Being a Wisconsin Badger was always a dream of Milwaukee (Wisc.) Marquette University defensive end Conor Sheehy, but on Tuesday the class of 2014 prospect had to consider playing in the program under a head coach other than Bret Bielema after he took the Arkansas job.
"I was very surprised to hear the news," Sheehy said. "I always thought Coach Bielema would be there when I graduated, so it was a bit of a shock when it happened. But nothing for me has really changed recruiting-wise. I am pretty solid for now.
"I've wanted to play for the Badgers for a long time and that has been a dream of mine. That obviously won't change, but I'll have to see what other changes happen on the coaching staff."
There has been no knee-jerk reaction from Sheehy and he plans to have his eyes on seeing how the transition plays out in Madison.
"I haven't really given it much thought yet," Sheehy said. "I just want to take all the information in, see who the new head coach hired is and see if the defensive line coach, Coach [Charlie] Partridge, stays around. He is one of the biggest reasons I chose Wisconsin.
"One thing that won't change is Wisconsin football will always be Wisconsin football. It will continue to be a top program in the nation whether or not Coach Bielema is there. He is definitely a great head coach, but I think Wisconsin will still remain a very good football program in the future."
Sheehy also held an offer from Michigan prior to making his commitment to Wisconsin, and he has received significant interest from other programs since that commitment.
"Michigan State actually came to school the other week," Sheehy said. "I have been getting a lot of mail from Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Ole Miss. A lot of schools have continued to send me stuff and contact me."