Oh Maly! Waunakee Tight End Commits to UW

Austin Maly was doing what he did virtually every day at Waunakee (Wis.) High School, lifting weights to prepare his body to go to UW's three-day summer camp and battle for a scholarship. It came sooner than he expected, but the hardwork for Maly paid off, being offered and accepting a UW scholarship Tuesday.

MADISON - Ever since walking off Madison's campus after UW's Junior Day in February, Austin Maly was under the impression that he would have to earn a Wisconsin scholarship offer during the school's three-day summer camp.

Maybe that's why after the events Tuesday afternoon, Maly isn't afraid to admit that he has sort of a ‘man crush' on Wisconsin Tight End Coach Joe Rudolph.

"I love the guy right now," Maly beamed about Rudolph.

Getting called out of class to take a surprised call from Head Coach Bret Bielema, Maly was offered a scholarship and promptly accepted on the spot, becoming the third member of UW's 2011 recruiting class, joining Baldwin-Woodville linebacker Jake Keefer and Merrill tight end Sam Arneson.

"I didn't know the coaches were going to call," Maly told Badger Nation. "I got pulled out of lifting and I was told the phone was me. I said ‘Hello,' it was Coach Bielema and I was shocked. He told me he was filling out the papers for my full-ride scholarship and he was proud to offer me because he's heard great things about me. They passed around the phone to the other coaches and had a great chat."

Maly only hesitated slightly to pick UW over offers from Illinois State and Western Michigan and growing interest from Arizona, Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon and Oregon State. After talking to a couple coaches and passing the phone off to Waunakee Head Coach Pat Rice, Maly forgot the most important part, telling the coaches that he was committing on the spot.

"I kind of forgot my name for a moment," Maly said. "After the third coach, it finally sunk in that I got a scholarship. Coach Rice actually asked me if I was committing right away and I said ‘Yeah, I kind of forgot about that part.'"

The interest from Wisconsin on Maly started during the 2009 summer camp, where the 6-foot-6, 220-pound tight end developed that relationship with Rudolph after he left a positive impression on the coach.

"At that camp, I was just playing and trying to do my best against all the other competition, trying to show that I could be something special if they just gave me a chance," Maly said. "I guess I got to (the coaches) somehow and did more than I thought and got a little lucky.

"Coach Rudolph really liked how I received the ball and how I blocked. He appreciated that, and how hard I worked on the camp. We just got along really well as I progressed in camp."

Maly used the tools and techniques that Rudolph taught him to have a breakout junior season for Waunakee. After he earned the MVP of the National Underclassman Combine last June, Maly helped lead the Warriors to the WIAA Division 2 State Title, catching a team-best 24 catches for 527 yards and three touchdowns.

Those honors netted him an all-conference selection and named all-region by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association. Since then, Maly has gotten even better, adding 20 pounds of weight to his frame, an addition that has subtracted some time off his 40-yard dash.

"When I saw Coach Rudolph (at Junior Day), he really liked what he saw," said Maly, referring to his pumped-up physique. "When I talked to him today, he welcomed me to the family and that he can't wait to coach me, teach me new things, make me a better as a football and a person. He said all the right things a good coach would."

In addition to Rudolph, Maly wasn't shy about saying glowing things about former teammate and 2010 UW commit Jake Irwin, who will be on UW's defensive line this fall and helped set up Maly's day to remember.

"He opened the door for me and for Waunakee football players to become a Badger," said Maly of Irwin, who became Waunakee's first UW football recruit in 20 years last season. "I was roommate last camp and really helped me on the football field. He taught me how to work hard and help me realize that I could be a Division 1 prospect at Wisconsin."

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