West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley defensive tackle Sam Raridon picked up his first Big Ten offer more than nine months ago, but it was an offer from Wisconsin last week that moved the 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive tackle toward a college selection.
"I committed to Wisconsin today," Raridon reported. "I could see myself in Madison, living there. The coaching staff also really impressed me up there. I really like Coach [Charlie] Partridge, Coach [Bret] Bielema, Coach [Chris] Ash - they are all great guys. It seemed like it is a great fit for me as an athlete and a student."
Raridon has held an offer from Iowa since last fall, but had not added a second Big Ten offer until the Badgers came through last week after seeing him in camp. Raridon's dad had previously played under former Wisconsin under Barry Alvarez, so the connections with the Badger's program existed. However, it was Raridon's experience in Madison that cinched the deal.
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"I knew I was going to make the decision sooner or later and I don't think any more time would have changed my decision," Raridon said. "I'm glad to have my decision made so I can focus on my senior year for West Des Moines Valley."
The new Wisconsin commitment is ranked as the state of Iowa's third-best prospect in the 2013 class behind his teammate, offensive tackle Jake Campos, and West Des Moines Dowling tight end Jon Wisniewski.
West Des Moines Valley head coach Gary Swenson talked about the player Wisconsin is getting in Raridon.
"He is 6-3, 263 right now and he's going to get a lot bigger," Swenson said. "He's got the capacity to put on another 20-30 pounds and still be able to move.
"He is extremely physical and really embraces that part of the game. I think that is the No. 1 thing people who have had a chance to work him out would probably like the most. He is extremely strong and powerful, and yet he has the ability to really test out well because he's fairly athletic for a guy his size."
Swenson expects Raridon to be an interior defensive linemen at the college level. As a junior he helped West Des Moines Valley to a state title.