It was a familiar sight in high schools across the country.
Athletes signing their commitment to attend their university of choice and play at the collegiate level.
Northland Pines senior Austin Ramesh signed his letter of intent to play for Wisconsin this morning. Recruited as a linebacker, Ramesh said choosing the Badgers wasn't a tough decision.
"It's where I've always wanted to play," Ramesh said. "You know, it's my dream since I was a kid. There's a lot of other schools and I thank them for the opportunity they gave me, but it's always been Wisconsin."
Ramesh will be gray-shirted, waiting until January 2014 to officially join the team.
Hours later in Wisconsin Rapids, Hayden biegel is one of three Red Raiders signing letters, but the lone player to stay in the state.
Biegel will play for the Badgers on scholarship as an offensive lineman.
Ben Hemer is one of the last recruits on signing day to commit to the Badgers as a walk-on. The Medford senior, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Ethan, will redshirt in the fall.
"I know that Wisconsin has always had a good legacy but overall I do think that I can just carry on their tradition, rather than my own."
A total of 19 players make up coach Gary Andersen's first recruiting class and despite the short amount of time he had, he's happy with the result.
"Stars are not everything to us," Andersen said. "It's a fit. We want a toughness factor. Somebody that wants to succeed academically, socially and athletically."
Many recruits were originally sought after by former Badgers coach Bret Bielema. And despite the coaching change, these athletes still believe that Wisconsin is the best fit for them.
The Badgers weren't the only team that local high school athletes committed to on this national signing day. From Wausau East soccer player Gabrielle Charles, who will play for Eastern Illinois, to SPASH's David Tuchinsky who will play soccer for New Jersey Institute of Technology, 17 athletes from Central Wisconsin signed letters Wednesday.
Nearly half came from D.C. Everest, with eight students and their families gathering at the school to celebrate.
"In my short three years here, I think we've had three or five at a time but to have eight athletes continue their athletic careers at the next level is absolutely incredible," D.C. Everest athletics coordinator Leeann Kitchell said. "It's a tribute to the kids' hard work and the coaches' hard work and just the great nature of these student athletes."
"I'm just really excited that all the hard work that I've put in over the years has really paid off and I'm able to play at that higher level and kind of go with my skills and take what I've used over the years and play somewhere else," Charles said.
Central Wisconsin NLI signees
Paige Day (DC Everest) - Track and Field at Southern Alabama
Adam Decker (DC Everest) - Football at Minnesota-Duluth
Grady Keding (DC Everest) - Track and Field at Minnesota State-Mankato
Nate Kitchell (DC Everest) - Soccer at Valparaiso
Emilee Mytinger (DC Everest) - Soccer at Marquette
Josh Nielsen (DC Everest) - Baseball at Winona State
Connor Riese (DC Everest) - Football at Wyoming
Brianna Ziolkowski (DC Everest) - Track and Field at Minnesota-Mankato
Vince Dinkel (Marathon) - Football at Bemidji State
Ben Hemer (Medford) - Football at UW-Madison
Austin Ramesh (Northland Pines) - Football at Wisconsin
Zach Pozorski (SPASH) - Football at Minnesota State-Mankato
David Tuchinsky (SPASH) - Soccer at New Jersey Institute of Technology
Gabrielle Charles (Wausau East) - Soccer at Eastern Illinois
Zach Bassuener (Wisconsin Rapids-Lincoln) - Football at Minnesota-Duluth
Hayden Biegel (Wisconsin Rapids-Lincoln) - Football at Wisconsin
Regis Kenke (Wisconsin Rapids-Lincoln) - Football at Minnesota-Duluth
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