Maryland was a successful recruiting stop for head coach Paul Chryst and his Wisconsin staff last year, picking up two safeties from area high schools. One of those players was Eric Burrell from Owings Mills (MD) McDonogh School, and junior defensive tackle, and Burrell’s former teammate, P.J. Mustipher took notice.
It’s one of the reasons why he was excited when the Badgers offered him a scholarship.
“Wisconsin is a great school; I saw my close friend Eric Burrell commit there last year and he loves it." Mustipher told BadgerNation. "I plan on visiting this summer and have him take me around campus.”
“(They are) a great overall program,” he continued. “The athletics, schooling and coaches make it a great environment for players like me. I will have to find out more about Wisconsin once I visit this summer, but overall I like it a lot.”
Due to Burrell being recruited by now departed secondary coach Daronte Jones, the 6-5, 282-pound Mustipher hasn’t developed much a relationship with the new staff, but he has already received a strong message as to the program’s direction for his class.
“The coaches are great,” he said. “I talked to them after my offer. They love my game and are really high on me. They told me they want to recruit Maryland hard for the 2018 class, and that intrigues me. If some of my friends and teammates get offered by Wisconsin, it would increase my chances a whole lot.”
A two-way lineman his junior year, Mustipher embraces playing both sides of the ball but is primarily being recruited by colleges at defensive tackle. A self-described "'mauler," Mustipher likes to play his position “violent and fast,” playing a lot like former Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt.
“I play whistle to whistle.” He said. “There isn't anything I can't do on the field, expect maybe special teams (laughs). I have speed, size and athleticism to block any player, get around any player or run over any player, and I'll do it for my team. I'm dedicated and will do almost anything for my brothers that play next to me.”
Although not currently rated by Scout.com, Mustipher has already landed an impressive offer list, including Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and many others. While all of the top schools have offered are on his radar, he is in no rush with his commitment.
"I plan on visiting the top 10-15 schools this summer,” he said. “I'll visit with my parents and after that I'll take my top 5-8 school and visit them during the season for football games so I can get a better feel of the college. I know for a fact I will be visiting Wisconsin this summer, as they have a great program and I am just forming a relationship with the coaches now."