Keeler still keen on Badgers

Jack Keeler

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive line recruit wasn't sure what would happen after Bielema jolted for Arkansas, but with a new coaching staff mostly in place, Keeler still wants to wear the cardinal and white.

MADISON — Jack Keeler — an offensive lineman from Barrington, Il., was one of the more affected commits in the 2013 when the coaching change hit. Not only was he wondering who his next coach was going to be at Wisconsin, but if UW would still be the right fit.

Newly appointed head coach Gary Andersen quickly got to work with bringing T.J. Woods on board as offensive line coach and made an in-home visit to make sure the mammoth linemen was still all-in for Wisconsin. Right away, Keeler felt Woods was a home run.

"It went really well," Keeler said. "He was over at my house for like four hours to meet my whole family for like a late Christmas. We all had dinner and everyone had a great time. He seemed like a really great guy and we got to know each other. Coach Woods seemed like a really top. Not just a good coach on the field, but a good guy off the field as well."

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Keeler is the No. 50 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com and a three star recruit. Since former head coach Bret Bielema left, Keeler saw many other opportunities open up, but the latest in-home visit with Woods made a big impact on him. Despite any initial doubt, Keeler is 100 percent solid once again with the Badgers.

"With coach Woods coming to my house, it just solidified my commitment," Keeler said. "I am solid once again. I haven't taken any visits since the coaching change. I had schools become interested in me like Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon and Michigan. Those four were the biggest schools interested when the coaches left."

Andersen is hitting the recruiting trail hard with many other uncommitted recruits, but his first priority when he took over the job when it came to recruiting was securing all the commits in the class.

"I have gotten the chance to talk to coach Andersen," Keeler said. "I have talked to him about four times now and he will be at my house in a few weeks before Signing Day. I just can't wait to meet him in person. He seems like a stand up guy and who really cares about his players. Coach Andersen just seems to put his guys in the right place to succeed. He has done some great things at Utah State and I know he will do some great things at Wisconsin."

With the recruiting process and pressure off Keeler, he can now turn his attention to preparing for the tough and physical Big Ten that he'll encounter.

"I have been training a lot at my school and at the gym," Keeler said. "I am starting with a personal trainer that worked with Dan Voltz, when he is in town and his personal trainer also works with basketball players. He knows what he is doing."

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