Minnetonka defensive back James Farrow ended his recruiting process very early when he called Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove and gave his verbal commitment to the University of Minnesota in March, choosing to follow his father Lonnie's footsteps.
As the recruiting process progress, however, Farrow switched his commitment to a soft verbal so he could take a closer look at a number of other schools. Upon hearing that news, the Gophers coaching staff eventually decided to pull their offer, making Farrow
"I de-committed from them because things weren't working out," Farrow told Badger Nation. "Basically, I committed too early and I wasn't very mature with the recruiting process, having never gone through it before. I wanted to be honest with them that I wasn't 100 percent comfortable with my decision. They did what they had to do."
Instead of second guessing, the 6-foot, 170-pound Farrow continues to receive good news on the recruiting front. Including a big ACC offer from Virginia Tech last week, Farrow has seen Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Toledo and Western Michigan extend offers.
"I think it was a really good decision for me as far as my future," Farrow said, "and I don't think Minnesota is the place for that."
But the one place that has been elusive for Farrow, ranked a three-star athlete and the 63rd-best, has been Wisconsin, one of his favorites since the Badgers started making an appearance at his school to watch current UW freshman Beau Allen.
While his numbers (33 tackles, three interceptions) on defense show his potential, it was indicated by the coaching staff that he would have to come to camp to improve his stock. Farrow did just that and got the result he wanted.
"Camp went really well and I left thinking I was one of the top defensive backs there," Farrow said. "Based on what the coaches said to me, they said the same things, so I feel real confident. I feel I learned a lot and got a good feel for the coaches."
Two of the coaches Farrow got better acquainted with during his brief stint were arguably the two most important in his recruitment – his position coach Christ Ash and his former high school position coach Ben Strickland.
"The thing about Coach Ash is that he is always ready to get down to business," Farrow said. "He likes things to be done right. He's a real defensive-oriented guy and that's one thing that I noted about his coaching. Coach Strickland is a great guy and I can see him working his way up coaching at the college level."
The big thing now that separates Farrow from a Wisconsin scholarship is the academic side of the equation. Farrow, who reports a 2.74 grade point average in his last semester of the junior year and a 24 on the ACT, has sent off his transcript to Offensive Line Coach Bob Bostad to get evaluated.
"As of late, they have been really focused on making sure that they get good student athletes," he said. "They are just waiting to see how it plays out. They told me that physically, Coach Ash would love to offer me, but they just want to wait a little bit. First semester my senior year will be big for me."
Relaxing with the recruiting process, commenting that he's ‘taking in all in and experiencing as much as I can before I have to figure out who are my top schools,' Farrow identified Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan State, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin as schools he is taking a harder look at.
He also noted what would happen if Wisconsin extended its interest in him.
"Let me put it this way, Wisconsin is in my top schools without an offer," Farrow said. "If I get an offer, that would really boost them up there. I really like the school and I have visited the school on a couple different occasions. Wisconsin will be involved to the end and could be the place I commit to."