Max Siker/BadgerNation

From basketball practice to the football game, Oakdale (MN) Tartan '18 forward Jarvis Thomas was impressed with Wisconsin

No matter what Wisconsin sport Oakdale (MN) Tartan small forward Jarvis Thomas watched on Saturday, the junior walked away impressed by what the Badgers could offer.

Spending Saturday on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Oakdale (MN) Tartan junior small forward Jarvis Thomas was given the full Badgers treatment.

He was fed, he attended a Wisconsin basketball practice and got prime seats to the football team’s matchup with No.2 Ohio State under the lights at Camp Randall. The experience could not have gone any better.

“Madison was a great campus,” Thomas told BadgerNation. “The fans definitely ball out. The practice was really good, well organized, thought out. I liked it. The (football) game was awesome. There’s nothing like it. I don’t think I’ve been to another college football game like that. Literally every down on defense the fans were roaring.”

The 6-6, 205-pound Thomas has been on Wisconsin’s recruiting radar for several years. When head coach Greg Gard was the associate head coach, he reached out to Thomas early in his high school career. After Gard hired Joe Krabbenhoft, the former Wisconsin forward started talking to Thomas.

“Greg Gard was one of the first people to recruit me two years ago when I was playing against the Iowa Barnstormers,” Thomas said. “I remember the game exactly. It was at a NY2LA tournament. After that he sent me some mail and has been steadily recruiting me.”

In addition to the coaching staff, Thomas spent time meeting with academic advisors and strength and conditioning coach Erik Helland prior to the football game.

“If I go there that’s who I will be spending most of my time with,” Thomas said. “The strength coach was an awesome guy. He sounded like he knew what he was doing with the way he explained and showed things to us.”

Wisconsin only has two available scholarships in the 2018 class and both currently have names on them. Greenfield (WI) Whitnall guard Tyler Herro accepted his scholarship last month while Stevens Point (WI) center Joey Hauser is still evaluating his options. While Thomas doesn’t have an offer, and one wasn’t discussed, he believes Wisconsin likes him for his toughness.

“I’m a tough player,” Thomas said. “I can guard the one through five basically. People have called me a spark plug because when I play I just bring that energy to the court always in every situation.”

Holding offers from Arizona State, Cal State-Bakersfield, Green Bay, Iowa State, Marquette, Nevada Oregon State, Thomas said a Wisconsin offer – based on everything he experienced this weekend – would be huge.

“It’d be really huge if they offered me,” Thomas said. “It’d be one of the key points of my recruitment.”

Thomas plans on picking a school following next summer’s AAU season. 


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