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Insider

In-home eases Shelton's concerns

12/4/2012

Four-star cornerback Sojourn Shelton noticed Charlie Partridge's phone kept going off, but Partridge paid no attention to it as the two were meeting at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Plantation.

Once Partridge left, that's when both parties found out the news Bret Bielema was leaving Wisconsin for Arkansas.

"We noticed his phone kept lighting up, but he was with me so he didn't pay attention to it," Shelton said Tuesday night. "We walked to the front office, he went his way to his car, and I checked Twitter and someone retweeted something about Coach Bielema leaving. I was thinking maybe it was a rumor. So I clicked on a couple profiles and saw it was true.

"It was a 'Wow' feeling because you don't know where you're going to and [what will happen] as far as him taking his staff."

A few hours later, Shelton and Partridge were set to meet again, as the Badgers assistant had an in-home visit with Shelton on Tuesday.

That meeting eased any concerns Shelton had about his commitment.

"We had a good talk and I'm comfortable and I'm happy to be a Badger," Shelton said.

An early enrollee candidate, Shelton does not have much time to wade through the Wisconsin coaching search. While he called it "tough" Bielema was leaving, he said the key for him is the assistant coaches, particularly future position coach Ben Strickland.

While Partridge could not guarantee to Shelton that the rest of the Wisconsin staff will remain in place, Shelton is happy with where things sand.

"The head coach is a big part of going to college, but really it's the position coach and strength coach, the assistants," Shelton said. "Coach Bielema is gone so I want to make sure some of the staff members I've grown a bond with are still there.

"Coach Alvarez will do a good job to find [a head coach]. Hopefully it's someone whose already in the system so I can be ready to get there in January."

Only if the entire staff sees an overhaul would Shelton, a former Florida State commit, would consider decommitting.

"I don't want that to happen, but if it does I would have to take it from there," he said. "Those are the guys I feel comfortable with."

Shelton officially visited Wisconsin during the fall and does not plan another visit before arriving for the January semester.