When Menomonie, Wis., outside linebacker Mason Stokke made his unofficial visit to Madison last weekend, you got a sense that the race for the currently unranked, in-state recruit was about to close in the Badgers' favor. Madison's becoming a less-than-secret weapon in the race to get commits, and after seeing reports Tuesday night, it apparently helped the Wisconsin Badgers land a verbal commitment from Stokke.
Late Breaking News: "Dream come true" as Menomonie's Mason Stokke commits to Wisconsin #Badgers #wisfb — http://t.co/6kimwAnAGA— Travis Wilson (@travisWSN) April 22, 2015
Wissports.net's Travis Wilson broke the story publicly late Tuesday evening ($), but Eau Claire's Leader-Telegram's Joe Ziemer also reported the 6'3, 205-pound Stokke committed to Wisconsin Monday evening, noting how his visit sealed the deal:
"It was a hard choice, but I've been a Badgers fan all my life," Stokke said. "The visit went really well. I liked the coaches. That made my decision."
Stokke doesn't come with a public Hudl football profile, so there's not going to be anything embedded to show you just what he can do on the football field. With that said, he led Menominee in tackles, had three interceptions and four fumble recoveries, and also returned punts and kicks. That shows you a prospect with athleticism beyond taking opponents down to the mat for a state championship.
The other interesting thing to note about Stokke was that before the Badgers made their offer, Stokke's major offers included Army, Iowa and Northern Illinois. Iowa led. In fact, with them holding a commitment from Menominee quarterback Nate Stanley, some would say the Hawkeyes had the inside track -- at least until the Badgers offered.
Stokke becomes the second in-state prospect to commit to the Badgers with Grafton defensive end Luke Benzschawel committing just a couple weeks ago and the first linebacker to commit in what looks to be a class that could grab at least four prospects at the position.