Tamakloe: "On Wisconsin!"

Fresh off a weekend visit to two of his three favorite schools, Maryland safety Frank Tamakloe took time to process before making his college decision. After a walk down memory lane, Tamakloe decided the relationship with his recruiting coach and the chance to play early was too much to pass up, as the 6-foot-3, 190-pound prospect commits to Wisconsin.

MADISON - Having already picked his college destination from nine scholarship offers, three-star safety prospect Frank Tamakloe still wanted time to make sure this was the right choice.

So the 67th-best safety in the country (Scout.com) went to where it all began, walking the sidelines of his little league field where he first learned to play safety only a couple years ago.

"I was walking around, just thinking things back," Tamakloe told Badger Nation. "I was remembering when I didn't know how to make a tackle and coaches were showing me what to do. It's been really wild, because I never thought that I would have this opportunity."

Never thinking he was going to be good enough to play for a school like Wisconsin, Tamakloe surpassed his doubts Monday afternoon, as Tamakloe called secondary coach Kerry Cooks and verbally committed to the Badgers' 2010 recruiting class.

Tamakloe is the first out-of-state player to commit to UW this season and the fourth prospect overall.

"It came down to 1A, 1B and 1C, with it being Wisconsin, Northwestern and Maryland," he said. "After my visits, I was thinking things through and make sure that Wisconsin was the right place for me. I remember watching Wisconsin on TV when they had Brian Calhoun and back when Barry Alvarez was the coach. I never thought I could play for a school like that."

With the Badgers, Northwestern and Maryland leading solidly over his other offers (Iowa, Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Wake Forest), Tamakloe visited Wisconsin and Northwestern two weeks ago, both visits, he said, went very well.

Hoping to make his decision in the coming weeks, Tamakloe cited Wisconsin's early interest, his relationship with Cooks, the chance for early playing time and the campus as all the things that put Wisconsin over the top.

"Wisconsin was the third school that offered me; offering me before Maryland and Northwestern," Tamakloe said. "They were one of the first schools to really show that they wanted me. It was the relationship that Coach Cooks and I have that helped, because we have a really good relationship. We talk a lot, and he's a great guy.

"Secondly, they need safeties," he added. "They are losing some safeties and there's a chance for some early playing time, which is also a factor. The other little factor was the town of Madison, and I didn't realize that it's not really a town. I didn't realize how nice it was and how good the academics were."

With his mother (a Maryland graduate who loved the UW campus) and his dad (a Stanford man) on board, Tamakloe first called the coaching staffs of Maryland and Northwestern, thanking them for the interest and the opportunity they gave him.

"I wanted to wait until (Monday) and call the other coaches and tell them personally of my decision," Tamakloe said. "I told the coaches of my decision and just wanted to thank them for offering me, which makes it hard because I met a lot of great people. I never thought I would get this attention and it makes me realize that I am really blessed."

After walking the sidelines and with the hard part out of the way, Tamakloe made the call to Coach Cooks.

"He was very excited," Tamakloe revealed. "He knew that I was down to my last couple of schools and was happy that I decided to come here. He was so excited that he gave the phone to Coach Bielema, who was very happy. They were telling me that other schools are going to try and recruit me and that I have to just stay strong in my decision. I told them, "Don't worry, I am a Badger," and he said that I have the message down already."

With Wisconsin getting its first Northeast recruit since 2006 (John Moffitt) and with Coach Cooks having offered a handful of other Maryland players, Tamakloe knows that his role has changed.

"I am the lead recruiter in Maryland," he said with a laugh. "I talked to Kevin Johnson (cornerback from River Hill) and I am trying to get him on board. I am going to be recruiting all these kids for Coach Cooks and Wisconsin."

And his message for Badger fans?

"I want them to know that now that I have this opportunity, I am going to seize it," Tamakloe said. "I am going to come hard to play every day. I am really excited and On Wisconsin!"

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