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February 2, 2011MADISON - In a 30-minute session in front of a bevy of local reporters, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema unveiled his 2011 recruiting class.
For the first time, the coach entering his sixth-season with Wisconsin had an opportunity to talk about each recruit. The following is a recap of what Bielema said regarding each player.
JAMES ADEYANJU - DE - 6-3, 230:
"He's a guy that came to us from Curie (IL) high school. Chris Ash was the lead recruiter and did a nice job. His older brother actually played at Indiana and was a great player there. He's now with the Cincinnati Bengals. He plays a little defensive end. He's a big, thick kid that really runs well. We project him at the defensive end spot. He's more of a six-technique, but he's got good explosion and runs really well. His brother was kind of a late developer as well and I think James is a guy that really projects down the future. He's already about 245 right now."
MICHAEL CAPUTO - S - 6-1, 198:
"Unfortunately he broke his leg in the very first game in the very first quarter of his senior season. Last year he was a big part of it. Joe Rudolph was the lead recruiter. We project him at the safety position. Great effort. Great mentality. Once you meet him he's a man of few words. He's really a tremendous performer. Bob Palko, the high school coach of Ben Herbert our strength coach. To finally get one of his guys here after getting Ben here and having that tradition that his program brings."
TERRANCE FLOYD - DB - 5-11, 190:
"Neat story here. His father is a high school coach I met about 15 years ago down in the S. Florida area. Now his son has come full circle and is going to play for us. He's got great burst. We're going to start him at the cornerback position. He's very shifty and very athletic. He's got great burst, good energy and he's a good competitor. He's a guy we're excited to get in here. He played mainly defense, but was one of the better players on their team. They put him on offense and began to score in a variety of many different ways. We're excited for him."
JORDAN FREDRICK - LB - 6-3, 230:
"He's a local guy from Madison Memorial. He's one of Bob Bostad's recruits. He's really kind of coming in as an unknown. He's played corner, he's played safety, he's played linebacker and he's played offense. We're very excited about him and he's a guy that we had in camp. He's 6-foot-3, 230 and very raw. He's a guy that hopefully we'll get here and if he plays on the offense or defensive side of the ball is kind of up in the air. Maybe we'll start him on defense."
DEVIN GAULDEN - DB - 5-10, 180:
"Neat story about Devin. He's a corner prospect that wanted to commit to us early on, but I have a rule that if you haven't been on campus I won't allow you to commit. Instead of committing he actually went to Auburn and went to campus there. He did very well at their camp and he committed to Auburn. He did very well at their camp and he committed to Auburn. I'm sitting there thinking that's a real good move as a head coach to have this great rule to not let this kid commit. But he committed to Auburn and Charlie Partridge stayed after him. He kind of went through a different recruiting cycle and wound up opening it back up. We survived and had a great opportunity at the end to get him. He comes from a great family, very proud people of doing things the right way. They've really done a nice job. We're excited to get a kid out of this, especially a kid the caliber of Devin."
JESSE HAYES - DE - 6-3, 225:
"A lot of you probably recognize the name. Jay, his father, coached here. Interesting fact; Jay is actually the defensive line coach for the Cincinnati Bengals who coaches Adeyanju's older brother. So it kind of comes full circle. Jesse comes to us with great speed, great athleticism. He does a lot of nice things. You can see him bend to the football well and he uses his hands well. He was a heavily recruited kid that we kind of just survived. He visited a lot of different schools and a lot of different conferences. He knows a lot of different people in Madison from his parents' time here. It's nice to have him in our family. Him and James will be a great fit in our defensive line."
DARIUS HILLARY - WR/CB - 5-11, 175:
"He's a young man that plays all kind of positions offensively and defensively. He was recruited by a lot of different people in both positions. His father Ira played for the Bengals for a long time. He's just a class act. I got an opportunity to watch him play basketball a couple of weeks back. He's a great, great athlete. We're really excited for what he can bring to the table. We'll start him off on defense, but he does some special things with the ball in his hands. He's got great speed and is a very, very good student. We're really excited about Darius and seeing what he can do once he comes here. He's another one of coach Rudolph's recruits."
JAKE KEEFER - LB - 6-3, 218:
"He's one of our first commits. His dad, Dan Keefer, is a great football coach and was able to coach Jake. Jake has nice explosion and really plays the linebacker fundamentals very, very well. He keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. We've had him in camp a couple of years and he's got good explosion. He one of our only commits that played in the All-Star game in San Antonio and he did a great job."
DEREK LANDISCH - LB - 5-11, 213:
"He's kind of going to remind you of someone not only because of the jersey he wears but the way he plays. You'll see him time and time again do a lot of sudden bursts on the ball. He lost most of his junior year when he broke his arm but he came into our camp and did a nice job. He really reminded us a lot - I'm not going to say he's Borland - but all the things he does in camp, we couldn't have anybody block him in camp, but he did a nice job. We're really excited about him coming and playing outside linebacker for us."
DEREK WATT - LB - 6-3, 220:
"Everybody recognizes his name. He's a young man out of Pewaukee (WI) high school and because his brother played here we tried to not ever have that come into the conversation. We wanted to recruit Derek for who he is and what he is. He plays with a lot of the same passion you saw with J.J. You see him just continually make play after play. We had him in camp and he went through a unique recruiting process with us. We're excited for him to come in and be with us. He played offense and defense for Pewaukee and the good news is he's the No. 2 brother of three. Hopefully we can keep riding that wave."
