Still weighing his options following former Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema’s sudden departure to Arkansas on Dec. 4, Waubonsie Valley tight end Troy Fumagalli took an official visit to North Carolina State this past weekend.
With National Signing Day approaching on Feb. 6, Fumagalli took time to reacquaint himself with new North Carolina State football coach Dave Doeren and the rest of his staff, some of whom had been recruiting him prior to Doeren’s departure from Northern Illinois on Dec. 1 after leading the Huskies to a second straight Mid-American Conference title less than 24 hours earlier.
“I’m still committed to Wisconsin. I’m considering North Carolina State and will (consider my options), I think, all the way up until Feb. 6,” he said.
Attending the Wolfpack’s men’s basketball team’s 84-76 upset of No. 1 Duke on Saturday, Fumagalli said the familiarity and comfort with Doeren and the members of his staff that have accompanied him from NIU is a big reason his decision will likely come down to either Wisconsin or North Carolina State.
“They run the same offense. They’re bringing the Northern Illinois offense over,” he said. “They’d want me to play like an ‘H-back’ type, so I’d be coming out of the backfield, blocking, catching passes, stuff like that.”
The Wolfpack went 7-6 this past season under former head coach Tom O’Brien and upset No. 3 Florida State, 17-16, on Oct. 6.
Hired by Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez to replace Bielema on Dec. 20, Gary Andersen led Utah State to an 11-2 record in 2012, culminating in a 41-15 victory over Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 15.
Having spoken to Andersen on the phone, Fumagalli said he plans on going up to Wisconsin either this weekend or next weekend to personally spend some time with Andersen and the rest of his staff.
“(Andersen) is a very good guy. He’s got good energy, positive attitude and he definitely wants to continue the success that Wisconsin has had in the past,” he said.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Fumagalli, an All-Upstate Eight Valley selection, caught 26 receptions for 441 yards and five touchdowns for a Waubonsie Valley team that finished 10-2 in 2012 while reaching the state quarterfinals.
Unsure if he’ll take any more official visits, Fumagalli said his decision to either stick with Wisconsin or switch his commitment to North Carolina State is likely to come sometime in the week before National Signing Day.
“The biggest two things for me are the people that surround the program and really where my family’s feeling because they’ve got a big part in this decision, as well,” he said.