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Saturday, May 25, 2024

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Madison winters aren’t for everyone — just ask Deion Sanders

As coaches Deion Sanders and Luke Fickell adapt to their new, colder environments, Sanders reflected on how close he was to playing in Madison.

Luke Fickell and Deion Sanders recently shook the college football landscape after being named the newest head coaches for the Wisconsin Badgers and Colorado Buffaloes, respectively. Though neither coach possessed any prior connection to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a union between Sanders and the Badgers was once envisaged.

In a recent appearance on the Barstool Sports “Pardon My Take” podcast, Sanders recounted his experience being recruited to play for the Badgers.  

As a highly-touted recruit out of North Fort Myers High School in Florida, Sanders garnered the attention of an array of colleges from across the country. Despite receiving interest from Wisconsin, the star cornerback had little interest in traveling to the Badger State, citing Madison winters as the primary deterrent.   

“I didn’t wear socks in high school. I didn’t own a jacket,” Sanders quipped. “Why would you invite a kid from Florida to a visit in December? That’s the dumbest … bit of recruiting.”

“I had a curl,” Sanders added. “Do you think my curl was gonna withstand Wisconsin?”

While Sanders certainly wasn’t a fan of the cold, it seems a plethora of other Florida defensive backs don’t mind the unforgiving Wisconsin winters. The Badgers boasted three cornerbacks from the Sunshine State on their roster this season, including Jay Shaw, Ricardo Hallman and Cedrick Dort Jr. They additionally seem to be continuing the trend, having landed 3-star cornerback and Naples, Florida resident Jonas Duclona last week.

As for Fickell, he seems more than happy to begin his new chapter at UW, even as the temperatures begin to drop. 

“My family and I are thrilled to join the Wisconsin family,” Fickell said. “This is a destination job at a program that I have admired from afar for years.”

Perhaps Fickell should trade in his signature sleeveless vest for a heavier jacket before settling into Madison.

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