Badgers Offer their Top Backer

Losing at least five scholarship linebacker following the season, the Wisconsin coaching staff is looking to add depth to the middle of its defense. On Monday, Wisconsin offered the top linebacker on its board.

Narrowing his scholarship list to a top three at the end of September, Berkeley (CA) linebacker Michael Lazarus gave the impression that a commitment was going to be made by the end of the month.

And while Arizona State, California and Fresno State all presented solid options for the 6-2, 205-pound senior, Lazarus wanted to make sure he wasn't bypassing any opportunities.

"I've opened all my options back up," Lazarus told BadgerNation "I may have a new top list now as soon as an offer comes."

One of those offers came Monday night. Contacted by Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda just last week, the Badgers became Lazarus' seventh scholarship offer on Monday night.

"I heard from them Thursday night I talked with coach Aranda," said Lazarus. "I am highly interested in them. I was very excited when I got the call I wasn't really expecting that call. That's the Big Ten and that is a big deal to me. It was a big shock to hear from them."

In addition to his top three and Wisconsin, Lazarus – a four-star linebacker ranked the No.13 middle linebacker in the country by Fox Sports Next – has offers from San Jose State, Utah State and Washington State.

With Wisconsin losing five scholarship linebackers and only one committed in the 2014 class (Mukwonago's Dominic Cizauskas), the Badgers made it clear where they view Lazarus.

"They told me I'm at the top of their linebacker board," he said.

Through seven games, Lazarus has 45 tackles and 13.5 sacks on defense to go along with 272 total yards and three touchdowns at tailback.

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