October 5, 2008

Appleton down to three?

Many in the recruiting cirlce believed 2009 prospect Kriag Appleton was a lock to commit to Illinois, with some outlets even reporting he was a "silent verbal" for the Illini less than a month ago.

After speaking with one of Appleton's high school coaches at East St. Louis (IL), however, there are three schools currently in the running for the wide receiver's services.

"Right now it's Illinois, Wisconsin and Texas Tech I can say for sure," said Curtis Graham, an assistant at Appleton's high school.

As reported earlier on this site, Appleton was scheduled to take his official visit to Madison this past weekend.

"I know that he's just getting back from Wisconsin today (Sunday) and that he'll probably be at Illinois next week, he's just starting to take his visits," Graham said. "As far as I know, it's (his decision) still up in the air and he's not leaning any direction yet. He's basically just trying to find a system that best fits his game."

With his high school GPA in order, Appleton's main focus now is obtaining a qualifying score on his ACT test, according to Graham.

"All he has to do right now is get that score on his test because his grades and GPA are in order right now," he said. "All he needs is that score on his test to get to where he needs to be."

With defensive coordinator Dave Doeren now in charge of Appleton's recruitment, Wisconsin has made sure Appleton's knows he is one of the top priorities in UW's current class.

"Yeah, I talk to him (Doeren) quite a bit and we have a good relationship and I know Kraig enjoys talking to him, too," Graham said. "But Kraig's the type of kid that has a great relationship with his mom and I think she'll have a lot to say about his decision. She's a very important person in his life. He says he likes the coaches from Texas Tech and he has a good relationship with and he mentions that coaches from Wisconsin from time to time, as well."

A four-star prospect, who is ranked as the 11th best wide receiver in the nation, the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is one of the top uncommitted players in the Midwest.

"He dedicates himself to the game," Graham said. "He practices hard and he's just an athlete. Right now we just have him playing one way, but if need be he could play corner for us if we went against some bigger wide outs. He's a great team player and he blocks well at wide receiver and he believes he can take over a game at any point."

With Jeff Duckworth already in the mix, Wisconsin is expected to add at least one more wide receiver before Signing Day in February.

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