Guaranteed to lose at least three linebackers after the 2013 season, Wisconsin and wide receivers coach Chris Beatty have targeted Garden City (KS) Community College linebacker Dvonta Derricott as a player who could be an early contributor.
"Coach Beatty from Wisconsin offered me," Derricott told Badger Nation. "He called my high school coach and my high school messaged me on Facebook, gave me Coach Beatty's number and he offered me when I called him."
Like the majority of schools on his list, Derricott is still learning about the history and the facilities of each institution. He already has name recognition of Wisconsin because of another Virginia native.
"I know a lot about Russell Wilson because he is from my area and I watched him play," said Derricott. "I watched him in high school and when he played for Wisconsin. I know a little bit about Wisconsin like Montee Ball and Big Ten championships."
The Badgers join BCS schools Baylor, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia that have offered. He says Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma State, South Florida and West Virginia are recruiting him the hardest.
Derricott graduated from Hermitage (VA) High School back in 2012 and was getting attention from East coast schools like Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech, but was unable to qualify academically.
Having playing sparingly the first four games of his freshman year, Derricott finished the season with 55 tackles and an interception for Garden City. He said after a 12-tackle performance late in the season helped him get early interest, but his work in spring has helped him pick up a dozen offers since early March.
"When I first came in, learning the system was hard," said Derricott, who runs a 4.55 40-yard dash. "The linebacker coach worked with me and as the year went on, I earned a starting position and I think I got better from there. When spring ball started, that's when a lot of these schools started to see me and call me. Every school I talked to says I could play any linebacker position."
While unknown of all his summer visits, Derricott knows for sure he will visit West Virginia because of the proximity to his home and how he feels he fits in its defense.
"They aren't my number one choice," said Derricott, "but it's a school, if all it comes down to it, I think I might go to."
Right now Derricott's top choice is Iowa because of his connection with defensive assistant Jim Reid.
"We have a great connection," said Derricott. "When I was in high school he was at Virginia. He offered me out of high school but I didn't qualify. We kept on communicating and he told me that if my grades improved he would offer me. We've bonded and stayed in touch."
Derricott says that he wants to take some visits after the season, decide around signing day and enroll right away for spring football. He'll have three years to play two.
"After we win the national championship in JUCO, I'll be ready," said Derricott. "I want to participate in spring ball so I can learn the system instead of coming in May and being behind."