With scholarship sports running at a premium for the 2017 class, the Badgers are looking to uncover some gems with preferred walk-on spots, and no better place to look than right around them, in the state of Wisconsin, where the school has had great success finding walk-ons in the past.
The Badgers recently hosted a slew of in-state players, and that visit was too much for Merrill inside linebacker Jake Collinsworth to pass up. After talking with coaches and parents, he pulled the trigger and is now the fourth PWO for the Badgers.
"Ever since the Badgers offered me a spot on the roster, I knew it was gonna be very hard to pass up. I'm very thankful I have loving parents to send me to college, and very lucky to have the Badgers staff that gave me this opportunity. My last visit reassured me that Wisconsin was the place for me."
One big thing that eased Collinsworth's mind was reassurance. Reassurance that everybody gets a fair shot. Once you arrive at Madison, everybody is at ground zero. The best players play, no matter if you're a five star or walk-on, and that is what Collinsworth loves to hear.
"Wisconsin was my dream school. From day one, I remember watching Melvin Gordon tearing it up in the Rose Bowl and just the excitement the players have. I've always wanted that to be me, and I want to play at Wisconsin, just like the players I grew up watching. I wouldn't have committed if I didn't think I could play at Wisconsin."
Two more things that Collinsworth had on his checklist were academics and facilities, and Wisconsin hits both of those. Holding a 4.0 GPA in the classroom, Collinsworth plans on majoring in civil engineering. Since he lives so close to campus, Collinsworth has grew up around the facilities, and calls them "world class."
"Me and fellow PWO commit Hunter Johnson are pretty close. We talked a lot last Tuesday on the visit and we both knew this was the place for both of us. We saw tour of locker room and weight room, and I was amazed. The facilities there give all the players the place to succeed, and grow as a person and player.
For Collinsworth, he has goals this season. He wants to beat both the top teams in the state, those being Kimberly and Arrowhead. Collinsworth will have to be a leader on and off the field for his team this year, and he is ready to lead. He has been leading workouts and drills for his team this summer.