Wozniak says Wisconsin

With 14 scholarship offers on his plate, Loveland H.S. tight end Brian Wozniak said that the offer he really wanted was a chance to play for Wisconsin. On Monday night, that offer came and two days later, Wozniak gave his verbal commitment to become a member of Wisconsin's 2009 recruiting class.

MADISON - Although his offer list had 14 schools on it, Loveland tight end Brian Wozniak desperately wanted to put the Badgers on the top of his list. The problem was that Wozniak was hesitant to put Wisconsin up that high because as of Monday morning, the Ohio native hadn't received an offer.

After having a successful camp last week (June 16), the Badger coaching staff extended him that coveted offer Monday and after discussing it with family and friends, gave Wisconsin his verbal commitment for the 2009 season Wednesday night.

"Committing to Wisconsin is nothing but excitement for me," Wozniak told Badger Nation Thursday. "Wisconsin has been up there from the start. They're always near the top of the Big Ten and playing for them is going to be an experience."

At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Wozniak chose Wisconsin over scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan, Marshall, Maryland, Air Force, Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State, Louisville, Miami (Ohio), Ohio, Connecticut and Toldeo because, as he put it, his chemistry with tight end coach Joe Rudolph was second-to-none.

"The relationship we had was so honest," Wozniak said. "I called him Wednesday night and told him the news. He was so excited. We've had good chemistry since the beginning. He's a real good guy and a real good coach."

The interest in Wisconsin really sparked for Wozniak in the spring when he traveled to Madison to watch one of the Badgers' 15 spring practices.

"Basically, the atmosphere (at practice) was great," he recalled. "Everybody was flying around on offense and defense. The coaches were fired up and Coach Rudolph was doing a great job coaching the tight ends there. Watching him with the tight ends really fired me up."

One of the most rewarding things for the high school tight end was getting to meet Wisconsin's All-American tight end Travis Beckum and fellow end Garrett Graham. Although it was a brief conversation, Wozniak had the privilege of watching film of both Wisconsin tight ends with Coach Rudolph, film that left Wozniak quite impressed.

"We watched film on both of those guys and the way Beckum runs his routes and catches the ball, it obviously shows why he's one of the best tight ends in the nation for next year," Wozniak said. "It helped knowing what Coach Rudolph was going to work with Travis and Garrett on next season to get to the next level."

As a junior, Wozniak made 22 receptions for 330 yards and two touchdowns. Although his numbers weren't astronomical, Wozniak (who also plays basketball) brings his two-sport ability to the football field, as he is able to go up, get the ball and gain positive yards after the catch.

"When coaches came and saw me, they knew that I was a legitimate 6-foot-5, 235 pounds and not 225 or 6-foot-3," Wozniak said. "When they go to some schools, players might say that are 6-foot-4 and they are only 6-foot-1. My size really helped me out along with all the camps that I did the past two years."

With his focus now on his senior season, Wozniak's goals are simple, most of which don't involve stats.

"I want to win a bunch of games next year and take my team to the playoffs," he said. "As long as we're winning, I don't care about stats. I'll do whatever I have to do to help my team win and that's what I'll do for Wisconsin."

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