- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Tra’Von Chapman (Kent, Ohio/Theodore Roosevelt) already had nine offers including a handful from BCS programs, but he still felt he had not landed his first major offer yet.
Wisconsin fits that description, and the Badgers offered the three-star quarterback Monday.
“A lot of people wanted to see that huge offer to get me over the top,” Chapman said. “Every offer is great and means something, but this is the offer a lot of people wanted to see with Wisconsin being one of the top programs.”
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound dual-threat signal-caller already has a long history with the Badgers’ program and coaches. Even before Chapman was being recruited and made a visit to Wisconsin in April, he was talking with the staff. Chapman is close friends with Jeff Duckworth, a Class of 2009 Wisconsin signee, and the two talk all of the time.
“He’s like a brother. Every time I go there I stay with him,” Chapman said. “He always tells me about (Wisconsin), calls me after practice. Wisconsin definitely has those connections, because when they were recruiting him, Coach [Bret] Bielema would come to his house and I’d be over there. That connection has been around for years.”
Tight ends coach Eddie Faulkner was in to visit Chapman’s high school Monday afternoon after stopping by last week to watch Chapman throw. The two spoke briefly Monday after Faulkner talked with Chapman’s coach.
Faulkner told Chapman the staff compares him to Russell Wilson, now a member of the NFL’s Seahawks after leading the Badgers to the Rose Bowl. And after two visits from Wisconsin and a few trips to campus, Chapman feels Wisconsin has the whole picture of him as a quarterback now.
“A highlight tape can only tell you so much about a kid. It can tell if he can sling it or not, but it can’t tell you the rotation, how fast it comes out, footwork or character,” Chapman said. “Coming to the spring game and then (Faulkner) coming down here, I think they found out what type of guy I am.”
Finally with an offer from Wisconsin, the Badgers shot up Chapman’s leaderboard and are in prime position to land his services. Chapman hopes to decide in July.
“They’re very high on the list,” the nation's 19th-ranked quarterback said. “… I just like the coaches, I like going to the place and feeling comfortable. The guys in the locker room, I feel comfortable around them and even with the new coaches. The whole pro-style system, the winning tradition and every quarterback seems to play in front of a huge offensive line and has someone great behind to bail him out.”
Chapman is also “very high” on Northwestern and wants to visit again. He said his recruitment could go into his senior season, but Northwestern will almost certainly receive a visit during the summer.
Arizona, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are also among Chapman’s favorites.
Wisconsin recently missed out on adding ESPN 150 quarterback Kevin Olsen to its class. Olsen committed to Miami (Fla.) last week.
544dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert