Ed. note: Beginning today, we're breaking off morning links from the traditional Badger Bits pieces. Every morning, you can now come to B5Q for two posts: one on the top issues of the day and another just with morning links to get you going. As always, feedback is welcomed.
So Wisconsin landed D.J. Gillins yesterday. The four-star quarterback from Jacksonville (St. Ribault), Fla., announced his commitment to Gary Andersen's team over Arizona, Boston College, Duke and 11 other schools. Gillins is the nation's No. 2 dual-threat quarterback for 2014 and the No. 13 Friday player for that class, according to 247 Sports. It means Andersen & co. (offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and running backs coach Thomas Hammock get the big props here) have now landed their third high-profile quarterback recruit since coming to Madison. Tanner McEvoy, quite possibly the starting quarterback this season, was the top-ranked dual-threat JUCO quarterback when he transferred to Wisconsin, while four-star 2015 quarterback Austin Kafentzis was arguably the staff's top target for that class.
Worthwhile Gillins reads and notes:
[Ribault coach Anthony] Flynn believes Gillins would have been much more highly recruited had he not missed almost his entire junior season with the knee injury.
"Wisconsin," Flynn said, "is getting a jewel."
"I love the fact that they have tradition (at Wisconsin) like 'Jump Around,' " Gillins said. "It's very fun to see. Wisconsin was also brutally honest with me. From Day 1 they were very honest."
"[Wisconsin's coaching staff was] very excited," Gillins told Badger247. "They kept saying they were fired up. I talked to the head coach and three other coaches at the same time. It was pretty interesting. All their reactions were pretty much the same. It was pretty cool."
Chris Borland was one of many named to the Bednarik Award (top defensive player) watchlist, while James White found himself on the Maxwell Award list. They're just lists with quite a few names on them, but if you're interested, UWBadgers.com has a lengthier write-up.
Best/worst lists guaranteed to elicit RAGE
Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated flexed some serious stones yesterday when he posted a rundown of his 10 best and five worst college football coaches. RIP his Twitter mentions. Although, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz was one of the five worst, so we got to see some furious Hawkeye fans fall all over themselves lambasting a totally justifiable selection. Thank you, Mandel.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa. The 2009 Orange Bowl proved an aberration in Ferentz's otherwise unimpressive recent tenure. Take away that one 11-2 season and the Hawkeyes are 47-41 since 2005 under their $3.6 million-per-year coach.
Jeopardists don't know jack about college football
Can we call them that? Either way, I'm not really too concerned: just look at this level of failure on "Jeopardy" last night.
SB Nation's Bill Connelly previews Arizona State
This is almost a week old, but we unintentionally failed to bring it to your attention. Connelly's got the best season previews around -- I'd venture you don't even need to drop some cash on Phil Steele or any other mags now that these are free.
Obviously both the run offense (a little) and run defense (a lot) could stand to improve in 2013. And I want to be careful about heaping too many platitudes on a team that ranked 41st last year, even if it was tremendously fun to watch. But if you couldn't tell, I'm buying ASU stock right now, at least for 2013. Taylor Kelly is efficient and fun, the running backs are strong, Chris Coyle is efficient, and the defense is ridiculously aggressive and entertaining. Plus, there is an overall level of experience this year that ASU simply didn't have 12 months ago.