Clarksville (MD) River Hill 2015 PF Charlie Thomas knew a lot about the University of Wisconsin before he took his official visit on Sept.20, but the experience he and his parents got on their weekend in Madison was a one-of-a-kind experience.
“The visit made a huge impression on me,” Thomas told BadgerNation. “Meeting Coach Ryan and meeting the players was a big deal for us. Coach wanted to meet my family and interact with the players to get a better feel and experience there. I had a great time and I enjoyed it.
“I took the other visits because I wanted to see the overview of everything because each one is a different setting. I wanted to get an experience of each college would feel like, and I felt Wisconsin was the best one.”
Thomas made his decision official on Twitter Tuesday night, becoming the third commitment in the Badgers’ 2015 recruiting class – joining De Pere (WI) four-star shooting guard Brevin Pritzl and Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy three-star power forward Alex Illikainen.
The 6-7 power forward – ranked a three-star prospect by Scout.com - says the Badgers were perfect him on many levels, even down to the system Ryan likes to run.
“My high school, we run the same type of offense, so I feel I have a good sense of what they do at Wisconsin,” said Thomas. “I’m comfortable with their style of play. I just think I fit in well with the offense.”
According to Thomas’ father, Charlie Sr., the family decision came down not just style of play and the overall fit, but how welcomed the Badgers players and coaching staff made the family feel on their weekend in Madison.
“We thought everything was great,” said Charlie Sr. “It was a great atmosphere, great environment in regards to the coaches and the players. It was a family there. They seemed like a tight-knit unit. Everyone seemed like they were on the same page and they welcomed us with open arms.”
Being recruited by assistant coach Lamont Paris, Thomas has seen his relationship with the Wisconsin coaching staff grow exponentially since he received his offer during his official visit, part of the reason why he was so excited to call the coaches and end his recruitment.
“I have a really great relationship with the coaching staff,” said Thomas. “My mom and Coach Ryan really got along during the official. I am really excited and relieved, and I’m blessed and honored to even receiver and offer from Wisconsin. Now to be committed there, I’m ready to have fun this high school season.”