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2009 Football Signing Day live blog

2009 Football Signing Day live blog

Brian Lucas (Assistant Director of Athletic Communications)

Want to be the first to know the Badger football team's Class of 2009? Follow along on Signing Day (Feb. 4) with assistant director of athletic communications Brian Lucas' live blog from head coach Bret Bielema's office.

As soon as the football office receives a National Letter of Intent and a recruit's signing is official, Lucas will post the news on the blog. He will also have the recruit's bio information as well as exclusive comments from the coaching staff. And remember, the blog is interactive so if you have any questions about the recruits or anything for the coaches, send them to Lucas and he will try to get them answered.

The live blog will begin at 7:30 a.m. CT on Feb. 4.


2009 Football Signing Day(02/04/2009) 
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Betsy Golomski:  There's so much going on we had to start the live blog 10 minutes early.
Brian Lucas:  This is actually Brian, not Betsy, so let's see if it works correctly this time
Brian Lucas:  There we go. No on to the important stuff. We have already recevied word on two kids that are now offiicially Badgers. Zac Matthias is an offensive lineman from Hemlock, Mich. Ethan Hemer us a defensive lineman from Medford, Wis.
Brian Lucas:  Zac was actually the first letter National Letter of Intent received by the football office. Coach Bielema spoke to him over the phone at 7:10 to congratualte on him and welcome him to the team.
Brian Lucas:  Zac is 6-5, 290 and was a first-team all-state selection as a senior. He is rated as the No. 14 player in the state of Michigan by Rivals.com.
Brian Lucas:  Ethan will come in as a walk-on. He is 6-5, 250 and was a first-team all-state selection by the WFCA at Medford.
Brian Lucas:  I'm sure everyone got up early and watched the video with myself and Coach Bielema. However, if you needed to sleep in, here is the link: http://uwbadgers.com/video/default.aspx?mid=2991
Brian Lucas:  In that video, coach talked about the four kids that are already on campus. You can take a look at their bios here: Jon Budmayr, Travis Frederick, David Gilbert and Jordan Kohout.
Brian Lucas:  Two more just rolled in, Chris Borland a 6-0, 220-pound LB from Kettering, Ohio, and Jacob Pederson, a 6-5, 210-pound tight end from Menominee, Mich.
Brian Lucas:  Coach spoke to Chris' mom, Zebbie, at about 7:40 a.m., and then Chris called in about 7:50 a.m. Chris is on a retreat with school today but will be going back to school about midday to have his announcement.
Brian Lucas:  They are really rolling in now as the count is up to 11. Kraig Appleton, a 6-4, 200-pound wide recevier from East St. Louis. Montee Ball, a 5-11, 215-pound running back from Wentzville, Mo. And A.J. Fenton a 6-2, 215-pound linebacker from Erie, Pa.
Brian Lucas:  Coach just got off the phone with Kraig's mom and told her that he saw a couple coaches doing cartweels down the hallway when his letter came in. Kraig was a first-team all-state selection last year and is rated as the No. 19 wide receiver in the country by Scout.com.
Brian Lucas:  The number is now 13 as Jeff Duckworth, a 6-0, 195-pound wide receiver from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Josh Peprah, a 6-0, 195-pound defensive back from McKinney, Texas, are officially Badgers.
Brian Lucas:  Peprah has an intersting story. Many people in Wisconsin will be familiar with his brother, Charlie, who plays for the Packers. What they might not know is that Josh's grandfather was the head of state of Ghana for six years but was killed while in office .
Brian Lucas:  To let everyone know, we will be posting full bios on all the signees shortly. We will also have some video highlights of each player.
Brian Lucas:  Two more are now officially Badgers, both offensive linemen. Casey Dehn is a 6-6, 295-pound offensive lineman from Owatonna, Minn., and Ryan Groy is a 6-5, 300-pound lineman from nearby Middleton, Wis. Two pretty big guys I would say.
Brian Lucas:  Assistant coach Bob Bostad was very high on Casey Dehn. He was a finalist for Mr. Minnesota last season and was also a state champion in the shot put and discus, showing good athletic ability.
Brian Lucas:  Coach Bielema talked to Ryan and his mom about 20 minutes ago and they were very excited.
Brian Lucas:  I've got a lot of questions from people asking me about kids that have not signed yet or are potential signees. Due to NCAA rules, I can't comment on any kids unless we have received their letters and have been approved by our compliance office.
