Ray Ball officially visited Wisconsin for the Ohio State game in 2010, and he left Madison committed to the Badgers. Bret Bielema hopes history repeats itself later this month when Ray’s younger brother, Marcus Ball, makes his official visit.
A three-star athlete from Westerville (Ohio) South, Ball firmed up his official visit to Wisconsin for Nov. 16 for the Ohio State game, exactly 25 months after his brother pledged to sign with the Badgers.
Ball has visited Wisconsin unofficially close to 10 times, but this is the first visit where his sole focus will be on himself instead of his brother, too.
“I’ve been there plenty of times but more so being out there on my official visit, it’s actually the first time I’m going to be on campus and there for myself,” he said.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Ball has seen games at Wisconsin before, but with an undefeated Ohio State ready to roll into Madison, he expects it to be one of the best atmospheres he has ever seen.
“I think it’s going to be a good game. They’re crazy in Madison, so everybody is going to be hyped up for it,” Ball said.
Will the visit end the same way Ray’s did, though?
“I’ll see if it hits me like, ‘This is where I need to be,’ ” he said.
The Badgers won’t receive Ball’s first visit, however. That will go to Illinois and will take place this coming weekend. The Illini were always on the fringe of Ball’s top group, but the Illinois staff stayed on Ball, who now has them on his short list.
Ball has visited Champaign a few times, including earlier this season for an unofficial visit with his dad.
“My uncle has a good relationship with the coaches, and I talked to the coaches a lot when I went there with my dad. We liked it as well, and he liked the area,” Ball said. “Everyone can see they’re not doing too well and playing a lot of freshman. Coach [Tim] Beckman said I can come in and be a four-year starter. It’s a goal for me.”
Arizona State also will receive an official visit, but Ball does not have a date set. That visit would have to come after the season, as the Sun Devils’ last home game is Nov. 17, which is the same weekend Ball will be in Madison.
As for the last two official visits, Ball has a few teams competing.
“Right now I think Tennessee could get a visit, and Michigan State as well, and then maybe Notre Dame,” he said.