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MADISON - Jesup (GA) Wayne County head coach Jody Grooms describes the recent recruitment of his two star players - three-star wide receiver Krenwick Sanders and three-star defensive tackle Jeremy Patterson – as riding a roller coaster.
Although both committed and confident in their college choice of Wisconsin, both players had been wrestling with a late official visit to the University of Florida, a coaching staff who had turned up the heat the last month despite offered Patterson in the summer and Sanders during his monster senior year.
That changed Wednesday with Wisconsin sending down head coach Gary Andersen, running back coach Thomas Hammock and defensive line coach Chad Kauha’ah’a for visits; visits that Grooms believes sealed the deal.
“Jeremy told me yesterday he wasn’t going and Krenwick told me today he wasn’t going (to Florida),” Grooms told BadgerNation. “I just think they’ve developed a good relationship with coach Hammock throughout this process. To be honest, I just think they feel real comfortable with them. (Hammock has) been consistent throughout this whole deal.”
Grooms said Wisconsin’s coaching contingent visited with both players first at Sanders grandmother’s house, and then met one-on-one with Patterson at his aunt’s house.
“They spent all day here with them,” said Grooms. “I think that sent a strong message when the head coach and two of his top assistants spent the whole day with them.”
The news is huge for Wisconsin, considering both players represent important pieces to the Badgers’ 2014 recruiting class. Sanders (who committed October 8) is expected to compete right away for playing time in Wisconsin’s depleted receiver corps after averaging over 25 yards per catch this past season.
Patterson (who committed October 26) might be used, as well, with the graduation of Beau Allen, as Patterson added weight and improved his footwork to compete at nose tackle for Wisconsin.
Either way, the Badgers appeared poised to sign their first players from Georgia since 2001.
“They are like brothers; they both want to play together,” said Grooms. “Wisconsin was the first school to come in and offered them both. They became really comfortable with Wisconsin and the staff did a great job with them.”