'A Really, Really Special Player'

Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen saw something special in Hilton Head (S.C.) senior quarterback Michael Julian when he was the head coach at Utah State. From his character to his football abilities, Julian's prep coach calls him a perfect fit for any system.

MADISON - Coach Gary Andersen sent out his first offer as head coach of Wisconsin by offering Hilton Head (SC.) senior quarterback Michael Julian Thursday morning. B.J. Payne, Julian's first year head coach, saw a 6-4, 190-pound star at Hilton Head and compares his play caller to a build of Cam Newton, but can throw like former Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson.

"He is a true dual-threat quarterback and also a very prolific pro-style quarterback," Payne told Badger Nation. "When I took over the job last year, they had almost been a triple option offense and we changed once I got here. We went to a typical spread one type back of offense. (Julian) is a big, athletic kid. He is 190 pounds with a frame to be 230 to 240 pounds. He is a mid upper 4.5 kid with his speed.

"He is really, really special. I think he is a top 10 or top five quarterback in the nation and no one knows about him. If Wisconsin gets this kid, they will absolutely love him."

Wisconsin fans are in the stages of figuring out about the newly offered quarterback, but Payne says they are looking at a diamond-in-the-rough-type player.

"He is a kid that wasn't a late bloomer, but just the situation where no one knew about him until I got here," Payne said. "When I took the job and came down here in early March, I saw the kid play basketball, throw the ball and his skills. I had asked them how many offers he had yet and they said nobody offered him yet. No one really knew him and there was no film on him or anything. Once his film got out, that is when people started to pick up all his offers, which started in May of last year. That kind of steam rolled since there."

The coaching change left not only Wisconsin fans with many questions, but also Payne and Julian if Andersen was going to be on the radar. As soon as he got settled, according to Payne, Andersen made both him and Julian feel like a top priority and built a strong relationship with him. Michael took a visit to Logan, Utah to see the campus of Utah State and came away very impressed.

"Michael was actually offered by Utah State and he was actually Utah State's top recruit," Payne said. "When Coach Andersen left for Wisconsin, we weren't sure if he was going to recruit Michael or not. Michael didn't know where that left him with Coach Andersen or what was going to happen next. He really liked Coach Andersen and the way he related to the players, the way he coaches and felt they bonded well together. He knows all about Coach Andersen, so it is not as out of left field as what some people may think."

Julian's recruitment is coming down to the home stretch with visits planned to Toledo this weekend, Boston College the following weekend and planning one with the Badgers on January 25th. That weekend in Madison could ultimately be when he decides his choice, but Payne said Julian may take a visit to Illinois or North Carolina State after his Wisconsin visit.

With the Badgers officially in the fold, how does Payne feel about the Badgers chances at landing his special player?

"I would say they are very high," said Payne. "We have talked about the possibility of Wisconsin for about a week or week and a half. We talked about Wisconsin and I'm from Ohio, so I know a lot about Big Ten football and Wisconsin. I have had a chance to talk to Michael about it and that it is a whole different cold as well. Michael just laughed about that. I have been to Camp Randall and I personally think the kid will absolutely love it when goes up there with the university, the facilities and the passion of the fans. I would have to think they are sitting very well."

With Julian being looked at as a dual-threat quarterback, how would the two star recruit ranked the No.106 best quarterback in the nation by Scout.com fit in with Wisconsin's offense system?

"He is very dynamic under center," said Payne. "He is just so athletic that what we had surrounding him on offense this year that we went to the spread. You put in play action and in the pro-style offense and he is very scary in that as well. He is tall, long and a high release. He would be a great fit in whatever system they use. If it's … running the ball 30-40 times a game and only throwing 20 times a game with play action, then he would be perfect.

"He's a great kid. He lights up the room when he walks in. When I took the job in March, I challenged him. Just an incredible character kid and what I expect out of my quarterbacks is to lead and he stepped up to the plate. He took on all the responsibilities and put all the weight on his shoulders and took it from there. You won't find anyone down here that would say anything bad about him and he could be the poster boy of (a) program."

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