Brian Lucas:  So if you're asking, "what have you heard about so-and-so?" I can't answer that.
Brian Lucas:  One more just rolled in. Nick Hill is a 6-2, 200-pound linebacker from Milwaukee that will be a preferred walk-on.
[Comment From So-And-So]
I want to fax in my letter of intent.  Whats the fax number.  I want to be a badger.
Brian Lucas:  That was too funny not to post
[Comment From Badger_Mike]
Did you sign your LOI Brian??
Brian Lucas:  Lacrosse is not a scholarship sport at UW so I didn't need to sign a LOI.
[Comment From Badger Bob]
This is great, I am in Northern WI on business.  Sitting in a hotel and I can get this stuff pronto thanks to you.  Outstanding news on Appleton.  Thanks guys.
Brian Lucas:  Official word on three more: Brian Wozniak, a 6-5, 230-pound tight end from Loveland, Ohio. And then teammates Conor O'Neill and Dezmen Southward from Saint Thomas Aquinas HS in Florida. O'Neill is a 6-1, 200-pound linebacker. Southward is a 6-1, 190-pound defensive back.
Brian Lucas:  So that is a total of 17 scholarship players and two preferred walk-ons so far.
Brian Lucas:  We've got a couple full bios posted: Zac Matthias and Ethan Hemer
Brian Lucas:  We are also on Twitter for those of you into that sort of that thing. The info can be received as a text message if you sign up at http://Twitter.com/UWBadgersdotcom
[Comment From Mark]
Why does a preferred walk on need to sign anything?
Brian Lucas:  A preferred walk-on signs a document called an "acceptance of admission" not a Letter of Intent. One of the reasons they sign that is so they can be announced as part of the signing class.
Brian Lucas:  If they didn't sign anything we would not be allowed to publicize them and say they are a part of the team until fall camp.
Brian Lucas:  I have now met three of the four kids currently on campus. Jon Budmayr and Travis Fredersick have done some media stuff already and you've seen quotes from them in my recruiting stories. Seem like really good kids. I just met David Gilbert here in Coach Bielema's office. He's definitely all of 6-4. Seemed like a really nice kid. And I haven't met Jordan Kohout yet but I talked to him on the phone yesterday and he came across really well. We will have them all at coach's press conference today and will hopefully get some video of them.
Brian Lucas:  Frederick*
Brian Lucas:  Got some more bios posted: Chris Borland
Brian Lucas:  Jacob Pedersen
Brian Lucas:  Kraig Appleton
Brian Lucas:  Montee Ball
Brian Lucas:  A.J. Fenton
Brian Lucas:  Jeff Duckworth
Brian Lucas:  Seems the Appleton link wasn't working. Let's try this: http://www.uwbadgers.com/sport_news/fb/signing/appleton_819.html
Brian Lucas:  That's better
Brian Lucas:  Two more letters have come in: Tyler Dippel is a 6-3, 250-pound defensive lineman from Slinger, Wis. Darious Thomas is a 5-11, 174-pound defensive back from Cedar Hill, Texas.
[Comment From Brian Lucas Fan]
Are there any surprises so far?  Did we get a kid that the coach's thought we were out of the running for?
Brian Lucas:  I wouldn't say surprise but Kraig Appleton was a letter they were looking forward to getting.
Brian Lucas:  as of right now, the scholarship signees breakdown like this: four from Wisconsin, thre from Ohio, three from Florida, two from Michigan, two from Texas, two from Illinois, one from Minnesot, one from Missouri and one from Pennsylvania.
Brian Lucas:  Interesting tidbit from assistant coach Charlie Partridge. St. Thomas Aquinas, the high school that Conor O'Neill and Dezmen Southward played for, is the first team to ever end a season ranked as the No.1 team nationally in every poll.
Brian Lucas:  We're starting to get some video posted. Here's Zac Matthias
Brian Lucas:  Chris Borland
Brian Lucas:  Jacob Pederson
Brian Lucas:  Kraig Appleton
Brian Lucas:  Montee Ball
Brian Lucas:  A.J. Fenton
Brian Lucas:  Jeff Duckworth
Brian Lucas:  Josh Peprah
Brian Lucas:  Casey Dehn
Brian Lucas:  Ryan Groy
Brian Lucas:  We've also got a couple more bios: Josh Peprah, Casey Dehn, Ryan Groy and Nick Hill
Brian Lucas:  Be sure to check out my live video chat with offensive coordinator Paul Chryst coming up at 10 a.m. If you have any questions for coach Chryst, send them my way.
Brian Lucas:  More videos: David Gilbert, Jordan Kohout, Jon Budmayr, Travis Frederick
Brian Lucas:  I am heading down to talk to Coach Chryst so I'll be back on the blog in about 20 minutes. Check out the live video.
