LA CROSSE, Wis. -

La Crosse Central head boys track and field coach Niels Anderson considers senior Sawyer Smith one of the top recruits in the nation for decathlon. Need any evidence? Smith has been recruited by over 50 programs all across the nation including teams like LSU and Arkansas.

Smith gave his verbal commitment to the University of Wisconsin. Factors tilting the scale towards the way of the Badgers included the chance to stay close at home as well as a chance to work with legendary coaches Ed Nuttycombe and Mark Guthrie.

Wisconsin emerged as the winning school after Smith narrowed his search down to five - Wisconsin, Minnesota, LSU, Arkansas, and a Northern Iowa program that was one of the few schools actually offering a full-ride scholarship.

Smith should enter the 2013 season as the top ranked athlete in the long jump, high jump, and 400 meter dash. He played a pivotal role in the Red Raiders state runner-up finish at the 2012 WIAA State Track and Field Meet despite a cramp that slowed him down during the first day of competition.