Badgers Win Major Recruiting Battle

Wisconsin landed a huge verbal commitment Sunday morning, as Luke Knauf told Coach Barry Alvarez he's going to be a Badger.

Luke Knauf's father, Tom, asked his son prior to this weekend if he was hinting that he might commit to Wisconsin this weekend. The 6-4, 295-pound lineman from Stratford (Wis.) said he didn't understand what his dad was talking about, but somehow his father/coach/best friend had some insight into what his son was going to do.

"I didn't have a clue what he was talking about," Knauf said. "He said he knew the whole time I was going to go to Wisconsin. It's my home state and everything. It was instinct."

Knauf told Coach Barry Alvarez this morning he would choose the Badgers over Iowa, a huge recruiting win for Wisconsin on a wildly successful official visit weekend.

Knauf said he picked Wisconsin after many of his toughest questions were answered throughout the weekend.

"I talked to the players Saturday night, and they answered everything I wanted to know about the university, the coaches, and (Offensive Line) Coach (Jim) Hueber)," Knauf said. "I came away very pleased with their answers."

Knauf's host, Jake Wood, talked to the high school senior about why he chose Wisconsin over Iowa, the very decision he would make one day later.

"He said Coach Hueber (was the reason)," Knauf said. "He said you're going to like him, but you'll hate him. He said you'll love him because he's going to teach you really good things, he's going to be there for you, he'll do everything. But like a coach, he's going to ride you and ride you. He said that's why he likes Coach Hueber, because he gets on your case."

Knauf said Alvarez jumped out of his chair in delight at his home this morning when Knauf gave him his verbal commitment. The decision came as a mild surprise to Hueber.

"He said, `What are you doing, leaving me in the dark?'" Knauf said. "I just said, `No, I just didn't want to tell you until now.'"

Knauf said making his decision is a relief, and now he can turn his attention to his senior basketball season.

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