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Lantz to wrestle at UW-Madison

Ellsworth High School wrestler Jens Lantz makes it official by signing a National Letter of Intent (NLOI) to attend the University of Wisconsin to wrestle collegiately. Flanking him are his parents Jon and Jamie and behind him from left are all three EHS wrestling head coach in program history Jack Radabaugh, Kirby Symes and Chad Steldt.

While Ellsworth High School wrestler Jens Lantz has worn University of Wisconsin gear since he was three-years old, he had to make sure attending college at UW-Madison was the right choice for him.

And while he checked out his options, and had offers from Minnesota, Nebraska and Oklahoma State, his desire to attend UW never wavered.

“He told me after he went on his official visit in Madison he didn’t want to take the other ones,” Jens father Jon, a former EHS wrestler and state placewinner said. “He knew Wisconsin is where he felt comfortable and where he wanted to be.”

Lantz signed his National Letter of Intent Monday morning in the Ellsworth High School old gymnasium, flanked by his parents and by the three head coaches in EHS program history, Kirby Symes, Jack Radabaugh and current head coach Chad Steldt.

Besides Jens being a long-time Badger fan, UW also had an edge given that both Steldt and his wrestling club coach Kevin Black are both UW alumns former team members. UW assistant coach Trevor Brandvold, a former standout at River Falls High School, was the Badgers’ lead recruiter for Jens.

“It’s great,” Steldt said. “I’m happy that he felt comfortable in their system and believed in that system so that it will benefit him as he continues on in wrestling. It’s nice that with the early signing period he can get what is a very important decision out of the way so he can focus on his senior season, especially on the team aspect of it which he is always conscious of. He gave himself a lot of time to choose where he was going to college and now everything can move forward.”

UW head coach Barry Davis was unable to comment on Lantz due to NCAA regulations as not all of the Badgers’ class of 2014 has signed NLOI yet. But Lantz himself said he plans on redshirting his freshman year. The UW coaching staff projects Lantz wrestling between 141-149 pounds and that will take time for Lantz to reach those weight classes

“It will give me time to settle and mature enough so I’m ready when the time comes,” Jens said. “I’ve wrestled some college athletes and I found out I still have a lot to learn. You have to be almost perfect in technique or they’ll take advantage of it and I’m just not ready to come in next fall and start in their line-up. But even though I’m redshirting, I know that Wisconsin is where I want to go to school at, where I want to wrestle and where I want to be and now that I’ve made my decision I feel better about it and I can’t wait to get there.”

Jens said he plans on majoring in accounting. He also said he’ll wrestle this upcoming for EHS in the 126-132-pound range.