Opposite End of the Spectrum

While the Badgers have suffered through decommitments and waiting until the bitter end on several prospects, Justin Ostrowski has been committed for more than a year. Ostrowski comments on the Badgers' decommitments, confirms his decision and talks about his Parade All-American honor.

Justin Ostrowski has seen coaches from Miami, Florida State and Florida walk into his school and attempt to steal him from the Badgers. Having committed more than a year ago, some of the top schools in the nation have attempted to lure him away from his UW commitment.

But Ostrowski has always wanted to play for Wisconsin, and he hasn't given his decision a second thought. The 6-5, 257-pound defensive end from Portage is arguably the Badgers' top signee of the 2003 class, and he was also the first.

"I committed early because I always knew where I wanted to play," Ostrowski said. "And I know I made the right decision. If anything were to change, I would have taken more visits. But I don't think that would have been right. I committed to them last year. I don't think that would have been right on my part to take other visits."

Having been so loyal to the UW program, Ostrowski wasn't pleased to see a couple of his peers decommit earlier this week.

"That made me mad. That's disrespectful," Ostrowski said. "Don't commit if you don't know for sure. But there are people out there like that."

Ostrowski is also undyingly loyal to his basketball team, which won last night to improve to 13-0, and is ranked No. 1 in the state. While Joe Thomas headed down to the U.S. Army All-Star Game in San Antonio last December and got national exposure on ESPN2, Ostrowski decided to stay home to honor his commitment to the basketball program.

"There is a rule that you can't play another sport and be in that game, so Joe Thomas (threatened) to take the WIAA to court. He filed a complaint," Ostrowski said. "So he was able to play, but I decided to play basketball instead. I didn't want to let my team down."

Not playing in the game didn't hurt Ostrowski's exposure. He was the only player from the state of Wisconsin named to Parade's All-American Team, which was announced last week.

"The lady called me and I didn't think it was a big deal at all. I didn't even tell my parents or anything until a (reporter) from the paper called and said I was the only guy from Wisconsin," Ostrowski said. "I've gotten letters in the mail, people telling me how proud they are of me and stuff, and after the basketball game tonight, all kinds of little kids wanted my autograph. That was cool."

Ostrowski said his exposure has had positive and negative effects.

"I've always had a lot of high expectations. But you also get those anti-jocks that don't like you because you are a big superstar athlete," Ostrowski said. "They try to bring me down, but I've had a lot of help from people, and I've realized that the people that really want to be your friend will always support you."

The loyalty demonstrated by Ostrowski has been returned by the Badger coaching staff. Defensive line coach John Palermo and Coach Paul Chryst (Ostrowski's recruiting contact) have both attended a few of his basketball games.

"That's what I really like about the Badger coaching staff," Ostrowski said. "They've very supportive. Coach Chryst is coming to my game Friday night, and he's going to come Wednesday for my paperwork on Signing Day."

Portage's principal has offered Ostrowski a pep rally on Wednesday to celebrate his UW commitment.

"I don't know about that yet, but that's really cool (for them to offer)," Ostrowski said.

Badger Nation Top Stories