Clearance received, Casillas pleased with decision

Linebacker prospect sees bright future at UW

Jonathan Casillas had leaned toward Wisconsin for some time. His mom's wishes, however, were tugging him closer to their New Brunswick, N.J. home.

Once his mom gave her blessing, however, Casillas was set.

"I've been asking my mom, you know, because my mom had a voice in my decision," he said. "I've been asking her, does she have a problem with me going far? She said, ‘I want you stay home but you know you are not a little boy anymore. You are grown now.'

"That was the determining factor right there. My mom didn't mind, you know, and that's it."

Casillas, an athletic 6-foot-2, 200-pound prospect, committed to Wisconsin last week. He expects to play will linebacker as a Badger.

"I was just waiting for a feeling to come," Casillas said. "Had to make sure I was 100 percent. Monday [Jan. 10], I woke up in the morning and I felt good about it the whole day. I was telling everybody, ‘I think Wisconsin is going to be my choice.' I was like, ‘Coach, I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it.' It just felt so good. I just wanted that feeling. That's why it took so long."

Casillas chose Wisconsin over Connecticut and Kentucky.

"All of the schools, they are great," he said. "That's why they had me swaying back and forth, here and there, just, you know, actually to see what I wanted to do. But I made up my decision and I'm happy about it. I don't have no regrets. It's pretty good."

Last week Casillas' high school coach told the Wisconsin State Journal that Casillas could thrive at wide receiver at Wisconsin.

Casillas is certainly athletic enough to play receiver. He plays the 2, 3 and 4 for the New Brunswick High School basketball team and runs the 100 and 200 meters in track. Casillas said his best time in the 100 was 10.7 seconds.

In addition to starring as an outside linebacker his senior year, Casillas played offensive end and helped New Brunswick make up for the loss of current USC star Dwayne Jarrett.

"I stepped in this year, kind of filled in for his shoes a little bit," Casillas said. "I made a lot of plays for the team so coach thought I'm a good receiver. I would out-jump a lot of people. I'm pretty fast."

Casillas, however, said would prefer to stay on defense.

"I love defense. I like hitting people. I like impact," he said. "And receiver's probably the opposite of a linebacker."

After school on Jan. 10 Casillas picked up the phone and called UW defensive coordinator Bret Bielema to offer his commitment to his future position coach.

"He was souped up. He was psyched up for me," Casillas said. "He was real excited that he got me in the program. We have a good relationship me and him. We could probably get a national championship."

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