With spots on the defensive line in the 2018 recruiting class at a premium, Wisconsin has completely honed in on a select group of prospects that they believe could fill its need in the trenches. Columbus (OH) Harvest Prep defensive end Isaiah Mullens always felt like one of them.
“They’re a great program with an awesome coaching staff and a great atmosphere and great players,” Mullens told BadgerNation.
On the Badgers’ radar since the winter (Wisconsin was his first Big Ten offer in February), Mullens is the 10th commit of the 2018 recruiting class and joins Kimberly (WI) High’s Boyd Dietzen as projected defensive ends.
Part of the reason why the Badgers were able to maintain a lead in Mullen’s recruiting is because of the tight bond the staff, most notably head coach Paul Chryst, have with Mullens.
“Coach (Chryst) is a great guy, one of the most humble and soft spoken men I've ever met,” Mullens said. “He runs his program at a great level, he's picked the best coaches and players that I've ever met. He's just a great person with me.”
The 6-6, 250-pound edge rusher is still a raw player, but Wisconsin’s message was consistent, firmly believing Mullens has plenty of room for improvement in his game. Mullens says the staff continued to encourage him to get better while courting him to Madison.
“Wisconsin tells me to continue working hard,” said Mullens, who added his spring visit to campus sealed the deal for his recruitment. “They tell me they really want me at UW. It’s an honor and a blessing.”
In addition to the coaching staff, the Badgers’ continued success in developing N.F.L. players is of great appeal to Mullens. Wisconsin’s recent success in sending defensive athletes to the league, such as J.J. Watt, have enamored Mullens.
“They (Wisconsin) are really good at sending players to the N.F.L.,” Mullens said. “They get the perfect coaches and players into their system and develop them. This appeals to me because if I choose to go somewhere, I want it to be somewhere that can get me to the N.F.L.”