Lying in Wait

With two scholarship offers already in hand and an impressive performance at Wisconsin's summer camp, Ohio linebacker prospect Zakee Bashir talks about his successful summer and what he expects to happen next.

MADISON – All Zakee Bashir wanted to do this summer was to work hard enough to get a scholarship offer. Performing in the Under Armour/ Combine after a 56 tackle, nine sack junior season, Bashir's summer schedule got started in a big way for him and his family when the University of Toledo extended him his first offer.

"It was a good to get that first one because I knew that I would be going to college for free," Bashir told Badger Nation. "From that point, it was just a matter of how good of a scholarship offer I could get. I am looking forward to going to school and knowing that I can go to school, which made the day they offered a good day for me and my family."

Following summer camps, Bashir got his second scholarship offer from Marshall and other schools like Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana and Wisconsin all have put Bashir high on their radar. The sudden spark in interest in the underrated 6-foot-2, 212-pound linebacker was his impressive performance in the Scout Combine (making the all-combine team) and his standout performance at the Nike Skills Camp.

"The most important camp for me this summer was the Nike Camp in Columbus," Bashir said. "It is a big camp for guys with a lot of exposure, which means you have to go there and do well to hopefully come away with some offers. I think I've done pretty well to get the exposure and to get the MVP for the linebackers shows that I did real well out there."

A member of Columbus' All-City team and a honorable mention All-District member, Bashir really focused in on showcasing his aggressiveness and style of play, the same style that earned him his accolades last season.

"I showed some finesse in getting to the running backs," Bashir said. "I think aggressiveness and tenacity at the same time is in the one-on-one drills are important but I tried to show that I can jam a running back or a tight end and cover down the field at the same time. I tried to show a mixture."

In addition to traveling to both Indiana and Purdue for unofficial visits, Bashir made his first visit to Madison for the Wisconsin's second summer camp. Participating during the three-day camp, Bashir worked extensively with position coaches Dave Doeren and Randall McCray in 7-on-7, working on improving his technique, speed and agility.

"It is a place that I would love to be," Bashir said of Madison. "I talked to my recruiting coach Joe Rudolph on the phone and he's come to my school to visit me and I got a chance to talk to my position coaches at camp. I got to meet everybody and see them coach in person and coaching some guys up. The coaches up there love what they are doing, love being in Madison and being at Wisconsin."

Although Bashir didn't leave Madison with another scholarship offer, he had good reason to be optimistic that a Wisconsin football scholarship will have his name on it. With the Badgers having roughly seven-eight scholarship offers extended to linebackers and waiting on their decisions, the Badgers don't have a scholarship to offer the Walnut Ridge linebacker until perhaps early fall when Wisconsin will issue more scholarships.

When that time comes, Bashir is confident that his name will be on one of them.

"They said that they liked me for what I did on film and in camp overall," he said. "They said that they have a couple offers out to some guys right now that they are going to honor until the end of the summer. After that, they said that they are going to send out more offers. They like me already. They've liked me for awhile. I'm confident that I'll get an offer from them when that second set of offers comes out."

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