Before Bret Bielema departed for Arkansas, Wisconsin had lined up a large number of their commitments to take their official visits Dec. 7 weekend. That visit weekend went forward as planned, with four-star defensive end Chikwe Obasih among the commits who attended.
Obasih was one of 14 official visitors Wisconsin had on campus, and he said the experience was a bonding process for the entire group.
"Everyone was on their official, so we all got really close on the visit," Obasih said.
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Still, there were aspects of the future at Wisconsin the four-star defensive end was looking to get more information about. Recruiting coordinator Chris Hauser ran the weekend, but Thursday it was reported he would be heading to Arkansas to join Bielema's staff.
The official visit gave Obasih a chance to pose some of his more pressing questions to athletic director and interim head coach Barry Alvarez, with whom he talked to for 10-15 minutes.
"The main question I had was, who else was leaving?" Obasih said. "I trust Barry Alvarez and from what I have heard from past players and everyone that was part of his era, they trust him. Alvarez told me we are going to have the same traditions, same ethics and they are going to bring someone else in who cares about their players like the current coaches have."
Alvarez will lead Wisconsin in its Rose Bowl appearance against Stanford. Watching the former Badgers' head man lead a practice was one of the highlights of the weekend for Obasih.
"They had one of the best practices of the year, they said, Saturday when we were up there," Obasih said. "It was good seeing him with the whistle around his neck and coaching them up."
Another valuable aspect of the trip was the opportunity to discuss the coaching transition with current Badgers. Obasih was hosted by freshman defensive end James Adeyanju and posed questions to him and other members of the current roster.
"[Adeyanju's] roommate is Jesse Hayes and Jesse has been through it all because his dad is a coach for the Bengals," Obasih said. "He knows exactly what it is like and he gave me what he thought about it because he knows it is a business. I learned a little bit more than I knew before.
"I talked to many of the players there and got their reactions about it. Obviously they are going to be there awhile, and they love being there for the campus, the university and the fans themselves."
Obasih will continue to watch what happens in Madison until a new coach is named and all the coaching movements have taken place.
"I'm trying to keep this class of commits together and lead us," he said. "If the strength coaches leave then things might change, but as of right now I am committed to Madison and happy to be there."