Chicago Marist defensive end Gavin McCabe holds offers from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and many more mid-major conferences. After his Sunday visit to Madison, the 6-3, 250-pound defensive end would love to add Wisconsin to his list.
Checking out the bookstore, the student union, the city and getting a tour of the facilities, McCabe had no complaints about getting an in-depth look at everything the Badgers had to offer before, during and after the team’s third spring practice of the year.
“It was awesome,” McCabe told BadgerNation. “I absolutely love the school, the atmosphere the University of Wisconsin has and everything about it. The practices were awesome and the facilities were the best I’ve ever seen.”
McCabe first started hearing from Wisconsin when outside linebackers coach Tim Tibesar came to his school to originally recruit defensive tackle Elijah Teague, who recently committed to Minnesota. Starting a relationship through Twitter, Tibesar sent McCabe a practice schedule and gave him an open invitation to come.
Meeting him in person for the first time Sunday, McCabe’s conversations with Tibesar, the recruiting coordinators and defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield got him excited, especially the way the latter worked his veteran line throughout practice.
“They were working the entire time,” McCabe said. “They were by themselves for most of the time, and they got a bunch of reps. Everybody was getting reps, which was awesome, and putting work in. (Coach Breckterfield) was helping everybody out, too. It wasn’t just the starters or the seniors. I really like that about him. He’s a great coach and a great guy. He definitely seems like someone I want to play for some day.”
McCabe already holds over two dozen offers, including Power-Five offers from Arkansas, Boston College, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Washington State and West Virginia. Wisconsin has yet to offer mainly because of the small 2018 signing class, Kimberly (WI) end Boyd Dietzen already committed and having offers out to some high-level targets.
Wanting to take one more defensive end and a defensive tackle in the class, McCabe believes he is the next option for the Badgers should prospects they are currently targeting go elsewhere.
While he’s not the top option, McCabe would still highly considering the Badgers if an offer comes.
“It’s hard because you don’t want to be the second guy, because the other guy didn’t commit, when other schools have you as their first guy, offered you right in the beginning and were with you the entire time,” McCabe said. “But the chance to play at Wisconsin at Camp Randall, when I was there, I loved everything about it and the school. I can’t explain how much I liked it.
“It’s a school that I would have to really, really consider if it would come up even though they came later. They are a top-25 school every year and want to try to get their four-star and five-star guys first. If they don’t get that, they’ll come to guys like me who might not be as good or as big as other guys.”
For being a second guy, McCabe is far from a throw away. He finished his junior season with 68 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss.
“I love the game of football,” he said. “I love what I’m doing. I just play and give 110 percent. I’m always trying to get better. I’m in the weight room every day, sometimes twice a day. I’m always trying to give it my all.”
Later this spring, McCabe is planning on visiting Arkansas, Boston College, Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia.