Three-star defensive end Thomas Schaffer makes his second visit to Wisconsin

One of the top remaining defensive targets on Wisconsin's recruiting board, Lake Forest (Ill.) Academy defensive end Thomas Schaffer sees a comfortable family atmosphere in Madison on his official visit.

One of the first visits Austrian native Thomas Schaffer made was to the University of Wisconsin, taking in a spring practice and getting a chance to meet Paul Chryst and his new staff.

Returning on an official visit several months later, Schaffer saw a lot of the same characteristics he loved about the Badgers’ program the first time around.

“It was good to get up there,” Schaffer told BadgerNation. “There was nothing different, just a good program that is headed in the right direction. They have a lot of really good players. It was really enjoyable.”

The game was an eyesore for a lot of fans watching in the stands and on television, but Schaffer, who played his high school football at Lake Forest (Ill.) Academy, called the Camp Randall atmosphere enjoyable.

“It was great,” said Schaffer. “It was an exciting game because the defense was playing so well.”

Hosted by T.J. Watt, the younger brother of one of Schaffer’s favorite players in J.J. Watt, Schaffer called the outside linebacker “a great guy” and spent the weekend getting to know him and the other players.

“We got to hang out with a lot of the players and you can tell it’s a family atmosphere there,” said Schaffer. “That’s good to see. It was good to experience that.”

Although Wisconsin has commits from projected defensive ends Luke Benzschawel and Keldric Preston, Schaffer said the staff see a near immediate role for him.

“They have been recruiting me very hard,” said Schaffer. “They are impressive with me and said I would be a great fit for their defense. They were telling me how they see me fitting in and that I have a chance to play early in his my career for a top defense.”

Rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, the 6-7, 260-pound Schaffer has took official visits to Oregon two weekends ago and Stanford last weekend. While he’s keeping the door open to take more official visits, Schaffer has nothing scheduled.

He will return to Europe in late December, not planning to make a decision by the time he leaves.

“I am going to take as much time as I can,” said Schaffer. “It’s an important decision and a hard decision, so I want to take the time that I have.”


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