Lewallen: "I Think I am Going to Commit"

After a solid performance in Wisconsin's three-day high school camp, Berlin offensive lineman Dallas Lewallen got his first scholarship offer extended to him over the phone by Badger head coach Bret Bielema. Less than 24 hours later, Lewallen feels he's probably going to commit.

MADISON - Just about to leave Madison to return back home after Wisconsin's three-day camp, offensive line coach Bob Bostad caught up with Berlin offensive lineman Dallas Lewallen to hand him a phone number.

As it turns out, the number changed Lewallen's summer plans and cleared up where he will be playing college football.

Sitting with no scholarship offers, Lewallen's performance at UW's camp warranted head coach Bret Bielema to offer the 6-foot-6, 295-pound lineman a scholarship over the phone and, barring a major change of heart, Lewallen will accept the offer when he visits Madison next Wednesday.

In an interview Wednesday afternoon with Badger Nation, Lewallen talks about the offer, his abilities and his upcoming commitment.

Badger Nation: Can you talk about how the offer was extended to you and how it came about?

Dallas Lewallen: After the football camp when I was checking out of my room, Coach Bostad came up to me and gave me a number to call later that night. When I called, it was Coach Bielema's number. He told me that they liked me and liked what they saw from camp and that they were going to offer me a scholarship.

BN: What other offers do you have or is Wisconsin your first scholarship offer?

Lewallen: Wisconsin is my first offer.

BN: What does it mean to get your first offer from the biggest school in the state?

Lewallen: I am pretty proud to have my first offer come from Wisconsin. I know that there are a bunch of other I-AA schools that were showing interest, but Wisconsin saw most of me through its camps. I was going to go to some other camps, but I don't think I am going to do that anymore. I think I am going to commit to Wisconsin and it's really awesome that they are going to offer me. It's a big school and being from Wisconsin is really cool.

BN: You say you are going to commit. When do you think you are going to make it official?

Lewallen: I am thinking about and pretty much positive about it. Next Wednesday, my parents and I are going to go to Madison and talk it over with Coach Bielema.

BN: Tell us a little bit about yourself. You come from a small school in Berlin but at 6-foot-6, 295 pounds, you are a big athlete. Can you talk about what kind of athlete you are?

Lewallen: I am the biggest kid in my school by far and I play basketball and track. In basketball, I have started on varsity since I was a sophomore. Last year on varsity football, I played both ways and I was second team on offense and third team on defense. I didn't have much exposure until after my junior year. That's when a bunch of schools got my game tape from my coach and the interest started.

BN: What other camps had you planned on going to before coming to Wisconsin's camp?

Lewallen: I planned on leaving tomorrow to go to North Dakota State, Western Michigan was on the 24th and Northwestern was July 30th. Those plans are probably off now with the offer from Wisconsin.

BN: What did the coaching staff really like about you? Obviously your size fits the Big Ten system, but what else did they convey to you that you did well?

Lewallen: Coach Bostad told me that compared to last year, he liked my strength in the weight room. I worked really hard in the weight room the past summer and over the past school year to improve. Other than that, my footwork has improved a lot and allowed me to have a good explosion. I think I am pretty coachable, which is something that they liked about me. I think I have improved a good deal since last year.

BN: Before you went to camp or right after you left, did you feel that you were going to come away with an offer or would you just trying to show those strides that you made from last year?

Lewallen: When I went to camp and during camp, I thought I was doing pretty well, but I wasn't expecting an offer. I just wanted to show how much better I had gotten since last year and then go to some other camps and hope to get an offer. I thought I would have a better chance to get an offer at North Dakota State, but when Coach Bostad talked to me and gave me that number, I was kind of surprised and was real excited talking to Coach Bielema.

BN: You talked about going up to Wisconsin on Wednesday. What kind of things are you thinking about between now and then that would affect your decision?

Lewallen: Pretty much after getting the offer, having been to junior day and a couple of games down there, they treat there athletes very well and I think that's what put me over the edge. I talked to my family and they are behind me and think it would be a good decision to sign with them. When I go on Wednesday, I am going to meet with the coaches and some academic advisors to help affirm my decision to commit to Wisconsin.

BN: So, if we could put a percentage on it, what would you say the chances of you becoming a Wisconsin Badger are next Wednesday?

Lewallen: I am pretty sure. I am about 95 percent sure that I will play for the Badgers.

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