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Close Call: Blue-Chip Wisconsin Football Recruit Nearly Picked North Carolina

If things had worked out any other way for the Wisconsin football program, this 2024 Badgers commit would have been a North Carolina Tarheel.



Wisconsin Badgers Football
Sep 17, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; A football with the Wisconsin Badgers logo sits on the field prior to the game between the Northern Illinois Huskies and Wisconsin Badgers at Soldier Field. Wisconsin defeated Illinois 49-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin football has seen a resurgence in offensive recruiting ever since Luke Fickell brought in air raid guru Phil Longo to run his high-powered offense with the Badgers.

In the world of college football recruiting, player decisions can often be as unpredictable as the game itself. But the stories that trickle out once the dust settles offer us a unique look inside what the process can be like for players and families.

The latest recruiting story of interest to Wisconsin Badgers fans involves 2024 quarterback commit Mabrey Mettauer, a highly touted four-star quarterback hailing from The Woodlands, Texas. Per the industry-generated 247sports Composite, Mettauer is the No. 392 overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting class, the No. 26 QB in the country, and the No. 67 player in Texas.

Wisconsin Football Commit Mabrey Mettauer Almost Gave His Verbal to Another Program… 

Locked on Badgers host Ryan Harings recently interviewed Mark Mettauer, the father of 2024 Wisconsin football commit Mabrey Mettauer.

During that discussion, he peeled back the curtain to talk about his son’s recruitment. Mr. Mettauer disclosed the family was very close to picking another program until a domino effect of changes forced them to reevaluate their situation.

“Phil Longo was putting on the pressure, so to speak, by being such a great recruiter and a genuine, honest guy from North Carolina,” Mark Mettauer told Locked on Badgers. “And Mack Brown, you can see why he had the recruiting classes he had cause he has a photographic memory, super personable, both of them were.

“We pretty much decided to go to North Carolina…”

Just when it seemed Mettauer’s path was set, fate intervened. Luke Fickell, one of the best coaches in the country, was appointed as the head coach of the Wisconsin football program.

As part of his revamp, Fickell made a bold move by bringing Phil Longo aboard to oversee Wisconsin’s offense. This unexpected development added a new layer of intrigue to Mettauer’s recruitment process.

“Then the big news was Fickell going to Wisconsin,” Mettauer’s father said. “Which I thought was a great choice…then I heard [Phil] Longo was leaving, and he went to Wisconsin…and the rest is history.”

Final Thoughts

In the end, the Woodlands High School standout chose the Wisconsin football program over offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, California, Cincinnati, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, Houston, Kansas, Louisville, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, Ole Miss, TCU, and several others.

The allure of working with Luke Fickell, a respected coach known for his ability to develop talent, and Phil Longo’s proven offensive track record proved too enticing to pass up. 

Mettauer’s commitment to the Badgers adds a new dimension to Wisconsin’s quarterback room and sets the stage for an exciting future. According to the 247Sports recruiting database, he’s the fourth-highest-rated QB recruit to commit to UW straight out of high school. 

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Dillon Graff is a Substack Newsletter Best Selling Author and the Owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, B5Q, Saturday Blitz, and Fansided.