Planning to head up to Wisconsin for the school's junior day in February, Dooley and his coach felt it would be a good idea to send his film to linebackers coach Andy Buh and defensive coordinator Chris Ash. That film – which showcases the 6-2, 215-pound linebacker finishing his junior season with 147 tackles at linebacker and 1,209 rushing yards, 598 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns as the team's running back - showing the versatility and athleticism that UW is looking for.
From having no contact to getting a scholarship offer in roughly 48 hours, Dooley was understandably shocked when former coach Bret Bielema told him he was getting a scholarship.
"When he called me into his office, I got pretty nervous because I was expecting something might happen," Dooley told us. "When he said those words, I kind of got a vibe through my body and got so excited and ecstatic to hear that they said that."
Dooley quickly added offers from Illinois, Indiana, Northern Illinois and Vanderbilt, as other schools caught up following the Wisconsin offer. But after evaluating his options and seeing Wisconsin was only 3.5 hours away, had the right college feel he was looking for and was for a winning program, Dooley became commitment number one; going from having no contact to committed to Wisconsin in 11 days.
"Them offering me after just knowing me for two days and seeing my highlight film," Dooley told us exclusively after he committed. "They obviously have to have a lot of trust that I can be a perfect fit for their program. I really like that they didn't offer me because of another school offered me. They offered me because I was good, and I like that."
Dooley's Scouting Report: A fast, aggressive player who does not play with much hesitation, Dooley does have a nose for the football and has a good ability to weed his way through traffic to make a play. Not only does Dooley make a lot of quality tackles, he performs well dropping into coverage. He can run, hit and shows a good head for the game.
How the position could change: Dooley is still contemplating an official visit to Penn State next weekend. The Nittany Lions showed interest early in Dooley and assistant coach Ron Vanderlinen offered him in December. While still saying he's committed to Wisconsin, Dooley said it's a possibility he takes a visit to State College to compare the programs and make sure he made the right decision.
Temple commit Buddy Brown also says he has renewed Wisconsin interest. Running back coach Thomas Hammock recruited and offered Brown in the spring, but the Badgers moved in a different direction after Dooley committed and UW had more important needs as the summer progressed. Brown has said recently that he's looking at Iowa and Wisconsin, but hasn't had much contact since the coaching switches. It'd be interesting to see if anything comes of this with the new staff.
Garret Dooley Junior Highlights
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