June 13, 2008

Another defensive tackle offer

With the rash of injuries the Wisconsin football team suffered before and during spring camp, it was made apparent the value of serviceable defensive linemen.

And after brining in just one anticipated tackle in the 2008 class (Eriks Briedis), the Badger staff could be looking to add a handful in this year's junior class.

A verbal commitment from Jordan Kohout early in the process pointed the team in the right direction. A second from Ricky Harris, a 6-foot-3, 296-pounder from Westerville (OH) Westerville South, could be a second huge piece in the final puzzle.

"Yes, sir, they offered," Harris told BadgerBlitz.com Thursday night when asked if Wisconsin recently extended a full scholarship. "Coach (Joe) Rudolph is my recruiting coach. I haven't talked to him recently just because I've been focusing on spending time with my family. But the times that we did talk, he came off to me as a really good guy.

"My (high school) coach and Coach Rudolph have known each other for a really long time because he used to work at Ohio State and that relationship made me more comfortable with him. My coach said he was a really great guy and then I got to see it for myself."

Rudolph, Wisconsin's first-year tight ends coach has done a good job selling the Badger program early in the recruiting process.

"I know about the town, that it's a big football town," said Harris, who is listed as a center but is being recruited by UW as a defensive tackle. "It's obviously in the Big Ten, which I like, and I know they're looking for defensive linemen."

With offers from Illinois, Wisconsin, Boston College, Miami (Ohio), Kent State and Buffalo, it's quite clear Harris would love the opportunity to stay close to home.

"My top three would start with Ohio State, even though they haven't offered me yet," he said, noting the Buckeye staff still wants to evaluate his film. "But of my offers, I'd say Boston College, Wisconsin and Illinois would be my top three."

Though his summer has very few vacancies, Harris would like to visit Madison before making his final decision.

"Actually, I have plans to make it up there but I don't know if it will be this summer because I'm really packed with plans at this point," said the three-star prospect. "I'm going to be spending a lot of time with my family because I haven't really haven't done that since my sophomore year.

"I've really took a lot of time to spend with my family just because it's been so busy with football and recruiting. Hopefully I'll get a chance to make it up there during the school year or the end of summer."

That said, look for a decision to come before the conclusion of his senior season.

"I don't have a timetable but I'd like to have it-I'm not going to say before my season starts-but I'd like to have it by the fourth week of my senior year," he said.

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