gelled a lot closer together over the weekend. I met a lot of the players and a lot of the offensive linemen. I got to know a lot of the players."
If anybody had thoughts panic, Alvarez's talked quickly quieted those fears, as he assured the commits through group and individual meetings that he was going to find the right guy to be their coach.
"He wants us to keep each other together and said he's going to find someone to do a great job," said Biegel.
And as acting head coach, Alvarez was allowed to bring the entire group over to his house for breakfast.
"It was an awesome experience," said Alvarez. "He said it was just like the olden days."
Biegel says this past week has been quiet with schools knowing he's firmly committed. Still planning to accept a grayshirt and enroll in January 2014 so he doesn't waste a year of eligibility building his body, Biegel has increased his weight to 265 pounds and continues to push himself in preparation for Wisconsin's summer workouts.
"I have been staying on it," said Biegel, "staying in the weight room and putting on the weight before the summer."