In the same span, the school has produced some talent, notably the big boys, like NFL offensive lineman Joe Staley and Parker Ehinger, who signed with Cincinnati a year ago.
Ben Braden is the next one. He did not start until last year, but the 6'6, 280-lb Braden was a quick study, starting every game at right tackle. The offers were a bit slow to come, but then all came at once, as four BCS offers were extended in the last month.
Wisconsin is known for big linemen like Braden, and he says he liked what the school had to offer him.
"I really like the campus. It was different. It's a really nice place. The coaching staff was really great. I really like the coaching staff. They're definitely family oriented."
Closer to home, East Lansing provided a contrast in terms of scenery to his other visits.
"Michigan State, that one was a little different compared to Wisconsin and Michigan. It's a little bit in the city, but it's more in the country. There are more trees and stuff. As far as coaching staff goes, they're very high tempo."
Braden had been to Michigan before, as he camped with the Wolverines a year ago. However, his recent trip was the first time he got to meet this particular coaching staff.
"I really like the new guys. They definitely reminded me of Rockford, especially Brady Hoke. He reminded me of Coach Munger."
When Braden makes a decision, that will be one of the factors he considers.
"Definitely the coaching staff, but I'm also looking at the education and the campus. If I could see myself there or not. If I wasn't playing football, would I enjoy it?"
While more offers are likely to come, Braden says he has the group of schools he wants to choose from. So when will an actual decision come?
#51 Ben Braden | OT | Rockford (Mich.) H.S.