Hello. Did you miss me? I missed you. I've had an itch to talk the crootin'. And as such? Today I'm planning to scratch it. We're going deep. Strap in.
This weekend's 2015 visitors
I know there's some fun 2016 prospects coming. I mean, Ben Bredeson's a potential five-star prospect. Tuf Borland, who isn't related to Chris, seems very good on his own. Sean Foster looks ready to be offered now, and Wisconsin's going to fight Notre Dame for him.
RB Jabari Manuel
5'11, 185 lbs.
Manuel's a local prospect (from Madison East) who, while unoffered, is getting some FBS interest (Ball State, Iowa State, Michigan State and Northern Illinois). Manuel's got good speed, and enough strength to break through the arm tackles at his size. The Badgers are looking after all the star running backs, but Manuel doesn't scream consolation prize.
OG Nolan Kern
6'3, 315 lbs.
Eau Claire, Wis.
NR | Highlights
Kern's an in-state prospect from Eau Claire who could well explode onto the scene this year. He played center as a junior, and has some real power in his game. He's generating interest from a broad base of schools (Cincinnati, Indiana, Missouri and Nebraska have all expressed interest). And if you want to talk about his intelligence, he does have a visit to Penn scheduled. Yeah, it's an Ivy League brain.
OT Jon Dietzen
6'5, 330 lbs.
Dietzen's offer list has gone up to four. Illinois and Michigan State have offered, along with Nebraska and Wisconsin. The interest list in Dietzen could cause this Seymour prospect to explode in perception. You've got Alabama sniffing around. You've got Florida State sniffing around. Georgia? Missouri? UCLA? All interested. But, the Badgers did offer early. If something doesn't screw up the process, he should commit.
6'2, 190 lbs.
Gary Andersen has a type that he likes at receiver. He wants them to be big, and quick. The three-star Montini Catholic prospect looks like he would be a perfect fit for what the Badgers want to do, and he's already generating offers (Cincinnati, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Toledo and Western Michigan). Illinois is the favorite, but Thornton is definitely a prospect worth watching.
6'4, 265 lbs.
You want to be lazy? On his profile picture alone, you're looking at someone who would be a fierce attacking prospect. Seriously, click the link. I'll wait.
Hi. Now you're interested, yes? There is a certain motor and toughness at the point of attack to the Highland, Ill., prospect. He is currently committed to Army, but he's still taking visits. He currently has other offers with Air Force, Illinois State and Western Michigan, but the 247Sports composite three-star prospect would be very intriguing as a defensive end in Madison.
Welcome to Flip City?
I've already mentioned that the Badgers are interested in an Army commit, but there are more prospects who have already said, "Yes, I'll come and play for you." The Badgers aren't going to stop recruiting them. it helped them out a lot last year, and this year, they're taking shots.
6'1, 215 lbs.
Salt Lake City, Utah
The four-star Stanford commit has a couple of reasons why Wisconsin has an in. For one, Folau's a prospect from Salt Lake City. In fact, he went to the same high school as Class of 2016 entrant Ula Tolutau. For two, he received an early offer from Andersen at Utah State and came away impressed. There's still cachet in going to Stanford, but there's a reason this warrants watching.
CB PJ Mbanasor
6'2, 185 lbs.
In regard to Texas, Bret Bielema seemed to walk away from the area when the Badgers started making Rose Bowls. It's going to be five years since Josh Peprah became a Badger. As the Badgers got into Georgia last year, they're looking to make a return to the Lone Star State with this Pflugerville cornerback. Mbanasor has a listed 4.47-second 40-yard dash, and has the strength to shut down receivers as a press corner. He's also a sure tackler, and just received an offer from Ohio State. So the TCU commit is in demand.
6'2, 250 lbs.
If you want an early favorite for the first flip to the Badgers, it's this Alpharetta, Ga., prospect. Currently committed to Tennessee, Butcher definitely has the motor and strength to be a force as a 3-4 defensive end. He models his game after Badger legend J.J. Watt, and if you just watch the first minute of this film...
... you can see he could be one that just destroys Big Ten backfields. If Wisconsin can get the flip, of course.
CB Tyrek Cole
5'10, 170 lbs.
This one might be a long shot. He's committed to Florida State, he has offers from 28 other schools and he has interest toward LSU, Miami and Ohio State. He's the prototypical Andersen cornerback, and if he doesn't at least have some interest in Wisconsin, the Holywood (Fla.) Mirimar prospect wouldn't have done this:
Just got Offered From Wisconsin Coach Strickland #Badgers— Tyrek cole (@Cole_island) March 7, 2014
There's a shot here. A long shot, maybe. But there's a shot.
So, interesting people are visiting, and we're taking shots. Same as last year. Let the fun begin.