Although the University of Wisconsin doesn't crack the early top three for Fairfield (OH) defensive tackle Malik Vann, the Badgers have been on his radar. Wisconsin offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph is hoping to keep the Badgers there, extending the 6-3, 245-pound junior a scholarship Tuesday.
“I was wowed by the offer,” Vann told BadgerNation. “They produce N.F.L. talent and especially produce defensive linemen. I can't wait to visit. I don't have a date in mind, but I know for a fact I will try and visit, and if I'm lucky maybe catch a game in Madison."
With Wisconsin’s 2017 recruiting over halfway to completion, the Badgers’ staff has used the spring recruiting period to get a jump start on 2018. Vann said Rudolph reached out to him a month ago after studying his highlight tape.
“Coach Rudolph and I have great conversations, and he said he loves my film and game,” Vann said. “After we talked for a couple of weeks he offered me. Ever since the offer I've been researching them and been talking with Coach Rudolph more."
Already over a dozen offers, Vann described his game in two words: matchup nightmare. Those comments were echoed to him by Rudolph.
“I use my speed and strength to get to the quarterback,” Vann said. “I love getting to the quarterback and distorting his game. Coach Rudolph says I need to work on my run stopping ability a little bit, but he thinks my pass rushing is way above my age and he loves my game. It feels great to get such high praise from him.”
In addition to Wisconsin’s pedigree, Vann is impressed with the family atmosphere exuded by the players on social media.
“I've been following the coaches on Twitter and all players now and they have a lot of fun,” he said. “I want to have as much fun as them and it seems like a great environment, another reason I'll be visiting."
Right now Vann lists Kentucky, Michigan State and Notre Dame as his top three schools, a temporary list that represents the three schools he’s visited and been impressed by. He admits the list is fluid.
“After I visit Wisconsin they could easily be in my top group of schools,” he said. “I just don't know enough about them to have them in my top three. I do know they produce monsters in the NFL and that's good enough for me to visit."