A Numbers Game

After a solid performance at Wisconsin's first high school summer camp, Pewaukee linebacker Derek Watt has put himself in position to earn a scholarship from the Badgers. Question is, do the Badgers have an offer to give?

MADISON - Even after exhausting himself for three days, Derek Watt didn't hesitate leaving after the conclusion of Wisconsin's first high school summer camp Tuesday.

It wasn't anything personal against the Wisconsin coaching staff, but Watt had to try to make the doubleheader for his Pewaukee baseball team.

"I got there halfway through the last game," Watt told Badger Nation. "I couldn't play because I was so sore, but I wanted to show up to cheer on my teammates."

That's a move not surprising to those that have followed Watt throughout his football career: dedicated, determined and wanting to win. It was those same traits he showcased during Wisconsin's first high school summer camp this past week.

Watt was one of the better defensive players at camp, earning himself plenty of one-on-one time with Defensive Coordinator Dave Doeren, Tight End Coach Joe Rudolph and UW's four verbal commits, including Baldwin-Woodville linebacker Jake Keefer.

"Me and Jake have talked a little bit on Facebook and we basically hung out all week," Watt said. "We are really good friends now. He's a great player and I actually learned a lot for him. He taught me a lot and we'll definitely be keeping in touch."

With one more camp coming up this weekend, Watt is in a holding pattern, waiting for the coaching staff to closely evaluate all prospects before handing out scholarships. With four in-state players already verbally committed, the Badgers have roughly 13 available for the 2011 class.

With nine scholarship linebacker on the roster and Keefer already committed for 2011, Wisconsin will most likely take only one more linebacker, leaving Watt waiting on the decisions of St. Xavier (Ohio) Sean Duggan and West Allegheny (Pa) Michael Caputo.

"I have plenty of excellent offers on the table," said Watt, who has a total of 10 scholarship offers, including ones from Akron, Central Michigan, Miami, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.

"It's not hard waiting, because I am actually working on making the decision based on the offers that I have. I can't control what I don't have, so I am working on where I want to go."

Although he's started the process of narrowing his list, Watt isn't ready to name a leader, decide on a timetable or say what a Wisconsin offer would mean to his recruitment.

"It could be awhile, it could be three weeks from now, it could be after the season, I am not sure," Watt said. "Everybody is equal right now and I have to take what I know and what I am going to find out about each of the schools.

"I love Wisconsin, especially with my brother (J.J. Watt) being there. It definitely would mean a lot, but all these other schools believed in me enough to offer me a scholarship. If Wisconsin offered, it's not necessarily, ‘I am going to commit right now.' All my other offers are as good as Wisconsin."

Done with camps and focused on baseball, Watt, no matter the decision from the UW coaches, has no regrets about his camp performance; he already considered it a win.

"Going in, I wanted to do whatever I could and not leave anything behind, and that's basically what I did," Watt said. "I felt I did what I needed to and showed them what I need to. They said they'll get back to me after their camps are over. Hopefully it works out in the end with some good news, but it's not up to me."


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