Garner: "UW was what I was Looking For"

There's no question that Manasseh Garner has an immense amount of skills. Once he decided that he wanted to play on the offensive side of the ball instead of the defensive side, Garner began looking at his options. Wanting to find a school that featured the tight end, Garner's decision of the University of Wisconsin was what he was looking for.

MADISON - After only one official visit, there was no doubt in Manasseh Garner's mind of where he wanted to play college football.

Wanting to play in an offense that featured the tight ends, Garner saw first hand how the Badgers rely on their ends to make plays, which made his decision to call recruiting coach Joe Rudolph and give Wisconsin his verbal commitment for the class of 2010 Tuesday morning.

Garner chose Wisconsin over Maryland and Pittsburgh (his other favorites and places he had visited unofficially) and other offers from Akron, Buffalo, Connecticut, Minnesota and Toledo.

"Just the total atmosphere and the relationship between the players and the coaches really gave me the feeling that this was what I was looking for," Garner told Badger Nation in his first post-commit interview. "My relationship with the coaches made me very comfortable, something I got from the first time I talked to them. Coach Rudolph was the first guy to come out (to Pittsburgh) and convince me to visit to Madison. I didn't forget that and it attracted me (to Wisconsin)."

Getting hosted by freshman Jeff Duckworth on Friday and redshirt freshman Curt Phillips on Saturday, Garner got to experience some of that camaraderie when he spent time hanging out with players like Antonio Fenelus, Devin Smith and Mickey Turner and spent time with strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert before the game to see how he readies his players.

"The strength coaches and seeing how they get their players ready, that was probably one of the best things I saw when I was there," Garner said. "I am anxiously awaiting the training and getting ready to play for them."

Garner also didn't forget the experience he got during Saturday's double-overtime victory over Fresno State.

"I had real nice seats, right in the shade," Garner laughed. "The intensity was great. I can't complain."

After the game, Garner got to head down to the locker room and have a lengthy talk with offensive coordinator Paul Chryst. It's no surprise the Badgers like Garner so much, as the three-star prospect will be coming to an offense that is very similar to the offense he currently dominates in at Brashear (PA) High.

"My role in UW's style of offense will be an easy transition from what I play now as an H-back, playing a little receiver and being a motion tight end," Garner said. "When my recruitment first start, I was going back and forth about whether I wanted to be a linebacker (where he rated the 26th-best outside backer in the country by Scout.com) or play offense. Once I made that decision that I wanted to play a tight end/receiver, I am able to be a solid option."

Added Garner: "(Chryst) is a big analyzer. He analyzes everything and he's a hungry, aggressive coach, which is what you want to see. What he wants, he is going to get, and that really stood out to me. He's a lot like Coach Rudolph, without question."

Garner also got to spent time getting to know Florida safety Jameson Wright, the only other official visitor that weekend. Wright committed to the Badgers on Sunday.

"We hung out together on Saturday and he's a real cool dude," Garner said. "I'm going to give him a ring and tell him that I committed."

For Badger fans that haven't seen his film, his senior goals of catching over 100 passes for 1,000-plus yards while making 100 tackles and six interceptions on defense tell all one needs to know about Manasseh Garner, he's a work horse.

"One thing Wisconsin fans can get excited for is a different style of tight end," Garner said. "I am going to be out there, busting by butt, 24-7, without question. I am going to be going hard and making plays like it's my job."


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