BadgerBlitz - Michael Balistreri adds his name to UW's preferred walk-on commit list
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Michael Balistreri adds his name to UW's preferred walk-on commit list

Another in-state prospect has decided to turn down scholarship money in order to walk on at the University of Wisconsin.

Saturday evening, senior Michael Balistreri accepted a preferred walk-on opportunity from the Badgers, choosing the in-state program over offers from New Mexico and Air Force.

"Several reasons influenced my decision to choose Wisconsin," Balistreri told "Confidence in the exceptional coaching staff, historical success with walk-ons and the excellent academics at Madison were all important factors. It is also an honor to represent my home state of Wisconsin.

"Although I was fortunate to receive other great offers, Wisconsin is the best opportunity for me. After meeting with the coaches at school it was easy for me to make my decision."

A 6-foot-4, 275-pound prospect from the University School in Milwaukee, Balistreri was an all-conference (Midwest Classic) offensive lineman this past fall, though he could play on either side of the ball at the next level.

"As of now the coaches see me somewhere on the defensive line," Balistreri said. "It feels great to make my decision. It's kind of a relief because there was so much going on and a lot to consider during the recruiting process. Making the decision for Madison allows me to prepare for the next step in my future."

Wisconsin currently has 15 scholarship commitments in the 2017 class, in addition to six preferred walk-ons. Balistreri joins quarterback Danny Vanden Boom, defensive lineman Matt Henningsen, linebacker Jake Collinsworth, running back Hunter Johnson and kicker Collin Larsh in the latter category.

According to, Balistreri had 93 total tackles and six sacks this past fall.