'Simply Amazing'

'Simply Amazing'

Sandy (Utah) Jordan quarterback Austin Kafentzis planned all along to commit after his junior season. That changed after spending two days at Wisconsin, a school he said was his clear favorite. Kafentzis talks about why he ended his recruitment and became a Badger.

MADISON – It was Austin Kafentzis' plan all along to commit after his junior season. A team-first individual, Kafentzis wanted nothing to get in the way of him leading his team toward a second straight state championship, not even the pressures that come with recruiting.

But as he worked out on the Camp Randall turf for two days, his plan changed. After all, why wait five more months when you already know the answer of where you want to go to school?

"Playing on the field, talking to Coach Ludwig and Coach Andersen and getting coached up by them was the definite cherry on top," Kafentzis told Badger Nation. "Getting the whole other perspective of not just being a fan, but being on the field and being in that atmosphere where they are listening to music and it's laid back but still coaching you and teaching you things was amazing."

It was such a perfect scenario for the 6-1, 200-pound quarterback from Sandy (Utah) Jordan that he ended his recruitment early and became the Badgers' first commit to the 2015 recruiting class.

"It's another weight off my shoulders," said Kafentzis.

Although the coaching staff said he didn't have to compete during his time on campus, Kafentzis spent Monday and Tuesday morning working with offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and developing a bond that pushed him to his decision.

"Everything he taught me seemed to register," said Kafentzis. "Everything was flowing. He was teaching me, coaching me up and everything seemed to click. It wasn't my plan to come out here and commit. I just wanted to come and work out with the coaches."

But after sleeping on it Monday night, talking with his dad who made the trip and waiting up in the offices with all the championship trophies, Kafentzis decided his short meeting with head coach Gary Andersen and Ludwig to go over some film and chat was the right time.

And to nobody's surprise, after he told the coaches his decision, Kafentzis grabbed his gear and went back out to practice.

"My dad said I looked way more relaxed and felt way more comfortable," said Kafentzis. "I just felt better. I felt better throwing the ball. I don't know how to explain it. I was in the moment, not worrying about anything and just playing football."

In retrospect, it almost seemed like Kafentzis and Wisconsin were made for each other from the start. Originally planning to miss Wisconsin's spring game because of a track meet, the meet was canceled, allowing Kafentzis to visit and fall in love with the school.

Not planning on camping this summer during the week in order to work with his teammates, Kafentzis' schedule opened enough where he felt comfortable leaving.

"Wednesday will be the fourth day I have ever missed, but the opportunity came and the camps date worked out," said Kafentzis. "Our main camp is next week. If it was next week I probably wouldn't have come. The timing was just right."

Kafentzis chose the Badgers over other offers from BYU, Hawaii, Utah and Utah State. He added that Boise State, Colorado, Florida, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA were all recruiting him and likely would have offered him had he camped at their school, but said the Wisconsin camp was likely his last camp as a high school athlete regardless.

"The coaches (now) at Wisconsin have been there since day one," said Kafentzis. "I've played for two years. That's what most quarterbacks do. If they (colleges) don't like what they see by now, they probably aren't going to offer."

Kafentzis threw for 3,018 yards, rushed for 1,884 yards and scored 58 total touchdowns last season, estimating he only scrambled for approximately 21 yards last season. With Wisconsin looking for dual-threat quarterback to keep opposing defenses on its heels and open up the offense, Kafentzis seems like the perfect fit.

"I'll do whatever the coach tells me to do," said Kafentzis. "If he wants me to pass the ball I'll pass the ball. If he wants me to run it we'll run. If he calls a pass play and it breaks down, I'll escape out of it and by some time with my feet. Whatever kind of offense he wants to run, I'll work my butt off and work hard to earn that spot."

Done with his visits, Kafentzis says he still plans to take an unofficial visit to Wisconsin when the Badgers host Penn State in the season finale November 30.

"I'll be out there," he said. "It'll be cold. It'll be nice. Every time I've been here it's been warm, so it'll be nice to see how it is during game time. I'm just excited."

Heading back home Wednesday morning, Kafentzis is not only excited to be done with his recruiting process, he's excited to be committed to place he calls his "new home."

"I am happy I did it and I am looking forward to it," he said. "I am excited to get down there … after two years of high school of course. I've got to finish out strong here and not let it go by the wayside. I am looking forward to working toward another state championship this season."

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