Meador helps Badgers out at OT

Whiteland (Ind.) Jake Meador didn’t pick up a Wisconsin offer until Jan. 22.

A little more than a week was all the three-star offensive tackle needed, though, as he committed to Wisconsin over Missouri and Florida at a signing day announcement at his high school Wednesday morning.

It didn't hurt that his new offensive line coach at Wisconsin, Mike Markuson, was slated to be his position coach at Ole Miss before Meador and the Rebels' new staff went their separate ways.

"[Wisconsin] hired an O-line coach and hired the guy I committed to at Ole Miss," Meador said Tuesday night. "They said look at his tape [to decide on an offer] and he said, 'I didn't need to.' He said go ahead an offer me."

Meador officially visited Wisconsin the weekend before signing day, but he also visited Madison twice during his junior year.

Originally committed to Ole Miss, Meador opened things up in November when Houston Nutt was fired. He stuck with Rebels officially but took a number of visits before decommitting a few weeks ago.

With Missouri and Florida also among his final three, it looked as if the Badgers were the odd man out just a few days ago.

"Throughout the process I wanted to play in the SEC, but the last visit made me want to go to Wisconsin and stay in the Midwest," Meador said.

That visit almost didn’t happen, too.

"I wasn't going to take a visit up there, and coach Markuson convinced me to," he said. "I fell in love.

"I've had some bad things happen to me, but I believe more good things are coming my way."

Meador, ranked No. 6 in the state of Indiana and No. 79 among tackles, is an integral piece to the Badgers' class. Wisconsin lost four-star tackle J.J. Denman last week, and it appears three-star tackle Kyle Dodson will jump ship when he announces around noon on signing day.