January 8, 2009

UW staff looking hard at Charlotte star

Taking a look at Wisconsin's current 2009 recruiting class, nine different states are represented between the 18 verbals from players expected to sign on Feb. 4.

As per usual, Ohio, Florida and Texas are represented, but a year from now, North Carolina could make it's way on the board, possibly with the first entry in the Badgers' 2010 class.

"It was kind of surprise for me to get an offer so quick because the staff at Wisconsin doesn't get a lot of film from Charlotte or the North Carolina area," said Ty Linton, a junior from Charlotte (N.C.) Christian who currently holds offers from Wisconsin and Miami (Ohio).

Led by the recruiting efforts of John Settle and Randall McCray, Wisconsin stands in good position to land the 6-foot-1, 205-pound outside linebacker who recently attended the U.S. Army All-American combine in Texas this past weekend.

"Coach McCray is a southern boy and everything, and he came down recently," Linton said. "I'm pretty sure both recruit my area, but Coach Settle was the one that delivered the offer and everything. I've kept in touch with both, but most of the contact has been with Coach McCray.

"But like I said, Coach Settle and Coach McCray both played at Appalachian State, so they know the area. They told me they're trying to get more recruits coming out of the North Carolina area, and they want that all to start with me."

Outside of his Badger offer, it appears other schools are going to throw their name in the hat in the near future.

"Vanderbilt is coming to my school on Friday and I think they're planning on offering," said Linton, who plans on visiting Madison this spring. "I talked to their linebackers coach, Coach (Warren) Belin, and I think he's visiting me this Friday at school. From what he told me, they're planning on offering, but I guess I'll find that out Friday.

"I've also had some recent contact with Virginia. They don't offer based on highlight film-something Wisconsin did for me. So I talked to the coach and I'm going to be going up there for their junior day in about and month, so hopefully that leads to an offer."

At this point in his recruitment, it appears UNC will have to catch-up a bit to be a contender for his services.

"I talked to Coach (Tommy) Thigpen and from what I heard they're having some problems with over-recruiting and stuff like that," said Linton, who is originally from just outside Joliet, Ill. "So actually, North Carolina State has been coming after me harder because they have some availability with their scholarships. But I've talked to the coaches at North Carolina pretty often and I just don't think they have a scholarship available at this time because they over-recruited this year."

One thing, however, is for sure. Linton will be making his decision before the start of his senior year.

"I'm definitely going to make my decision before my senior year," he said. "I'm just kind of waiting on some offers right now and I think I'm going to base it off that. Wisconsin's a great school; it's a dream school and playing in the Big Ten would be a great honor, but I have to see what other opportunities I may have down here before I make my decision.

"I just want to get it (the decision) out of the way and start preparing where I want to go. I want to build a relationship with the coaching staff and get all the pressure off my shoulders so I can focus on my senior season."

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