UW Adds to Izzo's Recruiting Haul

From under-the-radar prospect to approaching 20 scholarship offers, Sparta (NJ) Pope John XXVIII tight end Ryan Izzo calls the recruiting process 'crazy.' It got even crazier on Wednesday when three more schools, including Wisconsin, entered the picture.

May 29 was quite the day for Sparta (NJ) Pope John XXVIII tight end Ryan Izzo. Picking up close to 20 scholarships in the last two months, the 6-6 Izzo grabbed offers from USC, Florida State and Wisconsin Wednesday, the latter of which was offered by Badgers running back coach Thomas Hammock.

"Coach Hammock wanted me to call him and I did and that's when he offered me," Izzo told Badger Nation. "It was definitely exciting to get the offer from the Badgers. He told me the coaching staff had evaluated my film and they liked what they saw and they decided to offer me."

Although he hasn't had much contact with the Badger coaching staff except for the mail he's received, Izzo is quite familiar with the Badgers' tradition of using an offered geared to feature the tight end position in the run and pass game.

"I've watched them play in the Rose Bowl the past three years (and) they're a big-time football program," Izzo said. "I know they're a great school, about the tight ends they've produced and their tradition as a running school."

Izzo's height can be a nightmare matchup against opposing defenses, which is exactly what he tries to exploit when he is on the field by working on his speed, agility and footwork.

"I'm a versatile tight end but I can also put my hand in the dirt and mix it up," Izzo said. "My coaches also put me in the slot because I can create mismatches due to my height advantage. If I'm covered by the mike linebacker I can use my speed to get off the line and beat him."

Izzo will get a chance to work on his game when his team attends the Boston College team camp in a week and when he attends the Michigan State camp June 16.

"Those are the two camps I know I will be attending," Izzo said. "I may attend some more camps but we'll see. I know I need to work on making my routes crisper and making them perfect. I also know I need to gain weight and add strength so I've been trying to add weight since last season ended because my body is still maturing."

About two months ago, Izzo was an under-the-radar tight end prospect with only a Virginia Tech offer. After Wednesday's recruiting haul, Izzo is now at 19 scholarship offers.

"It definitely means a lot to me that I have all these offers," Izzo said. "Not to long ago I wasn't well known and I was trying to get my name out. But now I'm getting recognized. I just attribute it to my hard work and I know I just have to continue to work to improve my game."

Izzo hopes to trim his list of offers down soon. According to Izzo, not one school stands out to him at the moment but Iowa, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Michigan State are recruiting him the hardest.

"Things have been crazy lately with all these offers," Izzo said. "Neither one of those four stand out to me right now because I haven't been on any visits yet. After I take some visits and do some research, I'll be able to trim my list and decide where I want to take my officials."

Izzo doesn't know when he will make his final decision but will make it when he feels comfortable.

"I'm looking for having a good relationship with the coaching staff and my position coach because I could spend my next four or five years of my life at whatever school I pick," Izzo said. "I also want to feel comfortable on the campus and I'm looking for a family environment with my teammates."

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