One could understand why Arneson was understandably floored when Wisconsin decided that the 6-foot-4, 227-pound athlete was the right fit for the Badgers. Arneson received a scholarship offer Thursday morning and decided by lunch time that he would live out his childhood dream by playing for the Badgers.
"That's every kid's dream growing up and playing football, to play for the Badgers," Arneson told Badger Nation first. "My mom had gone to school there and that's always where I had gone to games. I have been a Badger fan and it's amazing that I am going to be apart of that."
Arneson got his first offer from Central Michigan, but prefaced by saying that growing up, the Badgers were always his dream school and that he would accept an offer should one come his way. Arneson picked up additional offers from Western Michigan and Toledo, but there was no comparing those schools to the Big Ten and Wisconsin.
"The coaches said they watched the film more and that they had been thinking more about me since they met me at junior day, and realized more that I was a great fit for the program. In track, I had been throwing well in the shot put, and they liked that. It was a great feeling calling Coach Bielema and Coach Rudolph at noon to tell them I was giving them a verbal commitment."
A tight end, a linebacker and a long snapper for Merrill High, Arneson grabbed 20 passes for 347 yards (17.4 yards per catch average) and five touchdowns during his junior season on offense, and totaled 84 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick on defense.
Arneson projects at tight end for Wisconsin.
"I have talked to the defensive coaches a little bit, but it's most likely going to be tight end," Arneson said. "It definitely excited me because I love the way that they use tight ends and the way they use multiple tight ends. They've had some great ones in the past couple years for sure."
Arneson is heading to Madison tomorrow to watch practice and for Saturday's spring game. He will still come down this summer but instead of a UW recruit, he'll be coming as a UW commit.
"It's definitely going to have a different feel. It's a great feeling knowing that I am actually going to be a Badger."
Arneson joins Baldwin-Woodville linebacker Jake Keefer as the two members of UW's 2011 recruiting class.