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MADISON - Monona Grove four-star offensive tackle Jaden Gault raised a lot of eyebrows and red flags after going on an official visit to Arkansas last weekend.
Speaking highly of his relationship with Razorbacks offensive line coach Sam Pittman and the ability to play multiple positions in the SEC, questions were rampant in the past week of whether or not the highest-ranked player in the state would flip to the Wisconsin fan base’s No.1 enemy.
Turns out the only thing the No.13 offensive tackle in the country needed was some home cooking during Wisconsin football’s first home game in four weeks.
“It was really cool to experience the atmosphere again,” Gault told Badger Nation. “The atmosphere was awesome, the fans were awesome; it’s probably one of the loudest stadiums in the nation. After the game, I had a couple of friends with me, so we went into the locker room and got to talk to the players and the coaches. I kind of forgot what it was about. I fell in love with it again.”
One of the main draws Gault had toward Arkansas was Pittman and the Razorbacks strength staff led by former Wisconsin strength coach Ben Herbert. After making those comments earlier in the week, it was no surprise that Gault spent 15 minutes talking to Woods and more time talking to strength coach Evan Simon and his staff.
“The strength coaches can get me in the best position and they do a lot of different things, which is good,” said Gault. “They’ve helped so many guys get to the NFL with their past players, so I know they can get me in the right position to succeed at the next level. Coach Woods has showed me that he is one of the best coaches in the nation at what he does. He’s going to coach me hard and he’s going to care about me.”
After listing Wisconsin and Arkansas as 1A and 1B in his recruitment, Gault has no plans to further his recruitment, not with the Razorbacks on a seven-game losing streak and him wanting to enroll in January.
“I was taking that (Arkansas) visit for myself, honestly,” said Gault. “I pretty much knew that I was going to go to Wisconsin. I love it at Wisconsin. The fans are crazy no matter what their record is. Even if I wasn’t from Wisconsin, I would want to go to Wisconsin because of how well I fit in there. I am all done with visits. We have two weeks here where we want to win state, so I am putting all the recruiting to the side.”
Gault’s season continues after Monona Grove erased a 17-6 fourth-quarter deficit to win 20-17 over Waukesha Catholic Memorial, the defending division 3 champions.
“We were blocking really well up front, but we didn’t run the ball really well,” said Gault. “We kind of knew that going in. Their defensive line was probably about 280 pounds across the board, so the fact that we were able to stand up to those guys, pick up blitzes and allow our quarterback some time was key. In the second half we started to make some plays and we responded to adverse situations with a couple 80-yard drives in the fourth quarter.”
The Silver Eagles put their 12-0 record on the line Friday in a state semifinal game against La Crosse Logan (10-2) in Baraboo.
“They are going to be a tough team,” said Gault. “I got some film on them and they have a really fast running back and a lot of really fast kids. We’ll have to get really focused for the game.”
That won’t be a problem for Gault, who reiterated that he is done with his recruitment.
“The program is going in such a positive direction,” said Gault. “I can’t see myself going anywhere else. Wisconsin is doing such great things, so I’ve got to be ready to go.”