MADISON - Loganville (GA) Grayson outside linebacker Mohamed Barry had such high expectation of the University of Wisconsin that he worked in an unofficial visit to the campus after attending a wedding in Indiana over the weekend.
Preparing to leave the campus Monday night, Barry admitted that he never experienced a college campus or environment like the one he did this weekend.
"The visit went beyond my expectations, honestly," Barry told BadgerNation. "It blew me away. I wasn't expecting the beauty of Madison. You think of Wisconsin, or other cities in the north, you think of factories and ugly places. In Wisconsin, I felt like I was in Italy, somewhere totally different. It was a really unique campus. I've been to schools like Florida and Tennessee and this was the best looking campus I've ever seen."
Barry (6-1, 210 pounds) loved everything about the city. He spoke highly about the lakes, the buildings, the people and the vibe. He was even impressed with how clean and pristine the city streets were and everyone driving around on mopeds.
"A lot of beautiful places," said Barry. "The grass is always green. It just looked perfect. It looked like a painting. You can't map it out any better than that."
The visit actually got better. A fan of big football environments, Barry called Camp Randall "big and beautiful" and the perfect stadium for him. And while he already has a solid relationship with running back coach Thomas Brown, who offered him a scholarship at both Marshall and Wisconsin, Barry got to build a good relationship with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and head coach Gary Andersen.
"Coach Brown and my relationship has always been good, especially between him and my mom," said Barry, whose mom came on the trip. "My mom always has a good feel for Coach Brown, saying he's a good man, but she told me today that she feels comfortable sending me here because of Coach Thomas. She trusts him out of all the coaches she's talked to. She thinks he's a great man. He puts education first, he's played in the NFL and he's sworn to guide me on the right path.
"Coach Aranda and I had a good time. We just connected. He's not much of a talker over the phone but he talked a lot in person and was just laughing all day. We had a ball.
"Coach Andersen is a down-to-earth person. He's not a person I would expect to lie or is two faced. He is a head football coach of a prestigious football program, and he acts like it. He carries himself like a head coach should without being cocky. He's very humble, he told me how it is, he's real with me and told me how he wants me so bad. I just felt like he was a realist. A lot of coaches love to lie and pitch their program so they could have a top 10 recruiting class, but he isn't like that."
Barry admitted he is thinking about committing following his unofficial visit, but stated he will be travel to Syracuse on an unofficial visit next weekend. Although he wants to announce his decision within the next 7-10 days, Barry plans to take an official to Syracuse and Wisconsin.
"I owe it to Syracuse to visit and see if it's better than Wisconsin," said Barry.
But no matter what happens in upstate New York next weekend or this fall, Barry admits the Badgers have become a hard school to say no to."I don't even know if any school can top this for me," said Barry. "You talk about opportunity, they want me to come in and start and make an impact and compete in the Big Ten. If I go to Wisconsin, I would start against Alabama. Honestly, it just seems like a perfect spot."