Originally wanting to visit Wisconsin and have a talk with his mother after she returned from Haiti in a few weeks before committing, Makinton Dorleant was excited when he found out that his mom was coming home early, too anxious to wait for her to come home to tell her that he made his college decision.
"I talked to her over the phone and she said that she wanted me to choose the best place for me, whether it's a 1,000 miles away from home or right down the interstate," Dorleant said, breaking the news to Badger Nation. "She knows about the game of football, but not about the recruiting process. She just wanted to make sure she had a say, and that say was to pick the best place for me. That place is Wisconsin."
Dorleant called Defensive Line Coach Charlie Partridge on Saturday night to make it official: he wanted to play for the Badgers. Dorleant is the eighth verbal commit in Wisconsin's 2011 recruiting class and its second defensive back in as many days.
Dorleant chose Wisconsin over offers from Florida International, Iowa State, Maryland, Middle Tennessee, Texas Tech and West Virginia. Dorleant was interested in West Virginia but when the Mountaineers wouldn't let him visit until the end of the season, Dorleant, wanting to get his choice made before the season, picked his other favorite.
Dorleant made his commitment without ever visiting the school, but was adamant that the Badgers were the right fit for him after talking with senior Culmer St. Jean's family, junior Aaron Henry and incoming freshman Peniel Jean, all Florida natives from the same area as he.
"There was no anxiousness at all (in committing but not having visited UW)," Dorleant said. "The guys that I know from around this area love Wisconsin. I have no doubt that when I go up to Wisconsin that I won't change my mind. The atmosphere about Wisconsin is unbelievable from what I hear. I am going to visit ASAP and I have no doubt that Wisconsin is the place for me."
When he does come up to Madison, Dorleant admits that it will be a somewhat emotional trip, seeing as he will probably be bringing his mother along with him. Growing up with a single parent that had to raise three kids, Dorleant gets most of his strength from his mom.
"It's hard to talk about at times," Dorleant admitted. "She is just a hard working woman and I love her because of it. She's taken care of me since she was 23. She worked hard to get her citizenship. I grew up not knowing my father, having no contact with him. Our heritage (Haitian) says we are hard workers. We have those qualities and she's the first one in our family to go to college. As hard as she worked, I am going to work just as hard to show my mom that I can work just as hard."
After adding the speedy 6-foot, 187-pound Terrance Floyd from Santaluces High School (Lantana, Fla) on Friday, the Badgers add another speedster in Dorleant, who has been clocked running a 4.37 40-yard dash. In his junior season, Dorleant earned the reputation as one of the best special teams player in southwest Florida, blocking three punts and two field goals to go along with his 48 tackles for Lely High in Naples, Florida.
"(Wisconsin fans) are getting an exciting player," Dorleant said. "They are getting a player that will have them on the edge of their seat every time he gets a chance to make a play. I am a hard worker, a serious guy at times but a fun guy. I study hard in school and I get along with every single person.
"On the football field, I am going to work hard and do whatever the coaches ask me to do to help out the team. I want to win whenever possible, and would to play on special teams my freshman year to bring some excitement, whether it be blocking a kick or taking one to the house. I am ready to go up to Wisconsin and just be a man and help them win games."