All Austin Alexander needed was one scholarship offer to decide where he wanted to play collegiate football.
The Marian Catholic junior cornerback earned his first and only offer from Wisconsin on Oct. 7 and committed to the Badgers on Monday.
“There was no point in waiting if I knew this was the school that I wanted to go to,” Alexander said.
Wisconsin showed interest in Alexander after his strong start to the season. Alexander went up to Madison back-to-back weekends in the beginning of October and fell in love with the campus, the facilities, the gameday atmosphere and the coaches.
The Badgers offered him after his second campus visit and other schools like Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa State and Northern Illinois started reaching out and wanted him to visit their campuses. Alexander couldn’t go after breaking his tibia in Week 7 and appreciated the support from Wisconsin despite his injury, which is why he decided to commit Monday.
“It was all the love they were showing me,” Alexander said. “I had an injury and they still showed that they loved me. For them to do that, that shows how much they wanted me to be a part of the program.”
Alexander didn’t want to wait any longer to make his decision despite being early in the recruitment process and the uncertainty with the Wisconsin coaching staff. The Badgers fired head coach Paul Chryst on Oct. 2 and defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard has served as the interim coach.
Wisconsin hasn’t announced whether Leonhard will remain as coach after the season, but Alexander said he committed more to the school than the coaching staff even though he’s appreciated the support from the staff.
“I definitely put that in consideration, but even though I committed to the school, I didn’t commit to the coaches,” Alexander said. “If he stays, that’s great. It’s looking like he’s staying. If he also leaves, that would be a minus but wouldn’t affect my decision-making.”
Alexander was named the CCL/ESCC Purple Defensive Player of the Year after he finished the year leading the conference with seven interceptions and had 49 total tackles in six games. He scored defensively once and found the end zone three times on offense, finishing with 472 all-purpose yards.
Marian Catholic coach Nick Lopez was impressed with how Alexander handled his junior season and the leader he was off and on the field. Lopez expects Alexander to continue his growth at the Power Five, Big Ten level.
“He’s going to continue to grow as he continues to mature, especially physically and mentally,” Lopez said. “His game is going to continue growing and he’s going to continue to do what he’s done for us this year, build and be that all-around player.”
Alexander is excited to be done with the recruitment process and focus on recovering from his injury. The cornerback said he should be good to get back on the field in December and he’s going to work over the offseason to improve while trying to help Marian Catholic return to the playoffs.
“It takes a big toll off me to focus on more things like school, my rehab and getting faster and stronger instead of having to worry about recruitment now,” Alexander said. “I can just go to my senior season and play ball.”