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Why Sun Prairie's Isaac Hamm took his time, but made the 'right choice' by picking Wisconsin football

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Sun Prairie’s Isaac Hamm has decided his best college football option is the one closest to him.

The four-star defensive linemen announced at a ceremony Wednesday night he will attend the University of Wisconsin, becoming the 14th scholarship member of the Badgers’ 2022 recruiting class.

“I got the at-home, family vibe from (UW), the culture and tradition is amazing and that’s something I really wanted to be a part of,” Hamm said. “It was one of those things that as it creeps up on you and you get closer to it, it becomes a harder decision. With a little bit of time and talking with my family and coaches, we came to that consensus after quite a while.

“We didn’t want to rush the choice, but now that we’re here and we made this choice, I definitely know it’s going to be the best one for me.”

Hamm was deciding between a scholarship opportunity with the Badgers and the possibility of a scholarship with Ohio State. He and his father had dinner with UW coach Paul Chryst and special teams coach and in-state recruiting director Chris Haering last week, and that conversation sealed the deal to keep him in the state.

“I’ve been a kid that they’ve been recruiting for quite a while now, and they were one of the first schools to take a chance on me and really believe in me to offer me,” Hamm said. “Hearing that I was confirming that back to them, that I was giving the same commitment to them that they were to me, it was a big smile on coach Chryst’s face.”

Hamm helped Sun Prairie go 6-0 in the WIAA’s modified spring season and then 14-1 this fall en route to a WIAA Division 1 state championship game appearance. He’s young in his career as defensive lineman, but has the speed and length to create pressure off the edge.

Hamm is a four-star prospect per 247Sports and ESPN, and a three-star on Rivals. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder held offers from nine Big Ten schools, among others. Hamm said he told fellow UW recruit Myles Burkett and current Badgers tailback Braelon Allen of his decision, but kept the news to himself otherwise.

“We’re thrilled to have Isaac on board,” UW defensive line coach Ross Kolodziej said. “He’s a dynamic player who we think can be a difference-maker on this defense. The opportunity to be a Badger means a lot to him and I think he’s a great fit with our guys and our culture here. I can’t wait to get to work with him.”

According to, Hamm had 73 tackles, 18 for loss, nine sacks and two forced fumbles in 11 games as a senior. He tallied 29 total tackles as a junior, nine of which were for loss, including five sacks. He also forced five fumbles.

Hamm was the State Journal All-Area player of the year, the WFCA’s large school defensive player of the year and a first-team All-State selection by the WFCA and Associated Press. He said Kolodziej and UW defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard envision him being a hybrid of defensive end and outside linebacker.

Coming up through the Sun Prairie youth program, Hamm was a running back and linebacker, but after his freshman year, he asked varsity coach Brian Kaminski if that’s where he believed Hamm’s football future was.

“You look at him, almost 6-5, and we’re like, ‘Uh, probably not. Let’s put your hand down and see what you can do,’” Kaminski said.

He’s only had three full years on the defensive line thus far, but Kaminski said Hamm has picked up techniques quickly and is learning how to use his speed and long arms to shed blockers. He’s planning to join the program next summer and is preparing to have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Hamm joins three-star quarterback Burkett, four-star offensive tackle Joe Brunner and three-star tight end J.T. Seagreaves as highly ranked Wisconsin products to pick UW.

“It’s a great feeling, it’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” Hamm said of making his choice. “Not rushing my decision led me to make the right choice, which for my sake, was being a Badger.”


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