Rolling Out the Red Carpet

Originally being offered by then head coach Bret Bielama, junior defensive end Hale Hentges got to meet the new Wisconsin coaching staff on a campus visit Thursday.

Even though rising junior defensive end Hale Hentges of Hellas High School (Mo.) received his scholarship offer from the Badgers from former head football coach Bret Bielema during the 2012 spring game, Gary Andersen and his staff have picked up right where they left off.

Hentges visited the Badgers on Thursday with his dad to meet with the new Badger coaching staff.

"I really enjoyed it, everything they offer was impressive," Hentges told Badger Nation. "We started off by meeting coach Andersen, tight ends coach Jeff Genyk, and Evan Simon. We saw the facilities and the academic support at Wisconsin. We also met with offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig at the end of the visit. I felt like they rolled out the red carpet for my dad and I while we were visiting."

The highlight of the visit came when Hentges had a chance to have lunch with several current members of the Badger's squad, senior tight ends Jacob Pedersen and Brian Wozniak.

"That was a lot of fun meeting Pedersen and Wozniak," Hentges said. "They are both really nice guys. We just talked about Wisconsin and how they like Wisconsin a lot. We also talked about the campus and why they chose Wisconsin."

First year tight ends coach Jeff Genyk will be handling 6-foot-4, 205 pound prospect's recruitment. Even though Thursday was the first time Genyk and Hentges met in person, it resulted in a positive impression for the Wisconsin target.

"We just met today for the first time in person but we've been talking on the phone prior to today," Hentges said. "When we talked on the phone we talked about setting up a visit and what Wisconsin can offer and how they want me to play for Wisconsin and how well I would fit in with them."

He added, "But when coach Genyk and I met today he was really nice in person and I could tell he cares about his players and that he's knowledgeable."

Besides getting one on one time with Genyk, Coach Andersen took the time to sit down with Hentges and his father, Chris, during the visit.

"We talked to Coach Andersen about the recruiting process and how it was going for me," Hentges said. "He also told us about his switch from Utah State to Wisconsin. He was really nice and I could tell he was genuine and I could tell he really cared about his players."

He continued, "It was also really nice of him to sit down with me and my father during the visit because not a lot of head coaches would do that because he's a busy guy."

Besides holding an offer from Wisconsin, Hentges has offers from Arkansas, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Missouri, and Nebraska. Hentges is a class of 2015 prospect, and with offers from quite a few BCS programs didn't feel the need to camp at any other schools this summer.

"I went to Notre Dames one day camp earlier this summer and that was fun and I felt like I improved my game," Hentges said. "But with so many options that I have I felt like I would be better served if I work on the fundamentals of my game and to take some visits. I want to work on my speed, jumping ability, and improving my hands over the summer."

Even though he remains focused on his upcoming junior season, Hentges hopes to make it back to Madison sometime during the fall to see a football game.

"We're thinking about coming up for the game against Purdue," Hentges said. "But I'm looking forward to getting back to Madison sometime in the fall again because I've enjoyed my visits to Madison."


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