MADISON - In his first signing class as Wisconsin’s head coach, Paul Chryst added five players leading up to singing day to help fill out his roster. He landed No.6 on national signing day, and it was his biggest recruiting splash yet.
Four-star prospect Arrington Farrar of College Park (Ga.) Woodward Academy announced Wisconsin over Notre Dame at a signing day ceremony held at his school, giving the Badgers’ 20 verbal commits in their 2015 recruiting class.
"He's a very versatile player, and we're really excited about him," said Wisconsin running back coach Thomas Brown, who led the recruiting efforts. "I think more importantly he's a great human being. He's mindset, his business goals for himself beyond football probably excite me more than anything. One of the reasons I got back into coaching was the ability to impact guys off the field and help them be successful in no matter what they do beyond football. I think he's the type of guy who has that mindset, and he was attracted to us for those reasons. He's excited about coming here and making some plays for us."
The 6-2, 202-pound Farrar - currently rated the No.30 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com - kept his thoughts involving his decision-making process close to the vest as he explored his final options, and he declined interviews with the media.
Farrar de-committed from Stanford in January, and immediately Michigan and Notre Dame jumped into the mix as viable contenders. The Wolverines fell off the map as an option rather quickly, but North Carolina, Penn State and Wisconsin would soon enter the picture.
Selected for 2015 Semper Fidelis All-American Game, Farrar was first-team Class AAAA all-state selection at defensive back after he totaled 107 tackles, six tackles for loss, two interceptions and seven pass breakups as a senior, leading Woodward Academy to 2014 Georgia Class AAAA state semifinals.
"He was a guy we identified as 'we had to have,'" said Wisconsin secondary coach Daronte Jones. "He would have been a great addition to what we're trying to get done here defensively, the skill set that we were trying to attack in our scheme with Coach Aranda."
Farrar took January official visits to North Carolina and Wisconsin before deciding upon Notre Dame as his final visit destination after receiving an in-home visit from Brian Kelly. Although the Irish were expected the favorite, sources say the visit didn’t blow Farrar away, especially since Kelly – a big New England Patriots fan - was in Glendale, Ariz., for the Super Bowl. Many feel that move made the Badgers the favorite. The UW coaches felt that they had put themselves in a great position the weekend Farrar was on campus.
"I think we felt real good about where we stood," said Brown. "Throughout the process, knowing what he, his mom and his dad were looking for and knowing that we could actually show that to them, a lot of times in recruiting a lot of schools tell kids whatever they want to hear but can't deliver on everything they're looking for. On the field, off the field, we could match up with once he got here. I'm not sure the visit could have gone any better than it did go. We felt pretty good once he left."
Farrar is the fifth four-star prospect in UW's 2015 signing class and the fourth scholarship linebacker.