Badgers Make an Impression

After coming up empty handed at Wisconsin's junior day, Hartford Union linebacker Tyler Dippel explains why he didn't come away with a scholarship offer and what he's doing this summer to earn one.

Living in California from the time he was born until he was 12, Hartford Union linebacker Tyler Dippel never though about playing football, let alone any organized sport.

After moving to Wisconsin for seventh grade to live with his Dad and being pushed by his father to be involved in sports, Dippel found football and became an addict.

"I really never followed sports while I was in California and my dad pushed really hard for me to get into sports," Dippel told Badger Nation. "Seventh grade was my first year playing any sport and it was football and I've been hooked ever since. Once I got into it, I really started rooting for the Badgers."

An all-state selection as a junior, Dippel (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) has thrived at the Mike Linebacker position at Hartford Union High School and was coming off his best season when he got an invite to attend Wisconsin's junior day the weekend of February 16.

Needless to say, the Badger fan came away impressed.

"I saw the whole Wisconsin facilities and I was very impressed by that," Dippel said. "I got to meet a lot of their coaches – Bret Bielema, Bob Bostad and Coach Doeren – and I got to talk to a lot of them. I saw their weight room and their strength trainer was a real intense guy. I really liked that. You can tell that he means business and knows what he's doing. It was all good, definitely really good."

The visit was a refreshing one for Dippel, who had gone to Notre Dame's and Purdue's junior day but did not come away with as personable an experience as he did at Wisconsin.

"Notre Dame had so many kids at their junior day that it was hard to talk to anybody," Dippel said. "At Purdue, it was kind of the same thing. We saw a lot of the campus but didn't really see what their football staff was about. Notre Dame and Purdue was welcoming but not as welcoming as Wisconsin. You feel like you are at home with the Badgers."

But after leaving with a good feeling from Wisconsin, the Badgers offered three scholarships, none of which came in Dippel's direction, a move that caught the linebacker a little off guard.

"I wasn't going there expecting an offer but when I found out that those three received offers, it left me wondering why I hadn't received one," Dippel said. "My dad and I got to talking and thinking about it and my dad was kind of upset about it."

As it turns out, Wisconsin did not offer Dippel because of the lack of knowledge they had on him. While 2009 verbal commitments Ryan Groy, Shelby Harris and Jordan Kohout had all attention the Badgers junior camp the summer before, Dippel had yet to workout for the Badgers, the main reason he sees while he wasn't the beneficiary of a scholarship offer.

"The coaches have actually seen those kids (2009 verbal commits) live and in action, playing right there in front of their eyes and had a chance to work with them," Dippel said. "That's basically what I heard through my coach's brother, who actually talked to Coach Bielema. They just want a chance to work with me, seeing me in action and what I can really do because a video tape can only show so much. I understand why now and look forward to their camp."

This year, Dippel plans to attend Wisconsin's summer camp, as well as travelling to South Bend to go to Notre Dame's camp and a Nike Camp either in Los Angeles or Columbus, Ohio.

Although he has not received any official offers yet, Dippel is getting personal mail from Minnesota and North Dakota State, film requests Northern Arizona, USC and Washington and mail from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan State.

While other schools are looking at him at other positions (Notre Dame at fullback and Wisconsin potentially at defensive line), Dippel likes quarterbacking the defense at the Mike Linebacker position the best.

"I just like being the guy people look at to make a play. At defensive end, players can run away from you. I like being able to make plays on either side of the field. As a linebacker, you get to read and react, find plays a lot faster and in a lot more plays and that's what I like. I want to be in on as many plays as I can.

"Plus you get a running full head start to lay a hit on somebody."

Although he was born on the west coast and learned to play football, and follow Wisconsin, in the Midwest, Dippel has no favorites right now if all the schools contacting him would offer a scholarship. Although he expects to pick up some offers this summer, Dippel continues to work hard in the off season and just wants to play football somewhere on the collegiate level in 2009.

"Right now, I am really not playing a favorite," Dippel said. "It would be nice to be around a lot of the family I was growing up with but to tell you the truth, I am very open to go play football at a school anywhere. It's not really a deciding, huge factor for me. I just want to go and play, be coached well and get a good education."

The Dippel File

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 240 pounds

40-time: 4.9 seconds

Bench max: 320 pounds

Squat: 500 pounds

Vertical: 27.8"

Pro Agility: 4.8 seconds

Broad Jump: 8'9"

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