2021 K Tyler Bittman 'Grateful' for Walk-On Offer from Wisconsin
In-state specialist Tyler Bittman first came into contact with Wisconsin at one of the program's kicking camps last July as a sophomore. After a couple of visits as a junior thereafter, including one recently in March, he found out last week via a conversation that he received a preferred walk-on offer from the Badgers.
Bittman told AllBadgers.com on Friday afternoon that when that offer was extended, he became "really excited, and I was just grateful to have that opportunity handed to me."
It was another chance to play at the college level for the Hartland (WI) Arrowhead product who is rated a five-star recruit and No. 19 kicker in the nation for the 2021 class by Kohl's Kicking. He has recently tweeted opportunities from Air Force and FCS programs Eastern Illinois and South Dakota. The former two are full scholarship offers, while the third from the Coyotes is a partial-scholarship.
Being an in-state native, Bittman admitted he has always been a fan of the Badgers. He visited UW twice since the summer camp he attended, which included the Oct. 12 home matchup against Michigan State last season and the program's March 1 junior day.
"I felt a little bit more involved in what was all going on because I saw that, 'Hey, they wanted me to come back. They wanted me to see the school,'" Bittman said. "From there it's just been talking and just getting to know one another and just seeing like where it goes from there. I'm glad to see that I got the (preferred walk-on) offer.
"I mean, I'm just grateful for it."
On that junior day visit, Bittman was able to check out Wisconsin's football facilities, including the locker rooms and weight room.
"Then, when I went into the training, the recovery spot, it was just awesome to see that they take very big pride in trying to recover their players and trying to make sure that they're always at their peak," Bittman said, "or even above their peak and just making sure that they're doing the best that they can on and off the field to help the players."
Along with the aforementioned offers, Bittman stated that he has been talking to Virginia, Michigan State, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Memphis, Akron and Army.
Based on his Hudl highlights, one can see how the in-state product performs on kickoffs. Bittman believes that is a strength and his speciality, but he is also honing his craft on field goal opportunities -- trying to stay more consistent on his ball-to-foot contact and driving the ball down the field in that regard. A multi-sport athlete that also plays baseball, he even has started to work on punting heading into his senior season.
At the moment with it being early, he admitted he is not leaning towards any school.
"Since it's very early in this recruiting process, I'm just trying to keep a level head and just trying to see what place calls my name and just speaks to me just as a person rather than just someone who they want on their team," Bittman said. "I want to go to a school and see a school and be a part of a school that sees me as more than just a football player. I want to go to a school that treats me like a family, it can be a family when I'm not at home, and I just want that initial bond. So at the moment, I'm just taking it day-by-day trying to see what school would fit best for me and my future."
When asked where the Badgers stand with him, Bittman said it has "always been a dream to play for them." That being said, he learned that he has to take his time during this process.
"I gotta really make sure that I know what's right for me and what will be best for my future and not just the present," Bittman said. "Wisconsin, they're definitely higher up on my list just because it's such a great school, great academics, great football program, and definitely just because I love the atmosphere of the place.
"It's definitely up there, but I'm not ruling anyone out at the moment. I'm not putting anyone in first because right now there is no first place in my book right now."