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November 21, 2012Follow @McNamaraRivals
When asked what put Wisconsin at the top of his list of potential schools, Tiquention Coleman was quick to note the 80,000-plus in attendance during his official visit last Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.
"The fans," Coleman told BadgerBlitz.com when asked what stood out on his trip. "The fans highlighted my whole visit. When I went to the Arizona game, the fans were in the game but once something bad happened they got quiet for a long time and some people left when they fell behind.
"During the whole Wisconsin game, the fans were crazy and supported this team. Those are the people I want to play for."
Before Coleman returned home to Georgia Military College, where he attends junior college, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound defensive back had committed to head coach Bret Bielema. He will have two years of eligibility remaining as a Badger.
"What put Wisconsin over the top was that all the other schools that were recruiting me we're telling me they need players like me on the team; they need someone with leadership, experience and all that," Coleman said. "They never said that they wanted me there, But Wisconsin, mainly coach Bielema, said it was me that he wanted to come in and compete for a starting spot."
With Shelton Johnson's graduation at the end of this season, the coaching staff expects Coleman to compete for time immediately at safety along with Michael Caputo and Michael Trotter, among others. Dezmen Southward, a current starter, will be back in 2013 for his senior year.
"He (Bielema) said the spot is mine to take," said Coleman, who will enroll at Wisconsin in January. "He said No. 24 (Johnson) is graduating and they need someone to step in there.
"He said he doesn't recruit JUCO kids all that often at Wisconsin, but that he saw something in me and he knows I can fill that spot on defense. He said I'm a good fit."
Though assistant Ben Stickland served as his lead recruiter, Coleman noted that the contact with Bielema was important throughout the process.
"Coach Bielema offered me and that stood out to me," Coleman said. "That's really how they separated from the other schools, in addition to the academic side of things. They didn't just talk football, football, football; they preached academics because football won't last forever. I know the academics at Wisconsin can really take me far.
"I love all the coaches and I think I have a real good relationship with them. They all talked to me during the visit and they were the only staff that talked to my parents and that means a lot to me."
Coleman was hosted by freshman cornerback Reggie Mitchell on Friday evening and wide receiver Kenzel Doe the following day. He planned to take other official visits but his trip to Wisconsin sealed the deal.
"I took official visits to Middle Tennessee and Arizona," he said. "UCLA and Mississippi State wanted me to come on an official visit but I knew after the Wisconsin visit that's where I wanted to attend school."