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Inside OLB Thomas Heiberger’s decision to commit to Wisconsin

The Badgers landed a pair of linebackers over the past week.

The Wisconsin Badgers continued to improve their 2024 recruiting class by landing outside linebacker Thomas Heiberger from South Dakota, marking just their second recruit ever from the state.

Heiberger became the fifth recruit for the Badgers in their 2024 class, and landed with the Badgers after receiving 16 D-1 offers, including strong interest from Nebraska and Washington.

What eventually swayed Heiberger to Madison?

“I was always comfortable around the staff and players. I feel that Wisconsin has a lot of similarities in beliefs with my high school team. I think that I’d fit in well, it felt like home to me so I decided to commit,” Heiberger told Bucky’s 5th Quarter.

During his recruitment, Heiberger maintained a constant connection with outside linebackers coach Matt Mitchell, who was in strong pursuit of the 2024 three-star.

“Phone calls [from coach Mitchell] were always good, checking in and such. I felt that he was completely honest with me and I believe he’s going to coach me hard, which is what I want.”

As for head coach Luke Fickell, Heiberger recently connected with him during a visit, which furthered the push toward Wisconsin.

“[Connections with Coach Fickell have been] good. My mom and I were able to sit down with him our last visit. I’ve also heard from him via text and call recently. [I’m] excited to be coached by him and be apart of his program.”

It’s too early for the three-star to envision exactly what his role would be at Wisconsin, but one thing’s clear: he wants to be the best outside linebacker possible.

“I guess we’ll see [what my role is] in a couple years exactly. I’m just going to work hard at being the best OLB I can be.”

Ahead of his commitment, the Badgers' recent commit began talking to some of Wisconsin’s other 2024 commits, which he’ll look to continue.

“Yeah, I’ve just kind of began talking with the rest of the [2024] commits. Going to be fun to get to know those guys and build those relationships for sure.”

Heiberger is the first defensive recruit that Luke Fickell and Co. have landed for their 2024 class, and he was recently joined by linebacker Landon Gauthier, who committed to the Badgers on Wednesday.