Rouse "excited" about UW offer

Kevin Rouse is one of the most sought-after prospects in the Midwest, with 17 scholarship offers already in hand. Rouse,'s No. 25 linebacker prospect in the nation for the class of 2007, most recently received an offer from the Badgers.

It would be an understatement to say that Kevin Rouse is well-liked by college football recruiters. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound class of 2007 linebacker prospect at Joliet (Ill.) Catholic has 17 scholarship offers.

His latest tender comes from the University of Wisconsin, which joined a list that also includes Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Pittsburgh, Purdue, North Carolina State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Colorado State, Illinois, Oklahoma State and Western Michigan.

Rouse received his scholarship offer from Wisconsin via a phone call at the end of the May calling period that included defensive line coach Randall McCray, who has been recruiting Rouse for the Badgers, head coach Bret Bielema and linebackers coach Dave Doeren.

"Well Coach McCray called me," Rouse said in a telephone interview Tuesday night. "He used his phone call for the month of May. He called me when he was with Coach Doeren, the linebacker coach, and with Bielema, the head coach.

"He said that Coach Bielema wanted to talk to me. And that's when Coach Bielema offered me… They kind of let me know that I'm important to them, an important recruit and everything because they don't have that many scholarship offers.

"After that I talked to Coach Doeren, the linebacker coach. He told me a little about how he coaches and all that. That was about it.

"I was pretty excited. I've kind of been waiting for them for a while. I went to Wisconsin during my spring break. I really liked it. So I was pretty excited."

Rouse visited Madison to watch a Badger spring practice and take a look at the campus.

"It was nice," he said. "One (graduate assistant) showed us around. I really liked the way they ran everything. Me and my dad drove around the campus a little bit. It's beautiful. We went and watched the linebackers practice and they were real impressive, probably the best ones I saw on any team."

Rouse estimated that he has visited eight campus this spring, including Missouri, Vanderbilt and Minnesota. What are his summer plans?

"I want to go visit some schools that I didn't get a chance to see earlier," Rouse said. "I want to try to do that either this month or July. I want to go visit some of the schools that I'm real serious about again, that I've already visited. And then I kind of want to make a decision before the season starts."

Rouse said he was not sure which schools he would visit this summer, but expect Wisconsin to be part of the itinerary.

"I really want to get out there again," Rouse said. "I enjoyed my visit the last time. They are probably going to be in serious contention. So I would like to get out there again."

Rouse declined to name a list of favorites.

"I'm still pretty open," he said. "I haven't narrowed anything down yet. I haven't really sat down and thought about which schools are my favorite and everything."

What is Rouse looking for?

"Good academics, but most of the schools that have offered me, they already have that," he said. "Good coaching staff. I kind of want to know if they know if they are going to be sticking around for a while. And a good winning tradition and a good football program and everything."

Rouse scored 26 on his ACT and he estimated that he has a 3.2 core grade-point average.

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