When I asked Gary Andersen this spring to identify the biggest adjustment in his life, he didn't mention the additional responsibilities that came with coaching a major-conference program like Wisconsin.
He talked about being an empty nester. For the first time in 21 years, Andersen came home to a house without children. His three sons -- Keegan, Chasen and Hagen -- had remained in Logan, Utah, while Andersen and his wife, Stacey, settled in Madison.
But it won't be that way for long.
Chasen Andersen is coming to Wisconsin to play for his dad after being released from his national letter of intent at BYU. Chasen, a linebacker who missed most of his senior season of high school because of knee injuries, tweeted Wednesday that he'll take a grayshirt season this year at Wisconsin while rehabbing. He'll officially join the team in January.
Chasen Andersen was in Madison with Stacey for Gary's introductory news conference in December. He originally committed to play for Gary at Utah State, and Gary wanted him to come to Wisconsin but couldn't offer a scholarship at the time. Chasen eventually signed with BYU.
"He was trying to push me to come to Wisconsin and said I could come up there and walk-on," Chasen Andersen said. "I talked to my dad and he told me that at the time they had 15 commits already and there were only so many scholarships left to use for those positions they really needed. He said the staff was going to use the remaining scholarships to fill their needs and a linebacker wasn't one of them.
"He told me that I would have a scholarship as soon as someone graduated though. He kept on saying, 'I can get you up here. Do you want to come and play?' I told him, 'I'm set in stone with BYU and I want to play for BYU.' I understand the whole walk-on thing and then you’re given a scholarship afterwards, but I wanted to play for BYU and he's been really supportive."
Chasen's change of heart undoubtedly will delight his dad, who, like Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, will be able to coach his son in the Big Ten. Very cool.