Commitment Date: 6/13/15
Commitment in the Class: Seventh
Accolades: Rated the No.8 outside linebacker in Florida, No.20 in the South and No.59 in the country … selected for 2016 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl ... led Broward County with 12 sacks as a junior, totaling 75 tackles and forcing four fumbles ... racked up 94 tackles, 14 sacks and forced seven fumbles as a senior ... team MVP and team captain as junior and senior ... also competed in wrestling and track and field.
Recruiting Story: Jeanty’s story is one of perseverance and beating the odds. Financial troubles with his mom created a homeless situation, child protective services got involved to remove him from the household and a whole mess of issues. To help him get through the whirlwind, Jeanty immersed himself in the craft of football.
“It definitely had an impact,” he said. “We are just the sum of our life experiences. I feel like that played a big role in the type of person I am today, the type of man I am today and the type of football player I am.”
Football was the fun sport after school, as basketball and baseball were his main sports, but became an outlet for his anger.
“It gave me a family, gave me brothers and gave me father figures,” Jeanty said. “Just from there, I loved to compete.”
Beginning of his junior year, Jeanty made the switch from Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas to Fort Lauderdale High School. That’s where football became a career path, seeing the compliments from coaches and players increase and getting his first scholarship offer from Yale. By April 2015 Jeanty had double digit offers. By the summer he had 44 offers.
Wisconsin was the 39th school to offer him, a school that spoke to him because of the academics, the football and the tradition. But the big thing that spoke to him about the Badgers was former linebacker Chris Borland, one of his favorite players.
“They have tough, blue-collar football,” Jeanty said, “and that's the type of person I am.”
Funny thing was defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield went to Fort Lauderdale to recruit a different prospect when his coach showed him Jeanty’s highlight tape. After doing a little background research, Breckterfield and Wisconsin was sold.
So when the Badgers started filling up their linebacker spots, Jeanty didn’t want to miss his chance, committing to UW within 48 hours of receiving the offer without seeing the program. When he visited in late July, Jeanty called it “the visit of a lifetime” and was sold on his future.
Why Wisconsin? “People would ask me why I picked a school I hadn’t seen before. I told them what I wanted in a school, the combination of academics and athletics, Wisconsin fit the bill where a lot of schools that had offered me didn’t. I was nervous going up there that Wisconsin wouldn’t fit the bill, but it blew everything away … I know I’ll be truly happy at Wisconsin.”
“Everyone was so nice and friendly up there that it was a shock. I had to ask people what was going on because everyone kept smiling at me. When you walk on the sidewalk in Florida, you either look straight ahead or look at the ground, never left, right or around. I kept thinking I’d know these people from somewhere because they kept smiling. It took me a minute to adjust.”
“The athletic community is really tight. Everywhere we went players were hanging out with each other. Volleyball players were hanging out with hockey players and tennis players with football players. It was a really cool community.”
Scouting Report: Jeanty has really dedicated time to his craft since the end of the junior year and passes the eye test with his chiseled frame. He is always active and itching to soak up as much knowledge as he can. He's an ace in the classroom who possesses a stable of Ivy League offers. A standout player who can go sideline-to-sideline and shows good closing speed, Jeanty is an effective pass rusher coming off the edge, welcomes contact and plays with a ton of physicality in the middle of the defense. The linebacker flat out gets after it and plays with an impressive motor each time he straps on his chin strap. The linebacker plays with a chip on his shoulder and has made significant strides since the end of his junior campaign. – Scout’s Florida recruiting analyst Corey Bender
Coach’s Quote: “He is the one that connects everyone. He's an unbelievable person and all of the players know him and talk to him and he's got a little bit of the heartbeat of this class.” – Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst
BadgerNation Prediction: Enrolling early to take part in spring practices, Jeanty finds himself behind a host of talented young inside linebackers – Jack Cichy, Ryan Connelly, T.J. Edwards and Chris Orr. Likely to redshirt this upcoming year, Jeanty – always wearing a smile on his face – looks to be another huge piece the Badgers have added to their program from the state of Florida.