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Waubonsie Valley tight end Troy Fumagalli (9) has decided to keep his commitment to Wisconsin. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
After reopening his recruitment in December following former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema’s departure for Arkansas, Waubonsie Valley tight end Troy Fumagalli decided Thursday he had it right all along.
The senior took an official visit to North Carolina State the weekend of Jan. 11 and received in-home visits from NC State coach Dave Doeren and Bielema’s successor at Wisconsin, Gary Andersen, before reconfirming his pledge to the Badgers.
Indicating in a text late Thursday night that he’s “100 percent with Wisconsin,” Fumagalli will sign as part of Andersen’s first Wisconsin recruiting class on Feb. 7 — National Signing Day.
“It was a tough decision,” Fumagalli said Friday afternoon. “Both Doeren and Andersen are really great guys. But I really like Wisconsin a lot. I got to know coach Jay Boulware, who’s the new tight ends coach, a lot. And I also was really close with the recruiting class that we have there. That kind of pushed my decision at the very end to stick with Wisconsin.”
Committing to the Badgers in mid-September and eventually taking his official visit to Wisconsin in the aftermath of Bielema’s departure, Fumagalli admitted the tight pull toward Madison was there — even as he was on his official visit to NC State earlier this month.
“Even when I was at NC State, I still had a strange feeling (that) something wasn’t right,” Fumagalli said. “I don’t know. Wisconsin’s a special place. Obviously, they’ve got a great tradition there, a great fan base. It was just an opportunity that I couldn’t really see myself passing up.”
The 6-6, 225-pound Fumagalli, an All-Upstate Eight Valley selection, caught 26 passes for 441 yards and five touchdowns for a Waubonsie Valley team that finished 10-2 while reaching the state quarterfinals.
Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez assured Fumagalli on his official visit last month the Badgers’ philosophy and style of play wouldn’t change in light of Bielema’s sudden departure. Fumagalli is confident he’s viewed in the same fashion by Andersen and his staff as he was by Bielema and the old staff.
“Coach Andy Ludwig is the offensive coordinator and he’s from San Diego State,” Fumagalli said. “I didn’t get a chance to talk to him personally, but coach Boulware, the tight ends coach, we discussed a little bit about what they’re gonna do and it all sounds the same. (They’re gonna use me as a) H-back, which is moving around in the backfield, catching passes, stuff like that.”