Developing West Coast Connections?

Wisconsin football traditionally recruits the Midwest, but with Gary Andersen and his new coaching staff having a lot of West Coast ties, could the Badgers have a renewed focus in California? New defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a certainly has some options at his disposal of talented kids he's recruited that fill a need for the Badgers.

MADISON - Wisconsin has not been a traditional recruiting power in the West Coast, but the hire of Gary Andersen and his staff of West Coast recruiters could give the Badgers a new emergence in the talent-rich areas.

One of Anderson's first coaching hires was Utah defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a, who has developed a solid relationship with many topline recruits. One of those athletes is Upland (CA.) defensive end Joe Mathis, who has had a roller coaster of recruitment with numerous leaders and travel plans.

"Wisconsin hasn't offered me, but I would be interested if they did offer because of coach." Mathis told Badger Nation. "He was recruiting me, contacted me a couple times Facebook and called me. The relationship was pretty good, but he wasn't the only guy recruiting me from Utah. I really don't know if he will contact me now that he is at Wisconsin, but I would be interested."

The 6-4, 255 pound Mathis - a four-star recruit ranked the No.15 defensive end in the country by - came into the process with an open mind, has sorted out his options to have a top list and a decision date in mind.

"I am deciding on January 5th at the Army All-American Game," said Mathis, who leaves Thursday for the game. "My top list is Alabama, Texas A&M, Washington, UCLA and USC. I have taken three official visits and I could see myself visiting Wisconsin if they did offer. I'm not enrolling early and I am going to get a lot more training in. I want to get more strength and speed before I go, so I can start in the first week."

Should the Badgers start recruiting Mathis and offer following his decision on national television, how would that affect his decision?

"I will take a visit (to Madison), see how it is and go from there," he said. "I mean, I am still committed to the team I would pick, but if something happens, it happens. They are a real good team and got a big offensive line. They are very discipline and are some big boys playing in the Big Ten. (They're) just very super big and super strong.

"If Wisconsin offered, my interest would be pretty high, but they haven't been recruiting me the longest like some of these other schools now. Really it would be how bad they want me, but I don't know the coaching staff or anything about them. We will just have to see what happens and see what the future holds for me."

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