Wisconsin’s 2015 recruiting class is short on in-state scholarship players, but the Badgers continue to secure commits from preferred walk-on who turned down full scholarships elsewhere.
After Stevens Point defensive end Andrew Ruzek and Oak Creek defensive back Elijah Strong became the first two to turn down other opportunities, Marshall senior linebacker Ty DeForest became the next after turning down offers from Illinois State, Southern Illinois and Western Illinois.
“It’s been a dream to play in-state for the Badgers and Big Ten football,” DeForest told BadgerNation. “I couldn’t pass it up and live with always thinking what if. I had an unofficial visit and they were pretty excited about the news. I talked with Coach (Ben) Strickland and he was just really excited that I was taking this opportunity.”
It’s the second straight day the Badgers have reeled in a commitment despite having no head coach, as four-star Dallas South Oak Cliff senior running back Jordan Stevenson committed to the program following an in-home visit with secondary coach Bill Busch.
It’s a rarity for kids to commit to a coach-less school, but the 6-1, 205-pound linebacker didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” said DeForest. “Wisconsin is Wisconsin and it’s always been a dream.”
A multi-tooled player for Marshall high school, DeForest finished with 1,142 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 187 carries (6.1 per carry) and recorded 78 tackles and a team-high 12 tackles for loss. During his prep career, DeForest played linebacker, tailback, fullback, quarterback, kicker, punter, kick returner and punt returner.
A first-team all-state selection this past season, DeForest is projected to play linebacker at Wisconsin and plans to graduate in January to enroll for spring practices.
While he not have the perfect size, he does know he has enough heart to succeed at the position.
“I’m just a kid that may not be the biggest, but I’m going to play my heart out and give everything I have,” said DeForest. “I can’t wait to get into the program and make as much of a difference as I can. Can’t wait to be a Badger!”