There's one position that Wisconsin has traditionally done a great job of evaluating and that one position is offensive lineman. The Badgers over the years have turned many under-recruited and under-ranked kids into monster players in college.
Wisconsin's hoping the track record continues once again with its newest commitment for the class of 2007.
The Badgers landed a pledge on Friday from Milwaukee Riverside offensive guard Brandon Brooks. The 6-foot-4, 300-pounder wasn't on anybody's radar screen but the Badgers got a close up and personal view of him at its recent summer camp.
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It was at that camp that Brooks clocked in at 4.98 seconds in the 40-yard dash and impressed during the position drills. He impressed enough to get an offer from the Badgers, while more highly-ranked kids like Donald Stephenson weren't heavily pursued by the Wisconsin staff.
If you dig below the surface, it sounds like Wisconsin has scored a major diamond in the rough.
"It's true I've committed to Wisconsin," Brooks said. "If I had to sum up why in two words, it'd be Henry Mason. He's a great recruiting coach, and he told me the truth about what it would be like to be a Badger. I'm really excited about my decision."
Brooks said Wisconsin was the team that recruited him the most heavily, but he was also getting interest from Boston College, Richmond and UMass. He said he had also picked up an offer from Boston College and the Eagles were likely where he was heading before the Badgers stepped up to the plate.
He also said he earned honorable mention all-city honors as a junior.
"I think most people think I'm best at pass blocking," Brooks said. "I've spent a lot of time working on my feet and my footwork. I do a lot of jump roping and I over work my feet. I think it was that quickness that really impressed the coaches.
"They really liked how I ran at the camp, so I guess I impressed them. They didn't put any pressure on me. That was something I really liked and appreciated."
Brooks said that he received the offer from the Badgers after camp and took some time to think about it.
"It was a tough decision," he said. "I already have a few T-shirts. I guess I need to get more here now, though."