With new power five offers coming in on a weekly basis, Roselle (IL) Lake Park defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk knew that at some point he needed to simply sit down, narrow his list and put his recruitment into a tighter focus. That happened Friday.
“I feel pretty comfortable,” Panasuik told BadgerNation. “I’ve always wanted to narrow my list down, but I keep getting more offers and more offers. I didn’t really know when to trim them down, but I thought that I want to make my commitment before school starts up again. I am still open to any other school that still has interest in me and is talking to me, but I felt I had to narrow my list down.”
It was an admittedly tough process for the 6-3, 280-pound defensive tackle but it wasn’t too difficult putting Wisconsin on his list. Offered in the spring and having been visited multiple times at his school by defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield, Pasasuik feels really good about the Badgers.
“I always give Coach Nokes a call every now and then,” Panasuik said. “They are trying to get one interior defensive lineman and they always say ‘we want you! we want you!”
Not only did Breckterfield make that clear, but head coach Paul Chryst and the entire staff did after he picked up his offer while on campus for an unofficial visit.
“The campus up there is just awesome,” Panasuik said. “That would just be great to play there.”
Of the six schools on his list, Panasuik has offers from everyone but Michigan State and Oregon. He visits East Lansing on Wednesday.
“When you think about Michigan State, all you think about is its defense,” he said. “They are all about their defense, and that’s what I’m about. Coach Dantonio is all about the defense, too. That would be really cool to be a part of. What Coach Dantonio has built at Michigan State is just unbelievable.”
Panasuik said Minnesota was on the list because of the way head coach Jerry Kill is building up the program (“that’d be cool to be a part of”); Missouri because of defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski’s track record of developing players, distance to his home and playing in the SEC; Oregon because of his strong relationship with defensive line coach Ron Aiken and traditionally being one of the top schools in the country and Penn State has been involved from the beginning.
“They’ve been strong for a while,” he said. “They were probably one of the bigger offers I got at the beginning and it exploded from there. When I went out there, it was just an awesome campus, awesome coaches, just awesome. They are definitely a program I can see rising in the future.”
In addition to Michigan State, Panasuik plans to visit Minnesota in the next three weeks. He also hopes to visit Missouri and Oregon in the near future, as well as possibly making a return trip to Madison.