A strong, athletic player, McFadden starred at Dwyer High School, catching 25 passes for 359 yards and five touchdowns, while notching eight sacks and 18 tackles for loss as a defensive end. McFadden was actually recruited to play defense by Kansas State and Georgia Tech, who viewed the 6-foot-3, 215-pound athlete as an outside linebacker in college.
McFadden, though, prefers offense and feels he can step in and contribute early at Wisconsin, creating mismatches with his speed (a 4.56 40-yard dash) and strength (315-pound bench press, 395 squat). McFadden is qualified with a 3.0 grade-point average and an 830 SAT.
Badger Nation: What is your favorite memory of from your official visit (Dec. 10-12) to Wisconsin?
Jae McFadden: "There was a lot of food man. That's probably the biggest thing. Some really good food, man. Breakfast, lunch and dinner and the dessert. I think my favorite memory was the food. That was real nice."
BN: What are you most proud of from your prep career?
JM: "Before the season began I made some goals like making all-area, all-conference, all-state first team and all that. I tried to win a state title but that didn't happen. I pretty much got to all my goals. I signed a D-I scholarship, made all-state first team and that's pretty much it, you know. Felt pretty good. Made my parents proud and everything. Just making all conference, just being one of the best athletes in the nation. Just stuff like that, just trying to be the best player I can be this season and everything."
BN: What was your favorite college team growing up?
JM: "Miami…I can't say I watched a lot of Wisconsin football when I was young."
BN: Who was your favorite athlete? Why?
JM: "Probably Michael Jordan because I was a basketball guy when I was real young. I played basketball since I was four years old. I remember the first time playing football is during elementary like around fourth and fifth grade…I'd say Michael Jordan might be my favorite athlete cause all around he's just a great guy."
BN: Do you anticipate redshirting your first year at UW?
JM: "I think the only way I'll be redshirted is if I don't probably get big enough. But that won't be a problem because I'll get big before the season starts…Being a tight end in the Big Ten you've got to have your own weight. That's probably the only way I see myself not play is not getting big enough and probably not knowing the offense. But I'm sure that ain't going to be a problem.
"Me, honestly, I'd say no. But if I do get redshirted it won't be a problem with me because that will give me an extra year to get bigger and faster. That'd probably give me an advantage. Whatever they decide to do is fine with me."
BN: When do you expect to arrive on campus?
JM: "I'm supposed to arrive around the second week of June. That's when they start working out and do 7-on-7 and stuff like that. I'll probably be around for like three weeks, then go back home and come back the first week of August when they start practicing and everything. Get ready to be a Badger."
BN: What are your goals for your Badger career both for this year and in seasons to come?
JM: "My goal is to try to be the best tight end at Wisconsin. I think Owen Daniels, he's starting it off right now. I don't remember tight ends like him at Wisconsin. He could be starting a little trend now, where the coach been recruiting these athletic tight ends now."
BN: Where do you think you will be in 10 years?
JM: "If I won't be in the league, in the NFL, hopefully I can be, what I'm thinking right now is being an agent, being around players and making money, pretty much. Somewhere I can have a good job, you know, don't have to wake up and hate my job and hate where I've gone to make money. Wake up and love what I'm doing and make money. Be like an agent or a therapist or something like that."