Brian Lucas:  Hopefully everyone got all their questions answered by Coach Chryst. And hopefully the third time is a charm for me. I'll try to get better with Caoch Doeren.
Brian Lucas:  Coach Doeren was originally scheduled to go at 12:30 p.m. but he will now be on at 11 a.m., so about 45 minutes.
Brian Lucas:  while I was off imitating Matt Lepay, two more members of the Class of 2009 have been added. Pat Muldoon is a 6-4, 255-pound defensive lineman from Mason, Ohio. Ethan Armstrong is a preferred walk-on, a 6-2, 225-pound linebacker from Ottawa, Ill.
Brian Lucas:  Word has it that there will be one more letter coming in and the Class of 2009 will be set.
Brian Lucas:  And hereit is: Shelby Harris a 6-4, 240-pound defensive lineman from Milwaukee.
Brian Lucas:  Also, if you missed my interview with Paul Chryst, you can watch it here.
Brian Lucas:  We are currently workingto get a roster posted with all of today's signees and links to their bios and video clips. It should be up soon.
Brian Lucas:  I'll be chatting with defensive coordinator Dave Doeren in about 20 minutes so if you have any questions for him, let me know.
Brian Lucas:  Just getting ready to talk to Coach Doeren here and trying to get our complete list posted on one page.
Brian Lucas:  I'll be back in about 20. Make sure you check out Coach Doeren's interview.
Brian Lucas:  Back from talking to Caoch Doeren. Lots of questions to get to. I'll try to answer as many as I can.
Brian Lucas:  we are working on getting all the bios up and videos posted on one page right now.
Brian Lucas:  If you missed my interview with Coach Doeren, watch it here.
Brian Lucas:  That's the last video segment until Coach Bielema's news conference at 3 p.m.
Brian Lucas:  After that, be sure to check out the Big Ten Network's recruiting special at 3:30 p.m. They will break down the entire Big Ten and interview the coaches, including Coach Bielema.
Brian Lucas:  At some point, I'm going to have get something to eat or take a bathroom break or something. Plus it's freezing in Coach Bielema's office.
[Comment From Badger Bob]
No eating, drinking, or going to the bathroom on recruiting day.  You can do that on the rest of the 364 days of the year.
Brian Lucas:  So far, that's the truth. The coaches have it worse than me. They've been here since 4:30 a.m.
[Comment From Brian Lucas Fan]
they have a full spread of food down there, don't BS us!
Brian Lucas:  I haven't seen anything yet, mom. I've heard rumors of fish on its way though.
Brian Lucas:  We now have the complete roster up with all the bios. You can find it here.
Brian Lucas:  If you haven't yet, you should check out our Comprehensive Coverage page for links to all the video segements, links to the complete Class of 2009 list with their bios and a sweet action shot of Coach Bielema on the phone with one of the signees this morning.
Brian Lucas:  hard at work
Brian Lucas:  I will now be taking another break as we've got to tape our interview with the Big Ten Network right now. Plus I may take a bathroom break.
11:51[Be Right Back Countdown]20 minutes 
Brian Lucas:  Back again. I'll be eating and typing.
Brian Lucas:  sorry about that. Coach needed his office.
Brian Lucas:  The coaches are going into a staff meeting at 1 p.m. I will not be live blogging from there.
Brian Lucas:  But I'll have coach B's office all to myself.
Brian Lucas:  Pretty upbeat mood here in the office among all the coaches.
Brian Lucas:  Just talked to Coach B about his upcoming staff meeting. Talk about the recruiting cycle never ending. At this meeting they are going into right now they will be talking about the recruits they just signed and making sure they touch base with all of them, talk to their parents, high school coaches.
Brian Lucas:  Then they will also go over the list for next year already. Talk about kids they are targeting.
Brian Lucas:  As a reminder, Coach Bielema's news conference will begin at 3 p.m. and be live streamed on UWBadgers.com.
Brian Lucas:  This was my first signing day and this morning was a whirlwind. Obviously we tried to bring the fans a lot of coverage that we haven't had in the past and the coaches have been great about it.
Brian Lucas:  I get the sense from the coaches that they are excited about what transpired today and are very happy with the class as a whole.
Brian Lucas:  I also get the sense that the past couple days have been very long ones for a lot of them as they have been on the road quite a bit. It definitely has the fell of the culmination of a long process.
Brian Lucas:  I know we have some video of Chris Borland, but this clip from YouTube is awesome:
