With the state of Florida consistently producing some of the top high school talent in the country, the University of Wisconsin has done its part to tap into that talent pool by securing commitments from receivers, tailbacks, defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs over the years.
And considering the Badgers are almost done with their 2017 class, the Wisconsin coaching staff is trying to get a jump start on 2018 and 2019.
Fort Lauderdale (FL) Dillard defensive end Braylen Ingraham has only played high school football for one year, but the sophomore is already benefiting from the attention the state receives.
“I love playing in Florida,” Ingraham told BadgerNation. “It gets me exposure and competition is very high. It's taught me to never take plays off, because if you do, you won't be on the field for the next play. That helps my motor and drive, because if I don't produce I know I'm getting benched.”
That drive has already benefited the 6-3, 230-pound prospect, as Wisconsin became his fourth offer on Friday, joining Iowa State, Florida Atlantic and Temple.
College coaches aren’t allowed to be in contact with 2019 recruits this spring, per N.C.A.A. rules, so the Badgers offer to Ingraham caught him off guard.
"Wisconsin has a rich history of winning, and they have a great coaching staff from what I've heard,” Ingraham said. “… I remember watching them in big bowl games; I want that to be me one day. I could see myself playing for Wisconsin in the future and I can't wait to see how my recruitment progresses with them.”
Schools have been attracted to Ingraham in part because of his athleticism (he’s a two-sport athlete also playing basketball) and the fact that he was able to crack the varsity roster and start as a freshman. The ability to make an impact in his first year in high school, Ingraham says, was an irreplaceable experience.
“I had a blast,” he said. “Best year of my life hands down. I made varsity for basketball and football, and even got four offers for football. Basketball helps my football game a lot. It keeps my footwork in shape and gets my athleticism better.”
If he gets his wish, Ingraham will visit Wisconsin this summer to meet some of the coaches and return in the fall with his parents for a game to see the atmosphere.
“If I had to make a top three list it would probably be Temple, Wisconsin and Miami,” he said. “… I was surprised when they offered me, but in a good way. I can't wait to visit this summer and maybe catch a game during the season. They have a great past record with Rose Bowls and big bowl trips so that was the first thing that caught my eye.”