Pickerington (OH) Central junior tight end Trenton Gillison only knows two things for certain about the University of Wisconsin: they produce N.F.L. talent and have a rich-storied history. Those two factors alone put the Badgers in the conversation after offering him Thursday.
“Everything I've heard about Wisconsin has been great,” Gillison told BadgerNation. “I remember watching them in the Rose Bowl growing up and I always thought that could be me. It's finally a reality and that's why Wisconsin would have to be at top of my list. They produce hard-noises players, and that's something I love."
Like many Ohio prospects, offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph has been the point man for the Badgers. A former tight end coach for Wisconsin from 2008-11, Rudolph has been able to relay to Gillison how much of a factor he would be in head coach Paul Chryst’s offense.
“Coach Rudolph is a great guy and we have a new relationship,” Gillison said. “I could see myself playing for Wisconsin, and they'll definitely be a major school going down the road. Some of my classmates are going to Wisconsin so I know they'll be pulling for me to join them, and it's always nice to know people going into a new environment.”
Holding seven early power five offers, Gillison said Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin would make up his top five list. He has an offer from each school except Ohio State, which he calls his dream school.
He plans to visit all of those schools and likely many more as schools start to take notice.
“I'm a big tight end who can block and get down field,” he said. “Something teams don't have (that), and I know I can contribute to any school I go to. I still would like to work on my speed and strength but overall I feel my body position and composure on the field is something unmatched. I don't take plays off, and Coach Rudolph told me he loves my game because of that."
If Wisconsin gets off to a good start with Gillison, the Badgers could find themselves in the mix for some of his teammates, who have already started to generate college interest.
“My teammates will probably be people that affect my recruitment most,” he said. “A lot of them are three or four star recruits, and I hope to play college ball with them. So I'm trying to get them offers that are similar to mine. Our 2018 class is loaded with talent, so I won't be able to play in college with all of them, but I'd love to play with some of them.”