1:26[Video file]YouTube: 1DZleTrSwyE 
', '300', '400');return false;" >Play
Brian Lucas:  Got a couple questions on preferred walk-ons. Basically they are kids who sign an Acceptance of Admission rather than a National Letter of Intent. That allows us to publicize their signings like the scholarship kids and then they know they have a spot on the team.
Brian Lucas:  The Wisconsin State Journal has a picture of Ryan Groy signing his National Letter of Intent
Brian Lucas:  The Milwaukee Journale Sentinel has a cool feature on their web site, an interative recruit map.
[Comment From Johnny Tecmo]
Those 3 Matthias blocks laid down in the video were awesome!  He looked exactly what a punishing UW run-blocker should.
Brian Lucas:  I'm just getting a chance to go through a lot of the comments. Some of these I will be posting are from earlier today.
[Comment From Joe]
Frederick is a beast!
[Comment From Tom]
What made Appleton decide to go to UW after rumored he was going elsewhere most of the time?
Brian Lucas:  He must have read my blogs.
[Comment From mark]
thanks for all of today's info.
[Comment From BadgerBeerBong]
It appears we have a great looking class.. Muldoon is a very nice commit...
[Comment From Brian Lucas Fan]
Has the UW Staff now "cleared" the 2009 board and shifted to 2010 class now?
Brian Lucas:  I think that shift in focus started at their 1 p.m. staff meeting today.
[Comment From Matt]
Thanks for the updates.. looking forward to hearing from Coach Bielema later this afternoon
[Comment From Peter (UW alum 86)]
Great job Brian! ON WISCONSIN!!
[Comment From Lois]
Let Coach B. know the red shirt and tie are quite schnazoola!  Love that combo.
[Comment From Border Badger]
Brian love the blog. Great way to promote signing day.
[Comment From Border Badger]
This has kept me real busy in class this morning.....Thanks Brian!!!
[Comment From Bryan]
i wish i would have seen this before i went searching the internet between classes.....  hope you have this every year.....  great work
Brian Lucas:  I'm glad we've gotten a lot of positive feedback. Hopefully we can utlize this live blog feature in new and creative ways. There seems to be an audience for it.
Brian Lucas:  If you haven't seen all the highligh videos yet, here is link to the entire thing with all the players included.
[Comment From DC Badger]
By all means, this is fantastic for badger fans outside of Madison!
Brian Lucas:  Our page view count is over 4,000 right now. Those are John Moffitt-like numbers.
Brian Lucas:  I will be wrapping this up pretty soon in order to get Coach Bielema down to the news conference. Probably about 20 more minutes.
Brian Lucas:  Just so everyone knows, I've been catching plenty of gruff from the coaches around here.Asking if I have blogger's elbow and stuff like that. They're very supportive. I guess they did feed me.
[Comment From Ryan Badger]
this blog idea was great!  definitely make a push to do it again next year.  great, great job!
Brian Lucas:  As a reminder, the "Comprehensive Coverage" page has links to all the video segments we've done, the complete list of recruits and their bios and all the stories we did leading up to today.
Brian Lucas:  Also, be sure to watch Coach Bielema's news conference on UWBadgers.com. The link can be found on the front page as we get closer to 3 p.m. It will also be archived on the site and linked from our "Comprhensive Coverage" page. We will also try to get interviews with as many assistant coaches and/or signees as we can get to.
[Comment From claude]
Living in Panama it is tough to keep up with the Badgers.  This blog really helps.
Brian Lucas:  We are HUGE in Panama.
[Comment From bob]
this really has to be the life......  reporting the news on the badgers all day on signing day.....  let me know how to get a gig like this.....hah  just kidding.....  keep up the great work
Brian Lucas:  You need to be extremely intelligent, supremely handsome and famously funny. If you are none of those, then you get my job.
Brian Lucas:  Bill Simmons has nothing on me with his marathon chats. Let him take a crack at seven hours!
Brian Lucas:  Since I actually started 10 minutes early this morning, I will now be signing off. Hopefully you can catch Coach Bielema's news confernce at 3 p.m. If not, look for the archive. All of today's coverage can be found here.

Thanks to everyone for checking us out today and ... On, Wisconsin!

Appears in Football Blog

Tagged with Football Blog, Signing Day

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