There was a chance Wisconsin was going to land a commitment this weekend, but now that three-star prospect is heading elsewhere.
Westerville (Ohio) South athlete Marcus Ball was slated to officially visit Wisconsin this weekend, but because he has yet to take an ACT he cannot make an official to the Badgers.
The beneficiary is Michigan State, where Ball will unofficially visit Saturday for the Notre Dame game (8 p.m. ET, ABC). Ball was at Spartan Stadium two seasons ago for “Little Giants,” the fake field goal to lift Michigan State past rival Notre Dame.
“That game was crazy -- the night atmosphere, the crowd, the coaches getting fired up, the warm-ups everybody was ready to get it kicked off,” Ball said.
“It’s always a great game and they don’t like each other so we’ll see how it compares to two years ago.”
The No. 25 player in Ohio has the Spartans in his top group, and he will make the visit with a few friends.
Wisconsin is Ball’s No. 1 school, and his brother Ray is a redshirt freshman for the Badgers. Ball said he wants to take all of his official visits, but Ray said the same before committing to Wisconsin, which was his first and only official visit.
Hesitant to say he would have committed as well, Ball did not completely rule it out.
“I don’t know if I could say I would have committed,” Ball said, “but if I got that feeling from God saying ‘This is where you need to be’ then I could have seen myself committing if God spoke to me.”
Ball estimates he’s visited Wisconsin six times -- four with his brother and two by himself -- and said that certainly gives the Badgers the advantage. He will take the SAT on Oct. 6 and will take official visits roughly two weeks after that. His Wisconsin official visit would then likely come Nov. 17 against Ohio State.
That would set up a similar situation to his brother’s when he committed to Wisconsin.
“My brother went up to Wisconsin two years ago when he was going through it and this was when Wisconsin wasn’t expected to beat Ohio State,” Ball said. “Everyone was going bananas and he committed shortly after.
“So hopefully it’ll be a sweet story to say my brother took the (Wisconsin) official for Ohio State and I took mine.”
Ball has Arizona State, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Wisconsin at the top with a few Big Ten schools fighting to earn his final official visit. Illinois, Iowa and Purdue are all teams Ball is high on. The Hawkeyes’ pursuit of Ball has picked up recently.
Ball spoke with two Illinois assistants Wednesday and could unofficially visit Sept. 29 for the Penn State game.
Programs are recruiting Ball, No. 60 nationally among athletes, anywhere from quarterback to linebacker to safety, and he said where and how a program plans to use him will be pivotal in his decision. He prefers safety.
Through three games this season, Ball has played mainly receiver, though, and has lit it up for Westerville South with a few big games and a handful of touchdowns already.