Scarpinato Talks Wisconsin Junior Day

Milwaukee Marquette defensive tackle Mark Scarpinato didn't walk away from Madison's Junior Day with a scholarship offer, but the talented junior got enough insight to know that one could be within his reach in the months to come.

MADISON - Mark Scarpinato is no stranger to the University of Wisconsin. His dad graduated from Wisconsin's business school, he attended games in Madison growing up and last year as a recruit and his two good friends – Marcus Trotter and Michael Trotter – are part of Wisconsin's 2010 recruiting class.

Saturday's Junior Day, however, was different in a good way for the 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive tackle from Marquette High School, as Scarpinato got answers to some of his nagging questions.

"I saw the team practicing and that was fun to see how they practice and how Coach Partridge, the d-line coach, coaches everyone," Scarpinato told Badger Nation Sunday. "It's pretty much the same as he does in camp, so there's no change from that. I really like how he coaches and what he does.

"The players that talked to us, they talked about playing for Wisconsin is all about the team. The coaches are great and it's a great atmosphere. I didn't ask many questions, but I talked to some of the defensive linemen about how the defensive rotation works. It was interesting, because it depends on how many good players they have and how they move down the line."

Before heading to Madison's Junior Day, Scarpinato talked with the Trotters about the experience, and got warned not to get too excited and that an offer wasn't guaranteed if he was called to Bielema's office. That piece of news turned out to be spot on.

"I talked to Coach Bielema in his office and his office overlooks Camp Randall," Scarpinato said of Bielema, who also met privately with Merrill Tight End Sam Arneson and Brookfield Central lineman Marcus Aprahamian and tight end Sam Rohr. "It's a beautiful thing, and we had a nice 10-minute conversation.

"We had some small talk on how he became the coach, about Coach Partridge and how he came down to watch the Trotters play and he noticed me play. He told me that Coach Partridge really likes me, and I told him I like him, too. Coach Bielema said that he wanted me to come to camp and if I came to camp, he said I would pretty much like the outcome. So, I am going to camp."

In the last recruiting cycle, both Trotters went to Wisconsin's camp, Michael receiving an offer and Marcus staying on the coach's radar throughout the process. With the process just beginning, Scarpinato has both of the brothers on speed dial to answer any questions.

"My mom always taught me that when you have something that has done it before you or has more experience, you always want to take lessons from them," Scarpinato said. "Anytime I have a question about something involving the process, I'll call them up, talk about it and I feel pretty good about it. Michael has been helping me out with some of the coaches he developed relationships with and is promoting me. Both are great guys."

In addition to the summer camp at Wisconsin, Scarpinato, who has offers from Illinois State and North Dakota State, plans on making a camp stops at Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern and Western Michigan, as well as the Nike Camp in Ohio.

"I am going to wait until the spring evaluation when the coach can call and ask me to come to camp," Scarpinato said. "There are a couple Pac-10 schools, Washington State and UCLA, that have showed some interest, but that's iffy. I am going to really push myself to perform well in camps, so I can relax after the camps."

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