With low numbers in the 2013 recruiting class and Wisconsin
looking to likely take just one defensive tackle, West Des Moines Valley (IA) High defensive tackle Sam Raridon
knew that he would have to make a decision sooner rather than later if he wanted to join the two-time Big Ten champions.
In reality, Raridon would have likely come to the same decision had he had all the time in the world.
"If you don't make a decision right away your spot could be taken, but I don't think any more time would have swayed my decision one way or another," Raridon told Badger Nation. "Wisconsin just felt like the right place for me."
Calling the coaching staff Monday to give his verbal pledge, Raridon – a three-star defensive tackle ranked No.57 in the country by Scout.com – becomes the ninth commitment in Wisconsin's 2013 recruiting class a little more than a week after receiving his offer following UW's one-day summer camp.
"It was a pretty hard decision between Iowa and Wisconsin, but (Wisconsin) feels like a great fit for me," said Raridon. "Some of the big factors were where I was going to be living as a student and athlete. I had been to Iowa City a few times and Madison a few times and the city of Madison just feels like a great place to be. That played a part in it.
"The other part was coach Charlie Partridge seems like a great guy, a great coach and I had a really positive experience with him. He came off as a very charismatic, high-energy guy. He wants to make sure you understand everything they're doing and what he's trying to coach. He's a great guy overall."
Iowa was Raridon's first offer last fall after the 6-3, 264-pound lineman camped with the Hawkeyes as a junior. Wisconsin was late to offer, according to Raridon, because he was unable to camp with the Badgers last season, only getting the opportunity to attend a few games on an unofficial visit.
"I've been in contact with Wisconsin for a long time, so I understand why the offer didn't come because they didn't see me in person," said Raridon.
Eight days after the Wisconsin staff was impressed enough to offer Raridon following its one day summer camp, Raridon called Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema to deliver the good news.
"Coach Bielema was very excited to have me," said Raridon said. "The coaches seemed like they were excited to have me there last week."
Raridon declared all his camps and other unofficial visits done, and anxiously awaits trips up to Wisconsin in the fall.
"I just plan on focusing on preparing for my senior year," Raridon said.
After Wisconsin's first one day summer camp grabbed two immediate verbal commitments, West Des Moines (IA) defensive tackle Sam Raridon made it three on Monday, pledging his commitment to the Badgers over in-state Iowa.