Columbus (WI) High senior offensive linemen Josh Seltzner earned his first scholarship offer from North Dakota and another one from Indiana State after his senior season, but the 6-6, 310-pound offensive lineman’s mind was already made up months ago of where he wanted to play college football.
After getting the news he was officially admitted into the University of Wisconsin, Seltzner could officially accept the preferred walk-on offer he had received months ago.
“It was an easy situation for me to choose the Badgers because the walk-on tradition at Wisconsin is just so great,” Seltzner told BadgerNation. “It was always a dream of mine to play for Wisconsin. Once I got that opportunity, it was the best choice for me.”
The chance to play at Wisconsin came from offensive coordinator/line coach Joe Rudolph during a June high school summer camp. Save for a few offensive packages, Seltzner had never played offensive line, choosing to attack the quarterbacks instead of protect them. At Rudolph’s urging, Seltzner worked with the offensive linemen during the camp and impressed his future position coach.
“Coach Rudolph told me I was very coachable,” Seltzner recalled. “I originally wanted to go to the camp as a defensive lineman because that’s what I always wanted to play, but he thought I’d do better on offense. He was working with me on pass blocking and liked the way I worked in the one-on-ones, how I used my legs and thought I had a lot of potential with my pass blocking.”
Seltzner still spent his senior season playing on the defensive line for the Cardinals, finishing with 29 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks, but dedicated more time to play on the offensive line. Part of it was due to need, but Seltzner said the other big reason was for him to work on his craft to prepare for Wisconsin.
It turned out to be a good move, as Seltzner was a first-team all-state selection on the offensive line by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association.
“I thought it was the best for me because of my size,” Seltzner said. “I love it. It was awesome.”
Playing guard for a team that finished 10-2 and advanced to the third round of the playoffs, Seltzner said he’ll likely start at guard for Wisconsin but could be moved to tackle.
Attending the first five home games of the season, Selzner was already sold on Wisconsin (as long as he was accepted into the school) but said an in-home meeting with Rudolph and special teams assistant Chris Haering at the beginning of December solidified things.
“They’ve always been really good with the communication part,” Seltzner said. “They’ve been invited me to all the games. It was really important to me that they did that. The (in-home) visit was awesome. My parents liked it. It was just the best fit.”
Wisconsin currently has 15 scholarship commitments in the 2017 class, in addition to 10 preferred walk-ons. Seltzner joins quarterback Danny Vanden Boom, running back Hunter Johnson, wide receiver Sam DeLany, defensive linemen Michael Balistreri and Matt Henningsen, linebackers Ethan Cesarz,Jake Collinsworth and Coy Wanrer and kicker Collin Larsh as walk-ons.