Three University of Wisconsin football recruits recently backed out the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-Star Game, which is set for Saturday in Oshkosh.

But the guy who had surgery on his right hand not too long ago — then aggravated the injury a couple of weeks ago — was not one of them.

Billy Hirschfeld, a defensive end who won a state title last season at Hartland Arrowhead High School, suffered the injury playing basketball in January and had surgery in March. He irritated the injury a couple of weeks ago.

“But everything is fine now,” Hirschfeld said in an interview on Monday, despite some bruising on the hand. “There is no pain or anything.”

“I just landed on it the (wrong) way,” Hirschfeld said of the initial injury. “The bones went over each other.”

A big reason Hirschfeld is going to such pains to play is something he learned from two of his close friends on the Badgers, redshirt freshman defensive ends Chikwe Obasih and Alec James.

“This is a really big event,” Hirschfeld said of All-Star games for players from small schools (kickoff at noon Saturday) and large schools (5 p.m) at Titan Stadium. “I’m really good friends with Chikwe and James.

“What they told me, this is like a big thing. It’s a lot of fun and you get to meet a lot of new people and make a lot of friends. I didn’t want to miss out on this.”

The players who recently dropped out were Conor Sheehy, a defensive end from Milwaukee Marquette; George Panos, an offensive lineman from Arrowhead; and Jake Maxwell, an offensive lineman from Greendale.

That leaves Hirschfeld as the only UW scholarship player in the big schools game.

Just to make sure, Hirschfeld was asked again if there were any way he was dropping out at the last minute.

“I’m not changing my mind,” he said. “I’m playing.”

Beat reporter for the University of Wisconsin football team.

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