Madden fell in love with Madison
Rob Davis knew something was happening Sunday morning when his phone was blowing up with missed calls and text messages.
When he had a chance to check his messages, the head coach at Barnegat High School in New Jersey knew his star offensive lineman, Sam Madden, had committed to Wisconsin during an unofficial visit.
"I had a bunch of messages on my phone and when I called Sam's dad, he told me that they had committed to Wisconsin," Davis told BadgerBlitz.com. "He was going to call me right away but it all happened real fast.
"Once he committed the linemen (David Moorman and Jon Dietzen) took him away with the quarterback (Austin Kafentzis). And that was a big reason why he committed. He really felt comfortable with their players and coaches. He loves the campus and he loves the area."
Madden, 6-foot-7, 305 pounds, also has a family connection to Wisconsin. His cousin, John Moffitt, started 42 games on the offensive line over four seasons with the Badgers from 2007 to 2010. Moffitt was named a first-team All-American after his senior season and was selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
"He (Madden) was offered in the spring of his sophomore year and his cousin was an All-American there, so he's had big interest in them from Day 1," Davis said. "He knew a lot about them before the recruiting process even started. He did a lot of research on them and he loves the coaching staff. He got a chance to meet with Gary Andersen twice and it just felt like home for him. His father said it just felt right and he wanted to commit. I really think Wisconsin was on top throughout."
Davis feels that Madden, a four-star prospect, will be a great addition to a Badgers' line class that also includes Moorman and Dietzen, two three-star prospects.
"Wisconsin is going to get a very determined big man," said Davis, who also noted that Madden lost close to 30 pounds since his junior season. "He works very hard; he doesn't settle for mediocrity and he wants to be great. In the offseason he works extremely hard and has a speed trainer that he goes to. He's trying to perfect his footwork and technique. With that mindset, I think he's going to have a very good career at Wisconsin."
Madden chose UW over offers from Virginia, Rutgers, Miami and Iowa, among others. He had 22 scholarships in total and is 100 percent committed to Wisconsin, according to Davis.
"He's 100 percent committed to Wisconsin," he said. "He won't take any visits."
Madden is the 11th known commitment in the current class. UW could have room for as many as five scholarship linemen in 2015.
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John Veldhuis covers Wisconsin football, basketball and recruiting for BadgerBlitz.com on the Rivals.com network. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnVeldhuis.