Scouring Big Ten Country

One of the top juniors in the state of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Marquette defensive tackle Mark Scarpinato already has six offers, but he's looking at Big Ten Country in hopes of securing a couple more.

MADISON - Traveling to Madison for different games, events and functions over the last several years, Mark Scarpinato seemed he had a good feel for the Badgers and the campus. Maybe that's why his spring game experience was so unique for him.

One of the top juniors in the state of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Marquette lineman drove to the game with UW signee and former teammate Marcus Trotter, took in the spring game with Marcus' brother and UW commit Michael Trotter and got a different feel for a school he thought he knew so well.

"Hanging out with the Trotters, I was meeting the other 2010 recruits left and right," Scarpinato told Badger Nation. "It seems like a really good class. It's going to be different though, having two of my best friends playing up there.

"It was definitely nice to see the game. I liked how they played, every one played well and it was good to see."

Earning Associated Press second-team all-state honors after helped Marquette win the Division 1 WIAA State Championship, Scarpianto has earned scholarship offers Florida Atlantic, Illinois State, Indiana, North Dakota State, Western Michigan and Wofford, but has his sights set on a couple of Big Ten schools.

Of all the schools that have offered, the Hoosiers have been keeping taps on Scarpinato the most.

"I'll come home and find two or three handwritten letters a day sometimes," Scarpinato said. "I email (Offensive Coordinator Matt) Canada a lot. They are trying to getting me the most."

In addition to visiting Michigan State in the beginning of May, Scarpinato continues to sit well with the Wisconsin coaching staff, particularly Offensive Line Coach Bob Bostad.

"It's a lot of email back and forth," Scarpinato said. "Coach Bostad was the first person in my school this spring and we talked for 45 minutes, which was nice. I got some questions answered, specifically about Arneson."

The ‘Arneson Incident' Scarpinato referred to is Merrill Tight End Sam Arneson, Wisconsin's second verbal commit of 2011. Like Scarpinato, Arneson attended UW's Junior Day, was invited up to Coach Bret Bielema's office and was told that he would have to come to camp to earn a scholarship.

That changed mid-April, when Arneson was offered a scholarship, which he accepted shortly thereafter.

"Coach Bostad explained to me that some things change during the process," Scarpinato said. "I am ready to go to camp and ready to earn my scholarship."

Scarpinato is also looking to camp at Northwestern, Iowa and Minnesota, the latter of which he visited in April for its spring game.

"Minnesota is definitely different than Wisconsin," he said. "I like them both and it is a different experience. Minnesota has a home town feel. They are both good places to play football. I was getting conflicting messages about an offer, but I think I'll have to go up to camp. A lot of schools like my highlight tape, how hard I work and get after it every play, they just need to see me in camp."

Before Scarpinato can impress in camp, he has his sights on an individual high school achievement.

"The goal is to win state in track in shot put and discus," he said. "They are lofty goals, but to make the podium in both is a lofty goal I think I can have."

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