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February 7, 2011

Camp showing got ball rolling

Unfortunately for Nate Hammon, many who follow recruiting have associated his full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin with Jacoby Brissett's commitment to Florida, a difficult battle for UW that wrapped up late last weekend.

Had Brissett, a four-star quarterback, chosen Wisconsin, it was believed Hammon would join the program as a grayshirt in 2012. Instead, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect from Milton, Wis., became the 20th and final member of the Badgers' 2011 recruiting class Friday.

"First of all, I think Nate was someone who was in the back of their (UW) minds at all times and they were seriously giving consideration to all season," Milton head coach Jeff Bachinski told BadgerBlitz.com. "Sometimes kids get offered scholarships early during their junior year and Wisconsin's hands were tied for some time. Fortunately for Nate, something opened up at the end where they were able to offer him and get him to be a part of the Badgers. But like I said, Coach (Bob) Bostad and Coach (Bret) Bielema knew about Nate for a long time. It's not like he just showed up one day and they signed him."

Like many in-state prospects Wisconsin signed in this cycle, Hammon's camp performance, most notably his 40-yard dash time, demanded attention from the coaching staff. The time was believed to be just below 4.5 seconds, a mark that stood atop hundreds of camp participants.

"When Nate went to their camp, he only worked out at quarterback; I think they would have liked to try him out at a few more positions," Bachinski said. "I believe Nate ran one of the fastest 40 times of anyone they had at camp all year. I was actually told that was the fastest time they had this year."

Though Hammon, who was previously committed to Illinois State, passed for 2,077 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior, it is believed he will start at either wide receiver or safety when he arrives on campus this summer.

"Nate is as fine of athlete as I've ever coached at the high school level," Bachinski said. "Nate could have played any position on the field and been successful at it. They are just going to have to find a spot for Nate that they feel is best for him, be it at wide receiver or defensive back or even quarterback down the road.

"Right now the sky is the limit and when they get him on the field they'll find the right fit. I mean, he punted for us, he returned kicks with great speed and athleticism. He's the total package in my eyes. Nate is a very humble person and he's all about the team. The academics are first for him and anything after that is icing on the cake."

Hammon was one of 10 in-state prospects who signed with Wisconsin this year, a list that includes Eric Steffes, who will join the team as a grayshirt next year.

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