Although satisfied with Madison East wide receiver Marquis Mason in the fold, Chryst scoured the market looking for a talented, perhaps underrated, wide receiver that was still available. What he found was Boardman High (Youngstown, OH) wideout Chase Hammond, who fits the mold of the direction Chryst is trying to take the offense.
"The coaches told me that their offensive coordinator is trying to transition into having big receivers up there," Hammond told Badger Nation Tuesday. "They already have one (Mason) and were looking to get another one. He couldn't really find one, having a bunch of smaller guys come in, and wanting another big guy. But he heard about me and I hadn't committed anywhere yet, so he tried to take advantage of the opportunity. They just told me what that they like that I have to offer and hope I pick their school."
Having offers from Air Force, Kent State, Ohio and Western Michigan, Hammond's (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) leading candidate was Ball State, who offered early and Hammond took an official visit to on the weekend of December 5.
"They have really nice facilities and everybody was real personable," Hammond said of his official. "It is a good place and I felt comfortable there. I got along with the players real good and they have good academics. They seem like a good fit for me."
Ball State might not be the favorite anymore, as Ohio recruiting coach Joe Rudolph and wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander ventured to Youngstown to watch Hammond, who had 67 catches for 1,100 yards and three touchdowns last season. Seeing him in person and watching his film, which showcases Hammond's ability to make plays after the catch, UW quickly extended an offer.
"I don't know too much about Wisconsin, but one of my coaches knew a few people from up there and put in a good word for me," Hammond said. "Coach Rudolph and Coach Alexander came down to see me and were interested. A week or two later, they ended up offering me."
Being invited to Madison for an official visit in the near future, Hammond was originally planning on making his college decision after January 1. Knowing that UW has other offers out to wide receivers, Hammond might move up his timetable if he likes what he sees in Madison.
"For Wisconsin, knowing that the spot could fill up, when I come on my official and if I am overall very pleased with what they have to offer and I like their stuff, I might make my decision sooner than expected," Hammond said. "If I really like Wisconsin, I am going to hop on it."