Wisconsin Recruiting Philosophy

BadgerNation talks to Wisconsin's nine assistant coaches to find out the major regions they will be recruiting and the recruiting philosophies they are bringing to the Badgers.

Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda

Recruiting territories: California, Florida

BN: Where are you looking to improve as a recruiter this year?
I am excited about Coach Tibesar being on staff with us because of his ability to recruit for the outside backer spot. In the past that role has landed on me, and I don’t think I have done a good enough job as I could have recruiting the outside linebackers. When you look at Joe Schobert, Vince Biegel, Ethan Armstrong and Brenden Kelly and what they were asked to do, it’s a lot and more so than any other position. Whenever you’re a coach, we’re asking you to recruit for the entire team, but it’s human nature to make sure you get someone good for your position. It’s nice to have a coach coaching those guys.

Overall as a defense, I want to find some tough linemen, some linebackers with length, speed and size and some length and speed in DBs. So many qualities that you look for on defense, tough-nosed, blue-collared, ability to develop, all those apply to so many areas that it’s difficult to apply those things to man coverage. To play man coverage you need length and speed and that’s what we’re looking for.

DL coach Inoke Breckterfield

Recruiting territories: Florida, West Coast

BN: Do you look at the areas Wisconsin has had success recruiting previously or do you go to the areas you’ve had success in?
I know Paul Chryst has a philosophy. The first step to identify if the kid is good enough, no matter where he is from. The second thing is to find out if he is smart, tough and dependable. If he is good enough and he checks those boxes, we’ll take them and we’ll develop them. Stars don’t mean anything to me. I think you get to watch a practice or a camp and evaluate them, it’s easy to see how good they are through a little investigation.

WR coach Ted Gilmore

Recruiting territories: Florida, St. Louis, Texas

BN: What excites you about going out and recruiting for a new school?
I think the program sells itself. It’s well respected across the country. For us it’s finding a fit, Wisconsin guys who are tough and dependable kids. That’s what I’m looking for. I still think that no matter what school you’re at it’s about building relationships and developing relationships and showing a young man that we’re going to give them the total package.

Special Teams coach Chris Haering

Recruiting territories: Wisconsin

BN: What are the impressions you get from high school coaches in this state?
There are always good players in the state, and I get real good positive feedback from high school coaches in terms of their view. The relationship they’ve had not just with the University, but with the football program is tremendous. It was exciting to go to the state coaches clinic and see the turnout and the enthusiasm these guys have for football. You feel really connected being at the University and branching out to the high school programs. It’s a pretty good connection.

DB coach Daronte Jones

Recruiting territories: Maryland/DC, Virginia, South New Jersey, Texas, West Coast

BN: What were some of the challenges of recruiting East Coast for the University of Hawaii and how can that help you recruiting that area for Wisconsin?
All it takes is one to be the piped piper. When I was there we were able to get one from Maryland. He ended up going out there and starting the last eight games, which was great because the pipelines were open. We had Maryland guys calling in and were interested. All it takes one and somebody to want something different and get away from home. It’s the same thing here, and we’ve already had a couple kids from that area come. So we have some momentum to build on.

OC/OL coach Joe Rudolph

Recruiting territories: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

BN: What do you love about in-state recruiting?
There’s some great talent in the state. You watch the Pro Bowl and J.J. Watt is going against Joe Thomas. Those two guys came from right here. You are only going to be able to take around 20 kids each cycle, so you need to take the ones that give you the best chance to be successful. I just think the hitting percentage here is really good. You go through the years and see the guys we’ve taken from the state, those guys turn out to be pretty good.

RB coach John Settle

Recruiting territories: Atlanta, North Carolina with emphasis in Charlotte, South Carolina

BN: UW has had some success recruiting Georgia since you left. What do you like about that area and the level of talent that is there?
The one thing is there are a lot of good students in North Atlanta and around that area, which is where we’re going to spend most of our time. In the Charlotte area, guys play good football and it’s the same thing with guys having good grades and athletically can play at a high level. That way when they get here it’s not overwhelming. There’s some schools in South Carolina that are playing for championships. You like to go out and recruit guys who come from winning programs, knows what it takes to invest and how to work to win championships.

OLB coach Tim Tibesar<

Recruiting territories: Minnesota, Northwest Wisconsin, North Chicago, Northern Illinois

BN: How important is Illinois to Wisconsin’s recruiting philosophy?
It’s nice because I have an area that kids, recruits and parents can drive from. (Wisconsin is) an easy place to sell. It’s beautiful. It’s got a great product to sell. You don’t have to try to give them a sale’s pitch. You just have to be honest with them, tell them what we’re about, who we are and we have a good enough product where you don’t have to make anything up. You just have to identify the types of players who obviously have enough talent to play here but are also the right fit for the University of Wisconsin. The kids who are attracted to the type of program that we are. We certainly have a blue-collar approach to ourselves and we want hard-working, lunch-pail-type of kids to come here.

TE coach Mickey Turner

Recruiting territories: Connecticut, Upper East Coast, Chicago

BN: Why kind of recruiter do you think you’ll be?
I think all the recruits want to hear is that you are genuine. Obviously they want to see what kind of school you are representing, and I’m lucky because Wisconsin is a heck of a school. Whether you talk about the athletics or the academic side, I don’t think you can go wrong here. Knowing that gives me a little bit of confidence on the road that I can be genuine, that I can look a kid in the eye and tell them we’re going to make you the best person you can be, you’re going to grow in all aspects of your life and just getting here and seeing everything puts us in a good light.

BN: How important if the Chicago area to Wisconsin?
It’s always been an important area. Even guys I played with, like O’Brien Schofield, came from that area. Knowing it’s so close, its Big Ten country, it’s easy for parents to drive here to see their son and come to a game. You’d think that if it’s that close, Wisconsin has got to be a place they’d consider. From our side, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t go in there and show them why Wisconsin is a great school.


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