Owings Mills (MD) McDonogh safety Eric Burrell knew on his flight to the University of Wisconsin that he had to plan out his final three official visits before making his commitment. He flew home only needing to decide when he was going to announce his commitment.
That decision came on Monday, announcing on Twitter that he was becoming the 21st commit in Wisconsin’s 2016 class – a class that now ranks No.19 in the country by Scout.com.
“It was a beautiful place,” Burrell told BadgerNation. “I liked all the coaches; I liked all the player; I like the academic support they have there. That’s what I really wanted in a school. I appreciate what they have to give me and felt it was a great place ... I waited a couple of days, let everything calm down and then do it.”
The 6-0, 174-pound Burrell said he called head coach Paul Chryst around lunchtime to give him the news.
“He was excited,” said Burrell. “They have a lot of seniors and said I had an opportunity to play. That’s a good set up for me. It’s not earned, so I have to go out and do my best. He was excited and can’t wait until I get up there.”
Wisconsin is losing five defensive backs following the 2015 season, including both starting safeties, so the Badgers wanted to target a high number. Burrell is the fourth defensive back to commit to the Badgers, joining Potomac (MD) Bullis School safety Patrick Johnson.
“I have known him for a few years now,” said Burrell of Johnson. “I spent FaceTime with him last night for about an hour. He already knew I was going to commit. It’s crazy that we’re going to play together. It’s exciting. I am excited to get there and do some work.”
Rated a three-star prospect and the No.29 safety in the country by Scout.com, Burrell committed to Wisconsin over a final four of Boston College, Duke, Nebraska and Syracuse. He says his recruitment is closed and will spend the rest of the fall improving his game.
“Playing on an island by myself, I think I should improve in that,” said Burrell. “I am a good tackler, I think, but controlling what goes on on my side is where I can improve.”