One Smart Texan

Lauded for being a good tackler, a quick leaner and having a strong competitive fire, Coppell (TX) High cornerback Bennett Okotcha seems to be just what the Badgers needed in a defensive back.

MADISON - Although they have focused the majority of their recruiting efforts elsewhere, the University of Wisconsin hasn't completely given up looking for prospects in the state of Texas.

Coppell (TX) High cornerback Bennett Okotcha can attest to that, and decided that he didn't want to wait any longer to commit to the school that had made such a favorable impression on him.

With Secondary Coach Chris Ash leading his recruit and former Coppell cornerback Devin Smith giving him the information he needed, Okotcha ended his recruitment at the beginning of August, committing to the Badgers at the beginning of August.

"Bennett is a very athletic guy, which is what that position in the secondary requires," Coppell Head Coach Josh McBride told Badger Nation. "What's good about him is that he has great ball skills as a defensive back. Sometimes you have great DBs that don't catch very well, but Bennett does and he could even be a wide receiver."

Okotcha is the 10th known verbal in UW's 2011 class. Arguably the biggest need in the 2011 recruiting cycle, Wisconsin has fit its defensive back quota in about 12 days, as Terrance Floyd, Makinton Dorleant and Michael Caputo all committed in late July-early August.

Okotcha, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound three-star cornerback, picked Wisconsin over offers from Baylor, Minnesota, North Texas and Wake Forest and strong interest from Georgia and Oklahoma.

Ash, who first started recruiting Texas when he joined Wisconsin's coaching staff in February, flew down twice to see Okotcha. Watching him workout and practice on his first visit, Ash didn't leave the high school without getting some film. On his second trip to watch him practice, Ash didn't leave until he offered Okotcha a scholarship.

With the offer in hand, Okotcha looked up Smith for the inside scoop. Even though there is a three year age difference, Okotcha knew of Smith through his older brother. It was a connection that was beneficial.

"He was really smitten by them and did his homework through Devin," McBride said. "He felt good about the level of play that they achieve every year. They are always in the hunt in the Big Ten and turn out great players every year.

Okotcha, ranked the 39th-best cornerback in the country by Scout.com, earned All-District honors after McBride estimates 50-plus tackles and four interceptions.

"The thing about Bennett that makes him so good at corner is he is very good tackler," McBride said. "He can tackle very well in the open field. He's a smart kid, which is another crucial element when you run all these different schemes in the secondary. He's a smart kid that understands football and learns what he needs to get better at. He's got a will to be good. He's very competitive."


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