MADISON - Making his college decision 18 months before he can make it official, Monona Grove junior offensive lineman Jaden Gault was hoping to put that decision to rest and focus on taking his team on a deep championship run.
Gault accomplished the latter, but his recruitment is again on the hot stove thanks to the sudden departure of Bret Bielema to Arkansas. In the 10 days since Wisconsin lost its head coach, Gault has twice been visited by Michigan State, once by Oklahoma and spoke with Ohio State defensive line coach Mike Vrabel earlier this week.
"It has a little bit (hectic) to be honest with you," Gault told Badger Nation. "I mean a lot of these schools have just been contacting me through letters in the mail but now they're coming into school. Coach Vrabel came in, just said ‘Hi' and had a talk with my coach."
The 6-7, 275-pound Gault – an early three-star offensive lineman ranked the No.23 OT in the class by Scout.com – picked the Badgers on August 18 over offers from Michigan State and Nebraska. In his opinion, Gault thinks he would get an offer from the Sooners if he goes to their junior day and that the Buckeyes might return to watch him workout.
Asked if one of those offers would impact him, Gault responded with an affirmative: ‘no.'
"The best school offered first," said Gault, "the greatest school in the nation."
With that, Gault looks at him, quarterback Chance Stewart and offensive lineman George Panos has solid foundations for the class of 2014. Having spoken with Stewart, the only concerns would be if the Badgers switched to a spread offense or lost a bevy of coaches, including strength coach Ben Herbert.
"I personally think that they are the top strength coaches in the nation," said Gault. "But I love everything about Wisconsin from academics to football."
That was reiterated to Gault and his father on Saturday. While many 2013 commits were on their official visits, Gault and his dad stopped by to watch practice, mingle with his future teammates and have some one-on-one conversations with defensive backs coach Ben Strickland and offensive line coach Bart Miller.
"I talked with a lot of the coaches and they just told me all is good and to not be worried," said Gault. "Miller just said that he wanted to stay and if I needed anything to just call them."
"With Coach B leaving, it is definitely shocking of course since he was the one to extend the offers towards us and he was the coach to have the confidence in offering me my first scholarship," Gault added. "That was the greatest day of my life. Coach Alvarez on the other hand started this program and built it into what it is today. He is going to find a guy who will fill in and continue the outstanding program that Wisconsin is and will forever be."
Gault helped lead Monona Grove to a Southern Badger title, a 9-2 overall record and advancement into the third round of the WIAA Division 3 playoffs.