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Badgers remain in mix as Sun Prairie defensive stalwart Isaac Hamm mulls decision
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Badgers remain in mix as Sun Prairie defensive stalwart Isaac Hamm mulls decision

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Prep football photo: Verona's Jackson Acker, Sun Prairie's Isaac Hamm

Verona's Jackson Acker (22) carries the ball against Sun Prairie's Isaac Hamm (24) in the first half of the season-opening spring football game at the new Bank of Sun Prairie Stadium at Ashley Field in Sun Prairie, Wis., Friday, March 26, 2021. AMBER ARNOLD, STATE JOURNAL

SUN PRAIRIE -- Sun Prairie senior Isaac Hamm, regarded as the state’s top football recruit on defense in the class of 2022, said Thursday his final four college choices remain the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State and Notre Dame.

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The 6-foot-6 Hamm, a defensive end who said he currently weighs 250 pounds, is ranked as the state’s No. 6 recruit in the Class of 2022 by Rivals.com, with five offensive players listed ahead of him.

Hamm, speaking at Sun Prairie’s practice Thursday, said he hasn’t determined when he will reach a decision and make a commitment announcement. 

Hamm, eager for this season to begin, said he doesn’t want the decision to weigh on him and take away from his schoolwork and the football season.

So, he’s considering two options: To make an announcement prior to Sun Prairie opening its season Aug. 20 at Hudson and take the pressure off so he can focus on his senior season or to wait and make a decision and announcement immediately after the season ends -- which would also allow him to focus on his season.

Hamm announced his four finalists last November.

Isaac Hamm photo

Sun Prairie senior defensive end Isaac Hamm. 

He said he has taken official visits to UW, which was his first visit, and Louisville. He said he’d like to take official visits to Ohio State and Penn State, but right now didn’t plan to take an official visit to Notre Dame. He said other schools have continued to contact him, including Michigan State.

He said being recruited is a good thing and helps him stay on track with his goals and daily responsibilities, but acknowledged it can be overwhelming, at times, saying: “Just being recruited, it looks golden from the outside, but it’s a very stressful process.”

Hamm said he also anticipates playing tight end this season for Sun Prairie, which finished 6-0 and ranked second in the state among large-sized schools in the WIAA’s alternate fall season in the spring. Hamm, who often draws double-teams and triple-teams, also could be moved around to line up at different spots on defense.

About the recruiting of Hamm, Sun Prairie coach Brian Kaminski said: “You get a lot of phone calls and a lot of messages from people, asking about him and what he’s all about. It didn’t stop even though he trimmed down to four. I know there have been other programs that have offered him since that point in time, so, it’s crazy. But it’s more hectic on him. … It’s a process and a journey and he will do awesome at the next level wherever he decides to go.”

Hamm said he believes he will play outside linebacker or defensive end in college, in a pass-rushing capacity.

He established a rapport with Braelon Allen, the former Fond du Lac standout now at UW, starting when Sun Prairie defeated Fond du Lac in the WIAA Division 1 playoffs in 2019, and said Allen has been lobbying Hamm to come to UW.

The Cardinals lost several key players off their defense that dominated in the alternate fall season in the spring. But Hamm, outside linebacker Addison Ostrenga and inside linebacker Davis Hamilton return to lead Sun Prairie’s aggressive unit, which likes to play fast under defensive coordinator Tim Bass’ direction.

Ostrenga originally committed to Iowa as a baseball player, but now has committed to Iowa as a football player (as a tight end), Kaminski said.

Hamm said he plans to play basketball for Sun Prairie in the winter. 

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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.

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