February 17, 2008
Dippel playing the waiting game
After Wisconsin's Junior Day produced two verbal commitments, many Badger fans were curious about the status of Tyler Dippel, widely considered the top in-state prospect in the 2009 class.
While Jordan Kohout and Shelby Harris pledged to UW Saturday, Dippel, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker from Hartford (Wis.) Union, is still waiting for the Badger staff to extend a scholarship offer.
"No offer, but I'm really hopeful," Dippel told BadgerBlitz.com Sunday morning. "I came in and there were only two other linebackers visiting and they were both outside linebackers. When I asked the coaches, they said they only recruit two or three linebackers a year, one inside and two outside. With that being said, he already had that number right there in his office.
"They told me they want me to come to the camp. They like me at linebacker but if I grow into a different position, possibly defensive line, then so be it. They really want me to come in this summer and see where I'll fit in. If I fit in at defensive line, they will try me out there at camp. They just want to evaluate during camp this summer. But, as of now, I'm going to be a linebacker."
Dippel, a California native, came away impressed with everything the university has to offer.
"Oh yeah, I really liked what I saw," said Dippel, who gave up playing basketball this season to focus on football. "It went really good. We left my house at about 7:00 a.m. and got to Madison around 9:00 a.m. From there we went up to the football offices on the eighth floor that was overlooking the whole stadium. We got to see the coach's offices and their views of the stadium. It was awesome. It was really nice.
"From there we all registered and paid for our meal. We all grabbed a table and the coaches came around to each an every table and introduced themselves. The linebacker's coach and defensive line coach both came over to my table and mingled with me. After Coach (Bret) Bielema's speech, we all got a tour of the facilities. We saw the weight room, the locker room, the indoor practice field, as well as the training room.
One of the aspects of Junior Day Dippel seemed to appreciate was a question and answer session with current Badger players.
"They put us in a room and let us talk to a bunch of football players," said Dippel, who also has interest from Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota and Duke.. "The coaches left the room and allowed us to ask the players questions. I thought that was really cool. Then, we got on a bus and attended the basketball game. We watched the game until halftime and then we went back to the stadium and broke up into our separate positions and talked with our position coaches."
Along with Kohout and Harris, Dippel got a chance to meet with a few others players Wisconsin invited this weekend.
"I met a guy named George Rainey from Milwaukee South," he said. "He plays both linebacker and wide receiver. I talked to guys like Jordan Kohout and Shelby Harris, I know those guys from playing with them and being on the list of top juniors in the state. They're cool guys.
Dippel, a Wisconsin Football Coaches Association first-team all-state and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first-team all-area selection at linebacker this past season, plans on attending Notre Dame's Junior Day this weekend, one of many scheduled stops on his busy recruiting itinerary.
"I'm going to the Wisconsin camp this summer and this spring I'll be attending the Midwest Combine, as well as the Nike Camp in Chicago," Dippel said. "I plan on attending one other Nike Camp, either in Los Angeles or in Ohio. I don't know which of those I will be attending, but I'll make it to one of them."
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