Bryan Sanborn on Wisconsin Commitment, Class of 2021 Bond

A chat with the future Badgers' backer and more.

December brought end of the year joy to Wisconsin's class of 2021. In that month, verbal commitments came from projected linebackers Ayo Adebogun and Bryan Sanborn, along with safety Hunter Wohler. 

For Sanborn, who made the public announcement during the late afternoon hours of Dec. 13, he just felt like it was the right time.

"After taking a visit, I forgot like the game day visit and all my visits that I had leading up to it," Sanborn told AllBadgers.com on Monday, "I didn't want to lead on all these other schools who are still hitting me up when I knew exactly where I wanted to go for the next three to four years. That's why I committed so early. I kind of wanted to get the whole recruiting thing done with when I knew where I wanted to attend school and just be like a normal high school kid again.”

Sanborn admitted he actually realized he wanted to commit and go to Wisconsin about a week prior to his announcement. However, his mother, Malinda, advised to take a week or so to think about such a life-changing decision. 

However, Sanborn could not even wait that long.

"Then two days later, I'm like, ‘Mom, I know where I want to be,' Sanborn said. "So I set up a visit and everything, and I wanted to do it in person when I committed with them.’

Sanborn recalled the scene during the afternoon of Dec. 13 where he told the UW coaching staff and his brother, current Badgers inside linebacker Jack Sanborn, the good news. That came in front of his mom, Jack, head coach Paul Chryst, defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard and inside linebackers coach Bob Bostad.

"My mom was just happy for me, but everyone else is like fired up and they had no idea, and it was pretty cool," Bryan Sanborn said.

A four-star recruit by 247Sports' standalone rankings -- a three-star by 247Sports composite and Rivals -- Sanborn noted that Wisconsin is recruiting him as an inside linebacker. He currently makes up one of two committed players at that position for the class of 2021. Jake Chaney declared his decision to become a Badger two weekends ago.

Sanborn said the potential role at inside linebacker is similar to what his older brother currently works at, based on similar abilities between the siblings. There would be overlap for the two to be on the same roster, as Jack will be a senior when Bryan would be a freshman for the 2021 season.

However, Bryan admitted the idea of playing with Jack did not really play a factor at first because he was so early in his own recruiting process.

"But then when I started narrowing down my schools and everything and where I want to go, not too many people get to say, 'Oh yeah, I had a chance to play with my brother at the college level,' Sanborn said. "Not too many people get to say that, and it is special for my family just to see both of us at the same school and everything. To learn from him would be very special for me as well. 

“So yeah, I say it had a little impact on it, but not like, huge.”

Sanborn made the trek back up to Madison for Wisconsin's Feb. 1 junior day, which included taking in the men's basketball program's upset win over Michigan State. He makes up one of nine verbal commitments, some of whom he saw during that visit, for the class of 2021 that currently ranks No. 6 in the nation by 247Sports composite team rankings and No. 8 by Rivals

According to the prep 'backer, the bond early on is strong.

“We've got a group chat up already," Sanborn said. "I really don’t know how to say it, but it’s almost like we're already like a family because we bonded so fast, so quickly. Everyone's joking around, and we're all very excited to even just get up to the campus like for visits just to see us … and very fired up to play with each other. It's a very special group of kids and we're looking forward to adding more to that group. Right now. It's really special.”

At the moment, Sanborn confirmed to AllBadgers.com that he does not plan on enrolling early to UW. Though a lot can change between now and this summer, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he acknowledged he had set up an official visit to Wisconsin.

“Well, I set an official up, but I don’t know if this still happens," Sanborn said. "I don't know what's gonna happen, but it's the second weekend of June I'm pretty sure.”