Ontko: "They Never Doubted Me"

Although the home state Buckeyes potentially could have offered a scholarship in the coming weeks, Walsh Jesuit outside linebacker Cameron Ontko wanted to play for a school that definitely wanted him, not kind of wanted him. With that thought in mind, Ontko knew that the school he wanted to play football for was the University of Wisconsin.

MADISON - For many recruits, it is difficult to choose between all the different opportunities that are out there. There are so many different coaching styles, campuses, and chances to play earlier, that the decision can often become confusing. Recruits often look for a sign that a school is the right place for them.

Cameron Ontko (Walsh Jesuit HS) had five scholarship offers from BCS schools, and today he chose Wisconsin over offers from Georgia Tech, Indiana, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and interest from Ohio State and Michigan.

"I have been thinking about it and it just felt like it was the right thing to do," Ontko told BadgerNation. "I knew for a couple of days. I just made it official today by talking to the coaches. I gave Coach Rudolph a call."

While Ontko had interest from a number of quality teams, he found Wisconsin showing up in every aspect of his life.

"There have just been many signs that Wisconsin is the right place for me," Ontko said. "My dad was working and he actually met Jason Chapman, who was a three-year starter at Wisconsin, and talked to him for about 30 minutes. Then my aunt met a football coach who was really good friends with Coach Rudolph. Then I talked to Chris Borland, and he thinks very highly of the University, and you know, I am kind of like him."

Last season, Ontko helped lead Walsh Jesuit to a 9-3 record and a third round loss to eventual Division 3 State Champion Aurora. Ontko tallied 105 tackles, two interceptions, seven tackles for loss and four sacks on the defensive side of the ball, while racking up 1,000 yards rushing as a running back.

Wisconsin was the best fit for Ontko in many different areas: "I liked the coaches, the tradition, the campus, and academics," Ontko explained. "I would say the coaches are great, they never doubted me. Unlike some schools who would say, ‘if you were 6'3" we would offer you'. They understand my height and weight. They actually get some smaller linebackers with speed, who can actually make up for that."

Coming from Ohio, Ontko grew up following the Buckeyes. He recently attended an Ohio State summer camp and showed the coaches what he could do by running a 4.4 40 yard dash and performing well in individual drills. "I talked to my recruiting coach for Ohio State and he told me that right now they are not going to offer me," Ontko explained. "They said that there is a possibility they could offer me in a couple weeks. I told them if they didn't offer me, I was going to commit to Wisconsin and I'm not going to de-commit."

While Ontko hasn't planned his official visit for the fall, he wants to make it back to Madison during a high school bye week for the full experience.

While Ontko's commitment is only a few hours old, he has already turned into a recruiter. "I talked to Cody Byers today," Ontko said. "He is from Ohio and I talked to him a little bit. I am actually going to do that, and Coach Rudolph is going to send me an email, and I am going to try and persuade some kids."

While Ontko still has two years before he has a chance to play, the Badgers have already talked about the opportunity to player early. "They said with my athleticism I could play as a true freshman. Depending on how well I pick up the playbook."

Ontko becomes the seventh overall commitment and second out of state commitment in 2010 for the Badgers joining fellow LB Konrad Zagzebski (WI), DE Jake Irwin (WI), DT Bryce Gilbert (WI), OT Dallas Lewallen (WI), S Frank Tamakloe (MD), and WR Marquis Mason (WI).

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