By: Cam Smith, USA TODAY High School Sports | May 15, 2017
When Ben Bryant committed to Wisconsin, he viewed his decision as the culmination of a dream, his journey completed. A Badgers fan, the Lyons Township star was firm in his commitment, and saw no reason to change his mind.
Wisconsin apparently thought differently once he tweeted the scholarship offer he received from Georgia months later.
— Ben Bryant (@benbryant_7) January 21, 2017
According to Bryant, that’s what precipitated Wisconsin backing out of its pledge to the quarterback. The Lyons star set out the full tick-tock of how his Wisconsin dream became “a nightmare” on Twitter Saturday night:
There’s no question that Bryant was fully committed to Wisconsin. And while he doesn’t deserve to be genuflecting any of the blame for his future in Madison falling through, there’s a clear degree of heartbreak that comes through his rundown of events.
It’s also uncertain whether Bryant will choose to pin his future on Georgia. The Illinois native is a three-star prospect and the No. 24 pro-style quarterback in the forthcoming 2018 class. Within hours of his forced decommitment from Wisconsin he added another FBS offer, from Western Michigan.
That being said, there is a secondary question related to Bryant’s commitment worth dissecting as well: Is it possible that Wisconsin used the quarterback’s tweet announcing an offer from a competing school as a simple pretext to dump a player they were no longer interested in? Wisconsin has another pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2018 thanks to St. Xavier (Ohio) star Chase Wolf, and it’s possible that the Badgers feel Bryant’s scholarship could be better used at another position.
Only time will tell how the entire saga unfolds for both Bryant and the Badgers. At the moment neither side can stand on a pure moral high ground, but Wisconsin’s defense certainly feels more tenuous, if defensible at all. Bryant simply followed standard operating procedure for most college recruits; Wisconsin went above and beyond to assert it’s need for total control. Whether that’s right or wrong depends largely on who is left to interpret each side’s decision.