Baby Badger: Dan Voltz

Dan Voltz
Offensive Guard
6’4″, 285 pounds
Barrington High School
Barrington, Ill.

Scout — Four Stars, No. 4 Guard
247 Sports
— Four Stars, No. 1 Guard, No. 1 Illinois Player, No. 23 Overall Player
Rivals —  Four Stars, No. 4 Guard, No. 5 Illinois Player, No. 154 Overall Player
ESPN — Four Stars, No. 24 Guard

The momentum of Wisconsin’s 2012 recruiting class started with a bang when four-star offensive lineman Dan Voltz, of Barrington, Ill,, announced in March that he plans to play for the Badgers.

One of the top class-of-2012 offensive line recruits in the country, it’s nearly impossible to find anything but glowing reviews of Voltz. Chicago Sun-Times’ Taylor Bell sums up the reports on the imposing young man well:

“Barrington’s Dan Voltz has everything that college coaches look for in an offensive lineman — size, strength, intelligence, good footwork and technique, sound fundamentals, athleticism and, perhaps most important of all, a nasty streak that belies his 4.0 grade-point average.”

Not be outdone, Voltz’s high school coach, Joe Sanchez, had so many nice things to say about his star player that the coach followed up his statements to the Wisconsin State Journal by emphasizing that they were all sincere.

The coach used words like “throwback,” “nasty” and “finisher” to describe the athletic offensive lineman, who also competes in track for Barrington. Sanchez said Voltz, who played right tackle last season, “would make an exceptional pulling guard.”

“I can’t tell you how many (coaches) I spoke to, that said, ‘We’ve seen 250-odd kids on film and he’s the best one,'” Sanchez told the Wisconsin State Journal.

But for as good as Voltz has been on the field, he stands out just as much off of it.

“When your best football player is your hardest worker and is your best character kid and (top) academic kid off the field, that’s when you know you’ve got something,” said Sanchez, who mentioned that Voltz personally called every coach that recruited him to thank them and let them know he had made his decision.

Voltz, who grew up a Northwestern fan, chose the Badgers over offers from 20 other schools including national powers like Alabama, Auburn and Notre Dame and Big Ten rivals Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Purdue.

In the end, Wisconsin’s history of producing top offensive lineman was a big factor in his decision, Voltz told the Chicago Tribune.

“Wisconsin produces and develops the best offensive linemen in the country. It’s known for having the best offensive linemen, and I wanted to be a part of that,” he said.

The atmosphere at Madison and the proximity of the university to his home in the northwest suburbs of Chicago also factored into the decision.

“The campus, from the first time I stepped foot on it, I could just tell that it was just a special place,” he said during his press conference to announce his decision.

It probably didn’t hurt that Voltz was one of several Wisconsin recruiting targets on hand at Camp Randall for the Badgers victory over the No. 1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes last season. The wild atmosphere in Madison that night left an impression on him.

“That game was awesome,” Voltz to 247 Sports last fall. “It was the first Wisconsin game I’ve been to. Seeing the energy and crowd and student section, I like Wisconsin a lot more after being there.”

Motivation does not appear to be an issue for Voltz, who plans to graduate early so he can enroll at Wisconsin in January and participate in the 2012 spring practices.

“I bring 100-percent effort all the time,” he told MGoBlog. “I am an extremely hard worker, and I will do anything to become a better football player. I think I play physical and I play offensive line the way it’s supposed to be played.”

That hard-working attitude is not just talk either. Voltz trains with Core 6, an intense program for Chicago-area athletes that includes a long list of highly regarded recruits, including Wisconsin’s incoming freshman defensive lineman James Adeyanju. (For more information on Core 6, check out this story by 247 Sports.)

While Voltz has made his decision to play at Madison, he hasn’t necessarily stepped away from recruiting completely. But fear not Wisconsin fans, his commitment to the Badgers remains firm.

“I’m going to do my best to get some other good players to come to Wisconsin and come be my teammates in the future,” he said.

Tags: Baby Badger Dan Voltz Guard Illinois

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