MADISON — When news broke Friday night that quarterback Ben Bryant (La Grange, Ill.) was no longer committed to the University of Wisconsin, questions about the surprising development greatly exceeded the answers. In an effort to fill in the blanks, the 3-star recruit issued a lengthy statement on Twitter Saturday night that detailed his side of the events that led him to re-open his recruitment.
“Just recently, a [Georgia] coach reached out to me via text. After a couple communications, he gave me an offer,” wrote Bryant, who had committed to Wisconsin back in December. “I was blown away. This was followed by potential dates to visit.”
Bryant said he never intended to visit Athens and was never going to flip his commitment to the Bulldogs.
“However, I felt complimented big time by this offer and appreciated very much the attention they were showing me,” Bryant stated. “It made me feel good about my abilities and potential.”
The Illinois prep said he contacted Wisconsin quality control assistant Jon Budmayr, who works with the quarterbacks, telling him about the offer, but maintaining that he was still 100-percent committed to the Badgers. Then, late Thursday night, he sent out a tweet about the offer.
“The next morning we spoke on the phone, and I was informed that I was no longer a good fit for Wisconsin, and I was encouraged to continue looking for a fit,” Bryant wrote.
“The implication that my loyalty to UW had been compromised was not true and is what saddens me the most.”
Bryant’s statement went on to say that contact between him and Wisconsin had been “subpar” at times and during his visits to campus, but he maintained that he wanted to come to Madison.
“Many life lessons have been learned during this,” Bryant wrote. “I should not have corresponded more than once with another school while committed, and secondly, trust is sacred.
“I will move on from this with the goal of earning trust from others and trusting my own instincts more.”
Pulling a recruit’s scholarship offer is a rarity at Wisconsin, especially one that’s been committed for five months. It’s unclear if there is more to the story than what Bryant has revealed, and UW officials can’t comment on unsigned players.
“I wish nothing but the best for the UW coaching staff and the upcoming season,” Bryant concluded. “I also wish the best for the players, but most especially for the 2018 commits whom I now consider friends.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound, Bryant is ranked as the No. 24 pro-style quarterback in the country, according to 247Sports. He had been one of two signal callers in Wisconsin’s 2018 class, but now it’s just 3-star recruit Chase Wolf (Cincinnati, Ohio), who committed earlier in May.
Bryant’s full statement: