Michael Deiter spent three days in Wisconsin this week and figured out where he’s going to spend the next four years of his life after high school.
Deiter, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound senior offensive and defensive tackle at Genoa, gave first-year University of Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen a verbal commitment on June 24 to become a member of the Badgers’ 2014 recruiting class.
“I felt comfortable and ready to do it,” said Deiter, who participated in the Badgers’ three-day summer camp June 23-25. “I wanted to know what I needed to work for and what they expected of me. I did it just to be comfortable with the coaches and stuff like that.”
Deiter attended the Wisconsin camp with his parents, Deanne and Dave, and Genoa football coach Tim Spiess, who helped work the Badgers’ camp.
Deiter said he had offers from the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, Miami (Ohio), Illinois, Georgia Tech, West Virginia and Nebraska.
“Michigan State called me right before I went to this camp and said if you don’t commit, give us a call,” Deiter said. “But it’s too late now. It feels good. Now I can kind of go be a kid again and quit worrying about where I was going to go to school.”
Deiter said he has been a Badger fan “for a while.”
“I just liked watching them,” he said. “They were exciting to watch because they run the ball a lot. J.J. Watt (former UW defensive end) went there, and I’m a huge J.J. Watt fan, and that just made it bigger.”
Deiter also attended the Badgers’ spring game in April and said the campus reminded him of home.
“It’s just beautiful,” he said. “I was really comfortable. Everyone is nice and everything about the campus is nice.”
Deiter will be a third-year starter at Genoa in 2013 after being named first-team All-Northern Buckeye Conference on offense and defense. He was a second-team All-Ohio selection as a defensive tackle, but colleges recruited him as an offensive lineman.
He said he interacted with several current UW linemen during the three-day camp.
“I like them,” Deiter said. “They seem cool and like they would be good teammates. They’re huge. I’ll probably only gain 10-15 pounds (in college), but it will be pure muscle. I’ll probably play tackle, but I could end up playing guard. I don’t care. I’ll play wherever, as long as I get to play.”
He added that Anderson, who came to the Badgers after a successful coaching stint at Utah State, and UW offensive line coach T.J. Woods were impressive during the recruiting process.
“They were just real,” Deiter said. “They were real in recruiting. They really didn’t have to sell that hard on Wisconsin. They know what they have and what they have to offer. They were confident, and I liked that.”
Deiter said his goal is to play in the NFL, but for now he’s contemplating studying meteorology.
Spiess, a diehard Nebraska fan, said the Badgers had a leg up on recruiting Deiter, given that Deiter grew up a Wisconsin fan.
“We were here in April for the spring game and they offered him right away,” Spiess said. “Every school recruits differently. Anderson said, ‘Here’s your offer, Michael. We don’t want you to accept right now. We want you to come to one of our summer camps and be coached by our coaches.’ ”
Spiess said Deiter’s performance at UW’s summer camp helped seal his commitment to the program.
“The first day they did various agility drills and timed and tested the kids to see what they are capable of doing,” Spiess said. “(Monday) was a lot of lineman drills, seeing how you move, how well you learn things and how well you pick up things. Michael did outstanding. He easily stood out. There were over 200 kids at this camp, and he stood out. Not because of his size and ability but the way he learned, the way he adjusted.”