When Grafton High School tight end Beau Benzschawel got the offer he always wanted from the University of Wisconsin, it didn’t take him long to jump on it.
Benzschawel, who gave an oral commitment to Syracuse earlier this month, received an offer from the Badgers on Wednesday, according to his prep coach, and accepted it on Thursday morning.
“Wisconsin called (Wednesday) and let him know they would like him to be part of the Badger football program,” Grafton coach Ben Chossek said. “He was really excited about that opportunity.”
Scott Benzschawel, Beau’s father, earned letters for the Badgers at nose guard in 1985 and 1987, according to school records. An uncle of Beau’s also played football at UW, but his career was cut short by injuries and he did not earn a letter.
“He’s got a family legacy there, both his father and his uncle were part of the football program,” Chossek said. “He’s gone to camp several years and certainly has strong feelings about his home state and being able to play at Wisconsin.”
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Benzschawel is a tight end and defensive end in high school. He was recruited to be either a tight end or offensive tackle for the Badgers.
“My understanding is they’re going to bring him in as a big athlete,” Chossek said. “If he fills out, he’s going to be 300-plus pounds without any problem. I would guess if that happens, he will probably play offensive line.
“As he goes through his development, if it looks more like he won’t add the weight as easily, then I’m guessing they’ll either use him as a tight end or play him on the defensive front. … Guys like that tend to find a place to play.”
Benzschawel is a three-sport athlete who also plays basketball and baseball.
UW has had recent success taking an athletic tight end and turning him into an offensive tackle. Rick Wagner was a high school wide receiver who started out as a tight end and became a three-year starter — one year at right tackle and two years at left tackle. Wagner was a fifth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens this year.
Benzschawel runs well enough that he sometimes splits out wide, in almost a receiver position.
“He’s not a sprinter, but he’s a good athlete for a big man,” Chossek said.
In addition to UW and Syracuse, Benzschawel reportedly also had offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Iowa State, North Dakota, Northern Colorado and Wyoming.
“I think this is something he always thought would be unbelievably neat,” Chossek said. “I think every Wisconsin kid dreams about playing (at UW) and putting on a Badger uniform.”
Benzschawel is the 17th commitment for UW’s 2014 class and the seventh from the state.