Coming off a productive junior season where he finished perfect with 25 extra-point attempts and averaged 60 yards total on kickoffs and 36.9 yards on punts, French made no secret that Wisconsin was his top school and his dream place to play, even though the Badgers have sophomore Philip Welch for two more seasons.
Although the Badgers were handcuffed at the time with scholarships, the Badgers couldn't pass on the interest from French. The coaching staff gave him two options – 1) Accept a gray shirt offer, (meaning he could go to a junior college for one semester), go to Madison following that semester, redshirt his first season and then start as a freshman for four years, as current UW kicker Philip Welch would have exhausted his eligibility. 2) French would redshirt right away and complete with Welch, who would be a senior, for the starting kicking job in 2011.
It was something for French to ponder, especially with scholarships to Wyoming and Northern Illinois and interest from Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. But when Coach Bret Bielema told French he wanted him to come in right away and compete against Welch for the starting job, that was all the conjuring French needed, as he committed the next day.
Scout's Scouting Report: French might be an early difference maker for Wisconsin, whose struggled in the kicking game were one of the weaknesses of special teams. Chris Sailer speaks highly of his leg strength, dedication to the craft and his accuracy, all things that show when you watch his film.
Badger Nation Publisher Benjamin Worgull: French had a solid year for the Indians, a big reason why the Wisconsin coaching staff sought it necessary to offer him a scholarship and Falls made it to the state title game. French made 15 field goals during the season, along with a 63-yard average on his kickoffs and a punting averaging over 39 yards with a long of 71.
French's offer can turn into a full scholarship offer, depending on what happens this weekend with visitors, but the worse case scenario is French will have to pay for three semesters. Every year French is the starting kicker, he'll be on scholarship. Talk about motivation. French did a little bit of everything for Menomonee Falls, and he'll bring that same work ethic to Madison.
For more information on French and other 2010 Wisconsin verbal commits, sign up for a three-month or year subscription with Badgernation.com in time to get the 2010 Wisconsin Recruiting Yearbook that includes breakdowns of the entire class