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February 20, 2012Manitowoc (WI) defensive end Austin Bown has Wisconsin high on his list after heading down to Madison for the Badgers' junior day. Bown, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive end from Manitowoc Lincoln High School, came away Saturday with a good impression of the school and new-look coaching staff.
"It was a good experience," Bown told BadgerBlitz.com Sunday evening. "We got to the part of their facilities overlooking their practice field, and then we saw a presentation, (and) we got to meet all of the coaches. After that we got broken up and I got to talk to coach (Charlie) Partridge."
In addition to meeting with Partridge, Bown got to know new safeties coach Ben Strickland, who is likely taking over for now-Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line coach Bob Bostad as the primary recruiter in Wisconsin.
"First off, (Strickland) was smart," Bown said. "He made a good first impression. He's a very focused guy. He knows his stuff and he seemed interested. He just came off as a very good coach."
Bown wasn't offered a scholarship Saturday, but said he isn't giving up hope about a future offer from the Badgers, or other schools that are recruiting him.
"It's probably because I had an injury to my shoulder at the beginning of the season and I played all season with it," Bown said. "I just recently had surgery on Dec. 15. I'm a couple weeks in now, but that might be why."
But even without a scholarship offer, the home-state Badgers are still in Bown's list of favorite schools.
"(Wisconsin) is top 3, I think," Bown said. "Right now it seems like Minnesota, Notre Dame and Wisconsin are the top 3."
Bown is planning on attending Wisconsin's camp over the summer and attending Purdue's junior day next weekend as well.
Doepke also on campus
Brandon Doepke didn't have to go far to attend Wisconsin's junior day but thought it was well worth the trip.
Doepke, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound Madison (WI) West defensive tackle prospect, was caught of guard by the show the Badgers put on Saturday.
"I thought 'All right, it's just another junior day,' but after I was very impressed," Doepke told BadgerBlitz.com Sunday night. "It's unbelievable what they're doing down there."
As with most junior days, Doepke's day included some face time with the coaching staff.
"I spoke with coach (Matt) Canada very briefly at the beginning, and he seems like a very nice guy who knows what he's doing," Doepke said. "He said he was also kind of a recruit, too, since it was one of his first days.
"He was well spoken, and I felt very comfortable around him. He was just very straightforward with me."
It's still early in the recruiting process for Doepke, but he's been in contact with Western Michigan in addition to the Badgers so far.
"(The Badgers) are probably No. 1," Doepke said. "I've only been in contact with Western Michigan (besides Wisconsin)."
Doepke previously attended Western Michigan's junior day earlier this year. His prep teammate, Aidan McNamara, was also on campus Saturday.