The newest member of the staff but with the longest tenure in the Midwest, tight end coach Jeff Genyk is now trying to find his niche for the Badgers. Recruiting the states of Michigan and parts of Ohio, Genyk has also ventured into the state of Iowa, and offered Cedar Rapids Xavier defensive end Matt Nelson Thursday.
"I got a call after school and Coach Genyk broke the news to me," Nelson told Badger Nation. "I was shocked because I have never heard from them before. Wisconsin is a Big Ten powerhouse that churns out NFL prospects. It's a good opportunity for me."
A three-star recruit and the No.34 defensive end in the country by Fox Sports Next, Nelson calls Wisconsin ‘a big name school' that is close to home with a winning tradition.
"It's a Big Ten school in Big Ten country," said Nelson. "I'm looking forward to meeting all the coaches and seeing all that Wisconsin has to offer."
At 6-8 and 250 pounds, Nelson attributes most of his exposure to his team making the state championship game last season. He finished the year with 47 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 11 sacks on defense to go along with 14 catches and eight touchdowns as a tight end.
"Coaches have been telling me that I am a big kid that can bend well and move well," said Nelson. "I just try to outwork everyone and out tough them is the way I play the game."
"Our coaches preach humility, so it's kind of second nature by now," he said. "You can't let those big name schools make you feel like a better player. You still have to outwork everybody."
Nelson has spent the spring trying to outwork the competition by improving technique, speed and agility. He's doing most of his work now so he can go out and visit schools in the summer.
"I have a few favorites in Iowa, Stanford, Notre Dame, Arkansas and Nebraska in no order," Nelson said. "I am pretty open so far. I have the Stanford camp on June 18th and a Notre Dame visit, but nothing else planned yet."