Building its 2015 football recruiting class hasn't prevented the Wisconsin coaching staff from exploring its 2016 options. Already having three-star quarterback Austin Kafentzis (Sandy, Utah) committed for 2014, the Badgers extended an offer to Westlake (CA) sophomore quarterback Malik Henry Wednesday.
"It came as surprise," Henry told BadgerNation about the offer. "Wisconsin's offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Andy Ludwig came to my practice to watch me throw. Honestly I didn't know he was going to come to my practice because I had no prior contact with any of the Wisconsin coaches. But after I threw in front of Coach Ludwig, he went over to my head coach Jim Benkert and told them that I can add Wisconsin as an offer."
Helping his high school team to an 8-2 record and winning the 2013 Marmonte League, not to mention his impressive work on the 7-on-7 circuit, it's easy to see why the 6-2 Henry has the early attention. With Wisconsin offering, the Badgers join Colorado, Nebraska, Tennessee, UAB, UCLA, and USC as schools who are trying to land Henry with an early offer.
Even though there had been no contact between Henry and Ludwig, the two had a chance to talk one-on-one before he threw in front of Ludwig.
"We were talking about Wisconsin and how they had seen my film and they had liked it and were impressed by it," Henry said. "He also said they thought I would fit in their system well at quarterback."
Henry describes his game as a pocket passer who has the ability to run if the play breaks down so he can pick up some yards. He also said he enjoys getting the football to his teammates and seeing what they can do with the ball in their hands.
Henry admitted he didn't know anything about Wisconsin except they were a part of the Big Ten, but is looking forward to doing research on the Badgers. Henry doesn't have any favorites with all the early attention, but he does know what he's looking for in a college.
"I'm looking for a good business department, a good relationship with the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach and the head coach, good game day atmosphere, nice campus, and nice facilities," Henry said.
Henry is still unsure on whether or not he's going to be able to make it out to Wisconsin for a visit in the fall, but says there's a chance he could visit during his high school's bye week this upcoming season.
"I would like to try and visit Wisconsin sometime, if I can," Henry said. "My dad and I will talk to see when we could possibly visit some schools as well as Wisconsin."