When it comes to Gibsonton (FL) East Bay cornerback K.J. Sails, Iowa and Wisconsin always seem tied together. Not only are the Big Ten rivals roughly 175 miles apart, both schools are in Sails’ top seven, each received unofficial visits right after the other in the summer and hosted Sails for consecutive night games in September.
For two schools that appear to be near the top of Sails’ list, there’s plenty of similarities to compare.
“It was fun,” Sails told BadgerNation. “The atmosphere was fun. We got to experience the student sections. It was a great atmosphere at both Wisconsin and Iowa. They are both unique and similar.”
A week after watching Iowa beat Pittsburgh on a last second field goal under the lights in Kinnick Stadium, Sails watched Wisconsin blank Hawaii in the Badgers’ first primetime home game since 2012. The 5-11, 175-pound Sails was part of a big recruiting weekend for the Badgers, as UW unofficially hosted nine official visitors.
“The coaching staff was great,” said Sails. “They really care about their players. I met with Coach Chryst, Coach Aranda and Coach Jones. They just said that they need me there. They said that Wisconsin is a great place. They think I can play right away, which is important to me.”
Sails was one of four prospects from Florida, as linebacker Dallas Jeanty (a UW commit) and cornerbacks Carlos Becker and Keshan Pennamon (who committed on the visit) all made the trip. The four spent most of the weekend together and flew home together.
“That was pretty fun being with those boys,” said Sails. “We had a lot of fun.”
Sails was hosted during his official visit by Sojourn Shelton – a natural selection considering the two cornerbacks both reside in the southern part of Florida.
“Talking with Sojourn, he really kept it real,” said Sails. “He told me that he was committed to Florida State and decided to come to Wisconsin. He was telling me he was glad he choose Wisconsin. He was telling me to make the best decision for me and don’t let anybody impact my decision. Me and Sojourn talk a lot of Twitter and texting.”
Corner is a position of need for Wisconsin, as at least four corners off last year’s roster will not return. For the third straight game, the secondary was a big contributor in the Badgers not giving up a touchdown. Watching from the stands, Sails is a big fan of the way secondary coach Daronte Jones teaches his players.
“It fits my style of play because I am a physical cornerback,” Sails said. “I like to press. In the N.F.L. you get a lot of man coverage. They would help me improve at that, which is great.”