Howard (KS) West Elk defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk knew very little about the University of Wisconsin when his mom, aunt and uncle piled in a car and drove 10 hours to Madison for an official visit.
That October weekend he spent around the Badgers program not only changed his perception of the school, it changed the course of his recruitment.
“That visit changed pretty much everything,” Loudermilk told BadgerNation. “I really wasn’t thinking Wisconsin at all, and I would just go up for a visit to check it out. Right after I went there, it’s been my top school.”
The 6-foot-7 260-pound defensive end made it official on Thursday, as Loudermilk became the 23rd verbal commitment to the Badgers’ 2016 class and the fourth projected defensive lineman.
A day after UW saw three-star defensive end Thomas Schaffer commit to Stanford, the Badgers added a talented three-star prospect in Loudermilk, who plays eight-man football and could play either end or tackle in the Badgers’ 3-4 scheme. He’s ranked the No.1 defensive tackle in Kansas and No.46 overall in the country by Scout.com
“They send a lot of guys on blitzes and pass rushes,” Loudermilk said of Wisconsin. “It seems like they use their defensive linemen a lot for run stops, and I feel like I can really help with that. I don’t know if it’ll be very tough to transition from eight-man d-line to 11-man d-line. I haven’t played anything different, but I’d say the biggest thing will be getting used to different types of practices.”
Loudermik committed to Wisconsin over finalists Kansas State and Oregon. He also had offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma State and a handful of others. He was recruited by receivers coach Ted Gilmore and built a bond so strong that Gilmore was the only UW coach Loudermilk gave advanced commitment notice to.
“Me and Coach Gilmore have talked since the beginning of all this,” said Loudermilk. “I call him all the time, about every week, so I have a really good relationship with him. Him and my mom would talk all the time, so he has a good relationship with my family. He met my grandparents and they loved him. He’s been great through all this.”
Although his family will be traveling exponentially farther to Madison to watch him play compared to Manhattan, KS, Loudermilk said his whole family is thrilled with his choice.
“My mom liked all the visits, but she said she could see that I liked that (Wisconsin) visit more,” said Loudermilk. “I talked about it more to people; I was more excited about it.”