It's an exciting time to be a Badger football fan. Fresh off of a Big Ten Championship title and a Rose Bowl appearance, Wisconsin has been hitting early home runs on the recruiting trail for the class of 2012. The Badgers have not traditionally been able to recruit top high-school quarterback talent to Madison, but head coach Bret Bielema is effectively changing the culture of the program, turning Wisconsin into a national player on the recruiting trail.
Four-star quarterback Bart Houston out of De La Salle High School in Concord, California verbally announced last night that he will sign with Wisconsin. Scout.com ranked him as the seventh-best high school quarterback in the 2012 class. Houston also had offers from schools such as Iowa, Washington, UCLA, and Arizona. He said he chose the Badgers because of the program's team-first mentality, UW-Madison's strong engineering program, and the fact that the Badgers did not take a quarterback in 2011, because Jacoby Brissett chose Florida over UW.
Looking at his highlight video, which I have posted at the end of this Badger Bits, Houston seems like he's got a great arm and can run pretty well. (More after the jump!)
I'm not going to sit here and tell you that he is the savior of the Wisconsin program and he'll lead the team to multiple national championships, but he's got a great chance to be successful here and it's very exciting news. The Badgers have already snagged two other four-star recruits for 2012 in OL Dan Voltz and LB Vince Biegel, so it's been an excellent start for Wisconsin.
Here's audio of Bill Nagy's draft phone call with the vaunted owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones. Pretty interesting window into what goes on with these phone calls between teams and draft picks.
You may have seen this already, but I just want to reiterate the fact the Badgers have the best basketball attendance figures of any school in the Big Ten, and seventh-best in the country. The B1G also retains the title of having the best attendance of any college basketball conference.
Here's a few of the comments Bret Bielema had while on the NFL Network's coverage of the draft this past weekend. Sounds like he did a pretty solid job of representing the University of Wisconsin.
Here's what the Wisconsin Badgers women's hockey team's success could teach Sarah Palin. Palin referred to the team in her speech while in Madison. Kind of a weird metaphor by the author, but to his credit he took it and ran with it.
Erin Murphy at the Dubuque Telegraph Herald says that how you look at the Badger quarterback situation depends on whether you are a glass half-full or glass half-empty person.
Badger rowing continues to have a lot of success, year-in and year-out. The men's team won the Jablonic Cup over Boston University on Sunday.
That's all for Badger Bits, here's the promised highlight video of Bart Houston: