BY JON KERR | Contributor | @prepspioneer
BARRINGTON –When Brett Bielema left the Wisconsin Badgers to take the head football coach job at Arkansas, one local recruit’s phone started to blow up.
On Wednesday, Barrington senior offensive lineman Jack Keeler signed a letter of intent to play football for Wisconsin. But he said he began fielding calls from rival Big Ten schools and a well-known Pac-12 school once Bielema bolted the Badgers for the Razorbacks in December.
“I got calls from Oregon, Ohio State and Michigan,” Keeler said. “It felt weird hearing from other coaches.”
Keeler said the schools asked whether he was willing to open up his recruiting because Bielema had left. Ohio State offered him a scholarship a few days after Bielema resigned.
“They were persuasive,” Keeler said.
The 6-foot-7, 275-pound tackle added that he never seriously considered any other school. He verbally committed to Wisconsin in May.
“It might have been different if Michigan had offered me first. Who knows?” Keeler said. “Wisconsin wanted me first. I felt home right away. I’ve got the red watch.”