St. Jean commits to Badgers

Florida athlete becomes Wisconsin's 17th commitment for class of 2006

Culmer St. Jean verbally committed to the University of Wisconsin football program Wednesday, calling Badger incoming head coach Bret Bielema to make his pledge.

"He was excited just as much as I was excited," St. Jean said in a telephone interview Thursday night.

St. Jean has taken four official visits, including one to Wisconsin in December. He had planned on taking an official visit to South Florida this month, but that is no longer the case.

"I'm done with visits," St. Jean said. "After I committed, that was my word. I chose Wisconsin so there's no point in me taking an extra visit."

St. Jean is a 6-foot-1, 215-pound athlete at Naples (Fla.) Lely High School. He starred as a quarterback in the fall but is being recruited as a safety. St. Jean—who also plays basketball and runs track—is considered a good athlete, though he will be raw at his position, having focused on the offensive side of the ball in high school.

St. Jean was recently named a Class 3A third-team all-state quarterback by the Florida Sports Writers Association.

On all four of St. Jean's official visits, he was accompanied by a Lely teammate, defensive back prospect Wondy Pierre-Louis. The tandem had stated in several interviews that they wanted to go to the same school for college. Pierre-Louis, however, verbally committed to West Virginia earlier this week.

"We just wanted to go to the same schools but we knew that there was a possibility of our going to different schools and we're okay with that," St. Jean said.

Why did St. Jean choose Wisconsin?

"The tradition and Big Ten football and good academics," he said.

The Mountaineers were among St. Jean's finalists, along with Minnesota and Wisconsin.

St. Jean said he chose the Badgers over West Virginia because of Wisconsin's membership in the Big Ten.

"I felt like their schedule was a lot tougher than West Virginia's," St. Jean said.

So what separated Wisconsin from Minnesota, another Big Ten school?

"I like Wisconsin's tradition better," St. Jean said.

St. Jean said he is playing basketball to stay in shape and will run track this spring with a similar goal in mind.

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