Although plenty of local power five schools recruit the area, Wisconsin – with head coach Paul Chryst on staff – has never been afraid to go into the Pittsburgh area to recruit.
After Chryst and now offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph secured commitments from players like Michael Caputo and Arthur Goldberg while assistants at Wisconsin, the duo laid the foundation for the Pitt program by recruiting local hard-working, blue-collared, talented players.
Now back at Wisconsin, the staff is still looking at the Pittsburgh region for talented prospects, a reason Aliquippa 2018 defensive back Kwantel Raines added an offer from the Badgers this week.
“The offer really surprised me,” Raines told BadgerNation. “I talked to one of the coaches on the phone. They think I can play sideline to sideline. They want that kind of safety in their program.”
The 6-3, 190-pound prospect is described as a “natural talent.” Already ranked the No.10 safety in the country in 2018, and the No.141 overall prospect, Raines tries to fly around on the field.
“I’ve been an athlete since I’ve been a little kid,” he said. “Next year will be my 13th year (playing football). I never knew (I could play division 1) until I picked up my first one.”
That first offer came from West Virginia. He’s received a ton more since. Offered by Louisville Thursday, the four-star prospect claims power five offers from Iowa State, Kentucky, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech, a sign that Raines’ recruitment is only beginning.
“It’s really good to get the city on the map,” Raines said. “It’s an honor to get a chance to play for your home state. Just getting a chance to play in front of your family is really good.”
While having visited Penn State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, the presumed three favorites, Raines said he’ll spent the summer visiting a majority of the schools that have offered him. He says Wisconsin is one of those places he wants to see.
“A lot of the schools are hard to get to because they are really far,” Raines said. “I am just hoping to see how school’s play, their climate and the atmosphere.”
Aliquippa is off to a 5-1 start this season.
“This season is going great,” Raines said. “I’m flying around on the field and trying to be more of a leader this year … This year I wanted to finish off with a state championship.”