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Eckert joins the Badgers

East Troy (Wis.) Tight End Sam Eckert became the second player to commit to Wisconsin on Saturday, accepting a preferred walk-on offer from the Badgers during his official visit this weekend.

"The academics and their whole new academic center is amazing," Eckert told Badger247. "How they focus on academics is a huge part. The facilities are unbelievably nice. Everything is top notch. It was too hard to pass up.

"Wisconsin was happy about it. They seemed pretty excited to have me."

Eckert joins New Berlin West Offensive Lineman Brett Connors, who also opted to join Wisconsin as a walk-on in 2014.

In addition to Wisconsin, Eckert had an offer from Colgate and was fielding interest from Illinois, Purdue, Northern Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Northwestern among others.

As a senior, Eckert caught 47 passes, for 743 yards, and 12 touchdowns. The 6-foot-4 220-pound prospect also recorded 65 tackles and one interception at the linebacker position, but will begin his career at Wisconsin on the offensive side of the ball.

"Talking to Coach (Jeff) Genyk, he likes my ability to run routes and get yards after the catch," said Eckert. "He was saying I'm the only tight end they're bringing in for the 2014 class. They were pretty excited to be bringing in one."

Despite turning down a full scholarship offer, Eckert couldn't be happier with his decision.

"It's really exciting," he said. "I'm also relived knowing where I'm going to be and where it's going to take me. I know they're going to take care of me."

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