Quarterback connection

James Stallons, a 6-foot-6, 175-pound class of 2007 quarterback prospect at Dakota High School, in Macomb, Mich., made his verbal commitment to a Big Ten program yesterday, about three weeks after receiving a scholarship offer from the school.

Even before the University of Wisconsin football program offered him a scholarship, quarterback James Stallons held the Badgers in high esteem.

"They were at the top of my list even before I got offered. So it just made me like them even more," Stallons said, during a telephone interview this afternoon.

Stallons, a 6-foot-6, 175-pounder at Dakota High School in Macomb, Mich., already had a laundry list of reasons for liking the Badgers, but it certainly did not hurt to have a conversation with former Badger quarterback Jim Sorgi's prep coach at Fraser (Mich.) High School, Ray Barr.

"Sorgi's head coach, when he was at Fraser, I actually talked to him two nights ago," Stallons said. "… He said that he's been all over the country (including) USC versus Texas. He said there is not a better place to play college football. He said it is his favorite place to go. He said Wisconsin is No. 1 in his book. He said it is his favorite place to go and watch a football game."

Yesterday, Stallons made a verbal commitment to Wisconsin, becoming the program's fifth commit for the class of 2007, and the first signal caller in the class.

Because of Sorgi's success in Madison, Stallons was well are of the Badgers long before they began recruiting him. Fraser is only nine miles from Dakota.

"I met (Sorgi) one time," Stallons said. "He came to a quarterback camp when I was in eighth grade, just showed up, said hi to everybody."

Stallons might draw comparisons to Sorgi along the way. Like Sorgi he is a tall prospect with an impressive arm, who will need to add weight.

Stallons was Dakota's starting quarterback each of the past two seasons, leading the Cougars to the state semifinals each of those years. He estimated that he threw for 2,300 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. He will be a team captain this year.

Why did he choose Wisconsin?

"I like the campus a lot," Stallons said. "I like the coaches, and I think just the offense—I fit in there pretty well too…

"The offense they run right now is kind of like what we run at our high school. They throw the ball a little bit, run the ball. Kind of mix it up."

Stallons said the Badgers have been recruiting him since early last winter. He visited Madison for Wisconsin's spring game and returned about a month ago for a one-day football camp and a tour of the campus.

"I was there for about an hour just throwing for them," Stallons said. "But I really didn't need to throw for them, they just wanted me to come check it out. And about a week later that is when they offered."

Though his Wisconsin offer came soon after his camp appearance, Stallons feels he was well on his way to receiving a Badger offer before the camp.

"They actually came to school in springtime and they had seen my highlight film in the wintertime," Stallons said. "So they already contacted me then, but then they came to the school and watched me throw and I assume that's how it all got started."

Stallons also had scholarship offers from Miami (Ohio), Eastern Michigan and Toledo. Other schools showing him considerable interest included Iowa, Purdue and Michigan State.

What separated Wisconsin from his other offers?

"It is in the Big Ten for one," Stallons said. "And I really like the coaches there, I thought I fit in well with them. And I like the campus a lot."

Now that he has made his commitment, Stallons said, "it makes me concentrate more on the season in high school this year."

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