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MADISON - Just when one thought the Badgers were done taking defensive linemen in the Class of 2013, Wisconsin’s coaching staff reels in arguably its biggest commitment of the recruiting cycle.
After visiting Wisconsin in June and citing the school’s strong reputation for winning, developing players and an opportunity to play early, Indianapolis (Ind.) North Central defensive lineman Darius Latham ended his recruitment by committing to Wisconsin on Tuesday night.
Following a conversation with Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, who is on his honeymoon in Hawaii, and assistant coach Eddie Faulkner in which he gave his commitment, Latham posted on Twitter: ‘I’m officially a Wisconsin Badger.’
The 6-5, 285-pound Latham is ranked the No.22 defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com and a four-star recruit. He picked the Badgers over the likes of Auburn, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and others.
“Wisconsin is the best opportunity for me,” Latham said in a message. “I’m looking forward to helping Wisconsin win and having a chance to play in the NFL.”
The coaching staff compares Latham to J.J. Watt, a former Wisconsin defensive end who was drafted in the first round last year by Houston, because Latham has that same type of ornate athleticism. Not only is he active on the football field, he is a standout basketball player with the AAU program Eric Gordon All Stars.
Latham will likely enroll in January at Wisconsin, becoming the first known commit to make that decision.
“I'm done with my visits,” Latham said. “There are no more schools I want to see.”