Strong Academic Impression

While he's impressed with the school's recent winning tradition, the main thing that impressed Corona (CA) Centennial cornerback John Plattenburg about his Wisconsin offer on Friday was that the Badgers are just as good in the classroom as they are on the field.

No matter the school or his initial excitement over the scholarship offer, Corona (CA) Centennial cornerback John Plattenburg goes through the same process of discovery.

While it's important to him to play for a school that is the right fit and the right location, the three-star cornerback's first priority to see how the school fits him from an academic standpoint.

"The first thing I look at is their academics, their graduation rate, see if they have my major and the size of their classes," Plattenburg told Badger Nation. "That right there tells me where I should put that school in my rankings."

With that thought in mind, it's understandable that Wisconsin is in good early standing with Plattenburg after the Badgers extended him a scholarship offer on Friday.

"Their APR (Academic Performance Ranking) is really good in the Big Ten," said Plattenburg, who reports a 3.2 GPA. "They are a really prestigious academic program, and that's really important to me in the process right now."

Every Division I sports team calculates its APR each academic year, based on the eligibility, retention and graduation of each scholarship student-athlete. In last June's APR report by the NCAA, Wisconsin had a 975 APR ranking from 2006 to 2011. That number put Wisconsin 15th nationally and third in the Big Ten behind first-place Northwestern (995) and fourth-place Ohio State (988).

"(Getting the offer) was pretty good," said Plattenburg. "It was really a surprise to me. I had talked to a coach last week and our head coach has told them about me, showed them some film. It was really unexpected, but it was great."

Wisconsin is the third offer this week for the 5-11, 187-pound Plattenburg, who hauled in offers from Baylor and UCLA to put him at 16 offers. He also said he is hearing from Florida State and Notre Dame, two schools he holds in high regard who have not offered yet.

"I haven't really gotten to a top 10 list yet because (the offers) are still coming in," he said. "I am starting to evaluate. They are all great schools, so it will probably come down to the little details along with the academics, like the atmosphere and the relationship with the coaches."

Named Fox Sports' most valuable cornerback of the NFTC Oakland Camp, Plattenburg has spent the spring working on his technique during 7-on-7 camps, testing himself against some of the best receivers on the West Coast.

"It really keeps me sharp, working out at these camps," said Plattenburg. "It really keeps me on the top of my game."

Finishing with 78 tackles, five interceptions and seven passes defended in his junior season, Plattenburg is being recruited mostly as a cornerback; impressive considering he didn't start truly playing the position until last year's playoffs. In six games, Plattenburg – a former tailback with 4.42 40-yard dash speed - had five interceptions and six pass breakups.

"I really got more confidence each and every week," he said.

Growing up in Texas and spending his freshman year at Houston Lamar High School, Plattenburg said he'll spend the majority of the summer working out with his teammates, take some visits and plans to camp at UCLA and USC, the latter school he grew up rooting for because of his mom attending the school.


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