Quiet Man, Loud Game

Jarrod Uthoff wrestled with his decision for weeks until Monday evening, announcing to the college basketball world that he's going to be a member of Wisconsin's 2011 basketball class. Uthoff talks to Badger Nation about the decision.

MADISON - Jarrod Uthoff never says very much. More of a listener than a talker, Uthoff, while very polite, usually handles each question with a quick response, seemingly wanting to let somebody else do the talking.

His game, however, is far from quiet. A 6-foot-8, 200-pound big man out of Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Thomas Jefferson, Uthoff averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds his junior season, causing schools like Butler, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Northwestern and Virginia to apply the full court press for his playing services.

In the end, it was Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan that wrestled another highly-coveted recruit out of the Hawkeye State, as the Badgers received an extremely talented combo forward Monday evening.

Uthoff, a three-star prospect by Scout.com who had 13 scholarship offers, becomes the fourth and presumably final verbal commit in Wisconsin's 2011 recruiting class, joining Westerville South (Ohio) guard Traevon Jackson, Benet Academy (Ill.) center Frank Kaminsky and Brooks College Prep (Ill) guard George Marshall.

It's another blow by the Badgers to the Hawkeyes. Linn-Mar all-state guard Jason Bohannon was heavily recruited by Iowa, especially after his father, Gordy, led the Hawkeyes to the Rose Bowl as a quarterback, only to recently finish a successful four-year stint at Wisconsin.

Starting next season, the Badgers will also have the services of Mundelin (Ill) guard Ben Brust, a one-time Iowa commit who switched his allegiance to Wisconsin after former Hawkeyes coach Todd Lickliter was fired in March.

Before flying with his AAU Iowa Barnstormer teammates to Las Vegas for an event, Uthoff opens up to Badger Nation about his decision.

Badger Nation: Talking to you through the process, it was a very challenging decision trying to find which one of your favorites was going to be the right choice. Why did you want to make your decision tonight before heading out to Vegas?

Uthoff: I wanted to give the other colleges I wasn't going to a chance to find somebody else to fill the spot. I didn't want to get them in a bad situation because I waited until the last minute.

Badger Nation: How hard was it to call Fran McCaffery at Iowa, Fred Hoiberg at Iowa State and all the other coaches to tell them that you weren't going to come to their school?

Uthoff: It was very tough, because they were all great choices. It was a really tough decision that I made today. All the coaches took it very well. They all wished me the best of luck and good luck in the future.

Badger Nation: Wisconsin had come in later in the process than some of the other schools. What tipped the scale in Wisconsin's favor and made you decide that playing basketball in Madison was the right place?

Uthoff: I think their style of play really fits me. I like the swing offense, be able to play inside or outside. That was a big factor for me … I just think the style of play fits me well at Wisconsin.

Badger Nation: What was it like to come up to Madison and get a chance to play with some of the players that have been successful in the swing offense?

Uthoff: It was a definite impact, because I had to get to know the players I am going to be playing with. It was definitely a fun time getting to play with those guys and I am looking forward to that continuing.

Badger Nation: What was it like calling Coach Ryan today? Did he know you were going to make your decision today?

Uthoff: I don't think he knew I was going to make my decision today. He was very excited for me. He just said that he couldn't wait for me to get up there. He said he was excited that I made my decision so I can focus on the rest of the AAU season. Getting my decision done feels good.

Badger Nation: What do you think the atmosphere is going to be like in a few years when you head to Carver-Hawkeye Arena?

Uthoff: Yeah, it will be. It's something I am looking forward to because it will be fun.

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