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Wisconsin hockey recruiting: Jason Ford joins brother Keegan in Badgers' 2014 class

The Badgers get closer to filling out their 2014 forward recruiting class by adding a commitment from Waunakee's Jason Ford.

Wendi Zitske
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Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

Waunakee, Wis.


Things are starting to fall into place for Wisconsin's 2014 recruiting class. The Badgers landed another prospect on Friday when Waunakee, Wis., forward Jason Ford gave his verbal commitment to the UW coaching staff.

In a phone interview Friday afternoon, Ford told Bucky's 5th Quarter the opportunity to play at Wisconsin was a dream come true.

Currently a member of the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL, Ford had originally committed to Bemidji State in October 2012. Ford said he loved everything about Bemidji, but couldn't pass up this opportunity.

"I love Bemidji, I love their coaches and everything," Ford said. "I just wanted a chance to play with my brother, and a chance to play close to home. It's been a dream (to play at UW).

"I have the most respect for [Bemidji coach Tom] Serratore. My dad coached here, my brother is coming to play here, it's 10 minutes from my house."

Ford's father, Pat, played hockey at Wisconsin from 1984-88, including two seasons as a teammate with current Badgers assistant coach Gary Shuchuk. Pat also coached the Badgers as an assistant under Jeff Sauer from 1994-2002.

When Ford arrives on campus next fall, he'll be joined by another familiar face, his brother. Keegan Ford, a defenseman who plays with Jason in Dubuque right now, committed to the Badgers in September 2012.

"It's awesome," Ford said. "I'm playing with him right now (in Dubuque), and we have both grown close to each other. How many people get a chance to say they played with their brother through high school, juniors and college?"

Ford has 10 goals and 20 points in 34 games for the Fighting Saints in the USHL. He describes himself as an all-around type forward.

"I'm a good skater and I can shoot the puck," Ford said. "I can score goals. I play both ends of the ice and do all the little stuff."

Last season, Ford played in the NAHL for Janesville, leading the Jets in scoring with 24 goals and 45 points in 54 games.

As a senior at Waunakee High School two years ago, Ford led the state of Wisconsin in scoring with 103 points (52G, 51A) in just 27 games.

A two-time captain at Waunakee, Ford also boasted a 3.67 GPA in high school and was a member of the National Honor Society.

With his decision, Ford becomes the fourth known commitment of the 2014 forward class. Matt Ustaski (Langley, BCHL) and Ryan Wagner (U.S. NTDP U18) signed letters of intent in the fall, and Adam Rockwood (Coquitlam, BCHL) committed to the Badgers Jan. 29.

Wisconsin also has a verbal commitment from Cameron Hughes (Spruce Grove, AJHL), but his timetable to Madison is open-ended at this point.

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