Of the five players pledging to play for the Badgers in two seasons, four come from the state of Wisconsin and two play football in the city of Madison. That number is likely to grow if Madison La Follette athlete Marcus Collins continues to make strides heading into the offseason.
Although missing out on the WIAA playoffs with a 4-5 record, the Lancers lost three games by one score, and Collins contributed as both a wide receiver and a defensive back.
"As a team, even though we've lost a few key components, we've played some really good football," Collins told Badger Nation. "We're better than our record. Individually, my season went pretty well. I've been able to contribute to my team in many different ways and have proved my abilities game after game."
The recruiting process is just starting to begin for some junior prospects, including Collins. While he is still waiting for offers, Collins has been getting contacted by Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin, four schools he has already visited.
"It's a blast!" Collins exclaimed. "I can tell some schools are truly interested, and I still have some schools that I want to try and get in contact with. I'm just going to do what I have to do and we'll see what happens. I want to hear from some of the ACC schools, such as Virginia, Virginia Tech and Clemson, as well as California and Pittsburgh."
Collins is quite familiar with the traditions at Wisconsin with his father, Willie Collins, playing for Wisconsin in the late 1970s and early 80s, including lettering in 1981. Having attended multiple Wisconsin home games and having consistent dialogue with the coaching staff, the Badgers have already left a great impression on Collins early on.
"Coach Chris Ash contacted me personally to let me know that I'm at the top of their radar and that they're thinking about me," said Collins. "I was also told before the season by Coach Eddie Faulkner that I need to go all out this year and be a playmaker. If that happened then things would start happening for me. I love everything about the school. The campus is gorgeous, the academics are top notch, and the team is made of winners."
How would an offer from the Badgers impact Collins and how have his visits to Badgers games been?
"An offer from Wisconsin would be a dream come true, especially if that's the first offer that I receive," said Collins. "Then we would be on really good terms from the get-go! I have visited Wisconsin, and the (games), as usual, are fun to be a part of. What stood out to me was the level of character that the coaches have installed in the players and the respect that the players return to the staff."
As far as Collins' abilities, it comes as no surprise that he knows his game coming from a football family.
"Offensively I feel I have good blocking technique and footwork, (and) ability to find the gap in the defense to make a catch," he said. "I'm versatile and have good hands. I need to improve getting off the ball quicker, keep my hips low on my cuts and accelerate better on the top of my routes.
"Defensively, I have the ability to see the field, open-field tackling, ability to attack the run gain and size. I need to improve on keeping my feet on tackles, finish tackles and keeping a low center of gravity in coverage."