Curiosity Brings a Buckeye to Madison

Holding offers from nine of 11 Big Ten teams, including his boyhood favorite Ohio State, and dozens of other schools, St. Xavier defensive end Pat Muldoon's curiosity about Wisconsin brought him to Madison Saturday.

MADISON - When Wisconsin first started entering the territory of Ohio State, the Badgers knew that they would probably have to compete with kids that grew up Buckeye fans their whole lives and were being courted by one of the top programs in the country.

If the Badgers want to have St. Xavier defensive end Pat Muldoon in a Wisconsin uniform, they are going to have to go against that and a family legacy, as well.

Growing up a Buckeye fan and receiving an offer from the Ohio State University in early April, Muldoon had two uncles (Pat and Joe Lukens) play in Columbus during the 1970s.

"It was a big deal in my family because I grew up being a fan," Muldoon told Badger Nation of getting the scholarship offer from Ohio State. "I like all the coaches, as they just seem like down-to-earth people."

He added however: "I still have to see other schools before I make my choice because Ohio State might not be the right fit for me."

This is why Muldoon is going through the process; a process that brought the 6-foot-4, 255 pound end to Wisconsin to watch the Badgers scrimmage Saturday.

"I wanted to check out the practice and get a good feel of the team," Muldoon said. "Before coming here, I didn't know a lot about them but I learned a lot. I talked to the strength coach (John Dettmann) for awhile and he told me a lot about what he does. I talked to Coach Partridge (defensive line), Coach Doeren and Coach Bielema, pretty much everybody on the staff.

"I toured the campus and I liked a lot of that," he continued. "They told me how short they were on the defensive line right now because of injuries that I could make an impact early so I liked that a lot."

Even so, Wisconsin and Ohio State aren't the only ones in the running for the talent end.

Already attending junior days at Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Michigan State, Muldoon has been offered over two dozens scholarships, a list that includes Boston College, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and nine of the 11 Big Ten schools (Michigan and Penn State have not offered but according to Muldoon, Penn State says they plan on offering).

"Right now I am just trying to slowly do it," Muldoon said of the process. "I don't have a favorite at this point. Everyone is pretty even because I haven't seen that many schools. I would like to commit before the season but that will be tough with all the schools I need to go to. I want to give everyone a fair shot so it will be more than likely after the season."

But while he isn't doing any spring sports, Muldoon and his family are taking advantage of the weekends to visit campuses to get a head start on the process. Planning on going to Louisville and Purdue next week, Muldoon swung by Iowa on Friday before coming to Madison.

"I liked their toughness, how they play," he said of the Hawkeyes. "It was only practice with shoulder pads and shorts and they were still going after it and going full out. I liked how they do."

Although he was only able to watch approximately half of the scrimmage between meeting coaches and getting facility tours, Muldoon was able to get a good look at senior end Matt Shaughnessy, a player he said has really impressed him on how he's been able to contribute to the program over his career.

"I liked Matt Shaughnessy a lot coming in. I saw pictures of him freshman year and seeing him where he is now, he has changed a ton," Muldoon said. "He's going to be a four-year starter and he is real impressive how he plays."

Not planning on attending any camps this summer so he can continue visiting schools, Muldoon is happy with his weight right now, knowing that a college weight lifting program will get him where he needs to be, Muldoon would be a great fit for any college program with the intensity he brings to the defensive line.

"I think my strength is that I play disciplined, tough football with a quick first step," he said. "I liked to play all over the field and chase the ball down. I am pretty much non-stop. I like to go where the action is."

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