SAM ARNESON - TE - 6-4, 241:
"In addition to Jordan Fredrick, Sam Arneson's dad played here. Father Mike likes to take pride with this one. He married Sam's mom and dad and actually baptized Sam. We've come full circle with the Arneson family. Sam is going to start off at tight end. He's another kid that was in our camp. I believe 16 of our 20 kids were in camp. He's just a big body from Merrill (WI) high school that can really, really run. He's a tremendous competitor and somebody we're really excited about."
RAY BALL - OL - 6-7, 331:
"You'll see him come up to the next level and stays after people. He really, really plays with a nice tenacity to him. He's an offensive lineman that stays on his feet and plays hard. He kind of reminds you of a couple of our guys. He's got a great demeanor off the field but plays pretty nasty on the field. I'm excited about Ray and to have him come full circle here."
KENZEL DOE - WR - 5-8, 165:
"He's actually at school here right now. He's a guy that actually hasn't lost a football game since he was in fifth grade. That's kind of an amazing stat. I think he's going to be a guy that can come in and maybe possibly be a return man for us in the punt and kick return game. He's very quick. He's very shifty and he's got really good hands. He's a guy that was committed to another school very early on and kind of changed his mind and came our way."
MELVIN GORDON - RB - 6-0, 190:
"He's another young man that was committed to another school, actually in our conference, early on. He came to the Ohio State game and saw the light that changed his mind. I saw him play live in a high school football game and just the speed that you have when you get to be there first hand is really special. He's got a nice long stride to him. He's got great vision and is very shifty. He's a great kid. He probably had the biggest trouble today getting his papers in. We just got them about an hour ago (2:00 p.m. ct). He was in three feet of snow in Kenosha (WI). You'll see a little bit of toughness. We're really, really excited about Melvin. He's the only running back we signed in this class.
A.J. JORDAN -WR - 6-1, 175:
"He's a wide receiver that was at the top of our list early on. Coach Rudolph recruited him from Trotwood (Ohio). He's got great skills as a receiver. He's a competitor and a great kid that has done all the right things. He continues to show up. When you go into his school everybody talks about him. Trotwood is a school traditionally known for signing a lot of players. You'll see here that he's definitely got ability and skills. Hopefully he'll be able to help us sooner or later."
AUSTIN MALY -TE - 6-5, 216:
"He's the second guy of ours to come out of Waunakee (WI). Again, he's a guy that had an exceptional senior season and capped it off with a victory out here in Camp Randall. Actually, we laid our eyes on Austin when he was a sophomore in high school camp. He's just real tall and rangy with good athleticism. I really think he's probably going to be a redshirt guy but a guy we're really excited about down the road. He's someone that can help us in a hurry."
TYLER MARZ - OL - 6-7, 285:
"Tyler comes to us from Minnesota. Coach Bostad found him and got him to come over here into camp. He came over a couple of times and I really, really think he's going to be able to grow. He unfortunately tore his ACL with about two or three games left in the season, but played two weeks without even knowing it was torn. You should know a little bit about his toughness. He's actually been cleared now to play basketball so he will be doing that."
ERIC STEFFES - TE - 6-4, 220:
"He's a guy that we really see projected for us as a tight end or a fullback. Eric is also a phenomenal hockey player so he's in that season right now. At the conclusion of that he actually has to have a couple of procedures done on his shoulders so we're going to delay his enrollment until January of next year so that he can kind of have some time to recover and rehab and take a full complement of four and a half or five and a half years to use his eligibility."
AUSTIN TRAYLOR - TE - 6-4, 215:
"He's a real neat story. A lot of schools recruited him as either a wide receiver, tight end or defensive end. He plays a variety of different positions. When I was there he pulled up a slam-dunk competition he just won. He's an extremely athletic kid that has done things right. Him and his mom have done a really good job making sure he takes care of everything off the field. I'm just excited to get him in our program. You'll see there's a frame that can really grow in a hurry and has got huge potential and huge upside."
FRED WILLIS: WR - 6-2, 192:
"I'd never even heard of Brookfield Academy. Of course I'd heard of Brookfield Central and Brookfield East, but I didn't even know Brookfield Academy even existed. It's a really unique school. Freddy is loved in that school. He came into camp. We knew he was a fast kid coming, but he ran basically one of the fastest times we've ever had in our camp. He's all of 6-foot-2 and maybe a little bit taller. He's done a really nice job in the classroom and all the other things that matter and are important to us. I think he's going to be able to come here. We're going to start him at the wide receiver position, but he maybe able to play some other positions once we get him here."
INTRODUCING YOUR PREFERRED WALK ON CLASS:
-Lance Baretz - QB - 5-10, 184 Franklin, Wis. (Franklin)
-Jonathan Coon - OL - 6-7, 272 Franklin, Wis. (Franklin)
-Miles Groeschel - RB - 5-10, 191 Fond Du Lac, Wis. (Fond Du Lac)
-Tyler Leonhard - DB - 6-0, 158 Tony, Wis. (Flambeau)
-Drew Meyer - P/K - 6-3, 168 Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)
-Joel Stave - QB - 6-5, 204 Greenfield, Wis. (Whitnall)
-Jake Stengel - WR - 6-2, 180 Sheboygan, Wis. (Sheboygan North)
-Derek Straus - FB - 6-0, 205 Waunakee, Wis. (Waunakee)
The following is the audio file from that presser:
Bielema, signing day, 2011
In photos: NSD