French Ready to Compete

Menomonee Falls kicker Kyle French already knew he liked the Wisconsin atmosphere, having taking unofficial visits to Madison twice and having his older brother go to school at the university. But when he and his parents had a sit-down meeting with Coach Bret Bielema Sunday, French knew that Wisconsin was where he wanted to compete.

MADISON – The kicking situation at Wisconsin just got more competitive, compliments of Menomonee Falls kicker Kyle French.

Inviting up to campus Sunday night by UW coach Bret Bielema, French sat down with Bielema after practice and was told by the head coach that he wanted him to come in right away and compete for the starting kicking job. Needless to say, that was all the convincing French needed to become a Badger.

After sleeping on the issue, French gave his verbal commitment to Wisconsin Monday night, becoming the 17th known verbal commitment to the Badgers 2010 recruiting class.

"I got home from school after practice and I told my dad that I wanted to call and commit," said French. "I called Coach Bielema and he was thrilled to hear it and glad that I made my decision. I am glad to hear it, too."

According to French, who is ranked as the 14th-best kicker in the country by, the scholarship could become a full scholarship, depending on what happens with the current allotment of scholarships and who does and does not commit or transfers from the program. If the Badgers are over on scholarship, the worse case scenario is that he would have to pay for three semesters and be on scholarship for the remainder of his tenure.

"Every year I start, Coach Bielema said he would put me on scholarship," French said. "Three semesters of having to pay isn't too bad. If I go in and I don't win in the job, I'll redshirt and prepare to win the job the next year. Coach Bielema said that if anyone leaves the program in the offseason and if there's anything available, he'll let me have that scholarship early."

French picked Wisconsin over Northern Illinois and Wyoming and interest from Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. French had already taken an official visit to Northern Illinois and was planning on taking an official visit to Wyoming and taking an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech. After the meeting with Bielema, French knew that Wisconsin was his place.

"My brother goes there and he showed me around the campus a little more and I really love it there," French said. "It felt like home to me. It feels great to find a place that I feel real comfortable with and put the decision behind me."

French is 9-of-12 on field goals with a 38 yards, his longest attempt of the season, and, despite all the rain, mud and wind that has plagued football Friday's the last couple weeks, is 60 percent on touchbacks with a 63-yard average. French also punts for his team, with an average of 39.1 and a long of 71.

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