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Searching for the leader and the quarterback for its 2014 class, Wisconsin found him Monday when Jacksonville (FL) Jean Ribault quarterback D.J. Gillins committed to Wisconsin on made the "Three and Out" radio show of the Southern Pigskin Radio Network.
"I talked it over with my family and they loved all my choices," said Gillins, who picked Wisconsin over finalists Arizona, Boston College, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. "All of them have great academics, great schools, but Wisconsin was the one."
The 11th verbal commitment in the 2014 recruiting class, Gillins became sold on the Badgers when a long-distance family member entered his life and made a recruiting pitch.
"I found out that I had a uncle and I just met him a couple of days ago," said Gillins. "I barely knew him because he was from Atlanta, but he actually graduated from Wisconsin. He was telling me stories about Wisconsin and he really loved it, so I fell in love with it ever since. I asked my uncle about the weather at Wisconsin and he said he thought it was super cold, but you adjust to it very quickly."
One of the biggest factors in the Badgers rising above the competition for the three-star quarterback recruit - ranked No.56 in the country by Fox Sports Next - was the tradition at Wisconsin.
"Oh yes, I know about Wisconsin's tradition," said Gillins. "Every time I am getting on Twitter, they are always talking about tradition and they send me videos. I love the tradition they got and the jump around is very fun to see."
A one-time commit to Texas Tech, Gillins came on Wisconsin's radar in late May after offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig offered him following an in-person evaluation. From that point forward, Gillins said head coach Gary Andersen and his staff took a very upfront approach when his recruitment. Gillins felt those conversations were a big key to connecting with him.
"They were brutally honest," said Gillins of the Wisconsin coaching staff. "All the coaches were really cool guys, but they told me straight forward they are not the best recruiters and from day one they always kept honest. That's why I liked the Wisconsin coaching staff. It is going to be interesting when I get up to Wisconsin, I am going to have a lot of fun and I will be very very excited."