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November 13, 2013
Hudson's feelings reaffirmed
The first time Austin Hudson stepped foot on Wisconsin's campus, the senior safety from Florida earned an offer from the staff and committed soon after.
This past weekend, the 6-foot-2, 188-pound standout from Plant High School visited officially for the Badgers' win over BYU, a trip that reaffirmed Madison was the best place for him moving forward.
"The visit totally reaffirmed the feelings I had for Wisconsin when I camped and committed there," Hudson told BadgerBlitz.com. "I'm 100 percent committed to Wisconsin and there's no chance I don't end up there this spring."
Due to an injury during his junior season, Hudson was lightly recruited before defensive coordinator Dave Aranda saw all he needed to during camp. This fall, however, both Missouri and Georgia entered the picture, something that caught Hudson by surprise.
"Nothing really came of that," Hudson said of the new recruiting interest. "I never really pursued anything and I really knew that Wisconsin was the place I wanted to attend school. Once I went back, I felt at home at Wisconsin. I'm not really in contact with any other schools."
While Camp Randall was nearly empty during camp this summer, the stadium was packed with 80,000-plus fans Saturday, something that certainly demanded Hudson's attention.
"It was interesting to see it during a different season and to be there for a game," Hudson said. "BYU was a non-conference opponent but the place was still packed and the student section was crazy. It was an unbelievable experience and it was kind of surreal at the same time. Knowing that I have the honor to put a uniform on for them and to get a chance to play in front of these fans, it's just a blessing.
"I think the fans truly care about you as a player and as a person. They're supportive whether you are winning or losing. Those are the type of fans I want to be able to play in front of. I want to be a role model for every little boy who grows up and wants to play for Wisconsin."
While in town, Hudson was hosted by freshman safety Keelon Brookins, who is redshirting this season. He also had a chance to talk to Aranda, along with head coach Gary Andersen and future position coach Bill Busch.
"I came to the conclusion that coach Andersen, coach Aranda and coach Busch are three of the most sincere guys I've met," Hudson said. "I really had a chance to speak a lot with coach Busch because he's my position coach. I watched some film with him and got to know him better.
"I also got a chance to see a more personal side to coach Andersen, some stuff away from the football field. He's just a real straightforward guy and someone who is more of a 'doer' rather than a 'talker.' He doesn't tell you all the things he's going to do for you, he just goes out there and does it. He's a guy that I want to have a relationship with in both the short- and long-term. Being able to play for him is great but having him there for the rest of my life as someone important to me is really special. That totally reaffirmed everything I already knew about coach Andersen."
Hudson, who plans to graduate early in order to enroll in classes at UW this spring, may have also found a future roommate.
"Jaden Gault and I spent some time together and he's a really cool guy," Hudson said. "He's a highly-ranked player who lives right outside of Madison, and at the same time he was very humble. He came up and approached me and started up some conversation. He seemed like a guy I can room with and I think we have a lot in common. I wouldn't have a problem living with any of the other guys in this class - I know the type of person that Wisconsin recruits - but it would be great to be with Jaden if that happens this spring."
And while this weekend was focused on Hudson's future, he understands he still has some unfinished business at the high school level. Plant opens playoff competition Friday against Boone (Orlando).
"We've improved a lot, which is pretty important to me," Hudson said. "If we would have played some teams early in the season that we'll see in the playoffs, we would have got killed. But we made some improvements and started to come together.
"We'll have a really tough route to the state championship, but I'm excited to make a special run. Right now I know I have a lot more high school football to play before I get to college."