MelvinGordon4Heisman (love that username, 2015 it will happen) started a thread to talk about the 2015 recruiting cycle, but that post has since moved down the fanposts list to where it's not very visible. So I thought I'd start a new one.
I also added a class projection for 2015, and a look ahead to the 2016 cycle. There's so many offers going out and so many prospects, it's hard to keep track, but I tried to put together something that mixes my optimistic values of Badger football with what might really happen.
A list without all the assessment around it, to see who I've projected to sign in 2015.
QB Austin Kafentzis
RB Alex Anderson
WR A.J. Alexander
TE Kyle Penniston
OL Jon Dietzen
DL Russell Ude
LB Ben Humphreys
CB Ronnie Hoggins
S Austin Brown
RS Andrew James
Austin Kafentzis, UT
Need Assessment: 1: Wisconsin will only bring 1 in. They got Gillins in the last cycle, and Stave and McEvoy have 2 more years each and Houston 3.
Kafentzis is as solid of a commitment as one can be, and Wisconsin isn't chasing anyone else. Kafentzis could be a big time player in the future.
Running Back (2)
Alex Anderson, FL
Mon Denson, GA
Need Assessment: 2: Gordon will likely be gone to the NFL, leaving Clement, Deal, and Kinlaw, with Ramesh likely getting some work. Clement could be due to leave at the 2015 season to the NFL. Wisconsin needs 2 here, and after they get 2 they can swing for the fences for one more.
Alex Anderson is down to W. Virginia and the Badgers unless more big offers roll in, but even then he could stick with the staff's he'll know best by that time. I trust Thomas Brown to work his home state to pull in Denson, who has Wisconsin in his top 2.
Wide Receiver (1)
A.J. Alexander, VA
Need Assessment: 1-2: UW brought in 5 wideouts last class, and have a number of young guys in the system ahead of them. Expect at least 2, and as many as 4 of the 2014 recruits to redshirt and move back a class. With those things in mind, Wisconsin could just settle for one wideout, and maybe two if they can get a stud.
Alexander has Wisconsin near the top of his list, and Beatty will keep coming hard for him. Keep in mind, Andrew James will probably end up working at receiver, other than his work as a returner.
Tight End (2)
Need Assessment: 1-2: Wisconsin has some young guys like Fumagalli and Watt, but considering they passed on TE in 2014 they should look for 2 good prospects in this cycle.
Kyle Penniston, CA
David Edwards, IL
Penniston is a solid committment. Edwards is rumored to be targeting a decision this spring, and there's reason to think Wisconsin could be his leader as of now.
Offensive Line (5)
Need Assessment: 4-6: Coach A wants about 15 scholarship lineman on the team at all times. A 5-6-man class here would put them at comfortable numbers for him.
Jon Dietzen, WI
Gabe Megginson, IL
Tommy Hatton, NJ
Sam Madden, NJ
Andre James, UT
Dietzen will likely land with the home team. Wisconsin has been leading for Megginson, although things could change after he got an offer from Ohio State. I wouldn't rule out him receiving some more big time offers that could make it a tougher pull for the Badgers.
Hatton loves UW and will most likely accept a Badgers offer. Madden is cousins with John Moffit and has the good guys in his top 5. James likes Wisconsin and being recruited by coach Andersen, which he admitted is important to him.
Hatton will likely be the center of the class. The others could end up at Tackle or Guard.
Defensive Line (3)
Need Assessment: 2-3: Defensive Line added some depth when Alec James and Garrett Dooley moved to Ends. Considering Wisconsin brought in 3 last season, 2 of which will almost surely redshirt (Hirschfeld, Sheehy) they don't need more than 2-3 lineman in this class. They do need do target at least one nose tackle here.
Russell Ude, GA
Micah Dew-Treadway, IL
David Pfaff, WI
I think Wisconsin pulls Ude out of Georgia, who's big on academics, to play a hybrid role as a lineman and pass rushing linebacker. Mr. Dew recently pulled in a UW offer, and from a standpoint of looking at his offer list and the location, if Wisconsin goes hard after him it'll be a winnable recruiting battle. If Pfaff gets a UW offer at camp, which is likely, he'll probably accept it relatively soon after.
Need Assessment: 3-4: Wisconsin has only brought in 3 linebackers in the last 2 classes. For a team that employs 4 on the field in their base defense, that isn't enough guys. Expect them to sign at least 3 linebackers and possibly 4, and they may dip into the JUCO ranks a bit.
Ben Humphreys, CA
Jake Whalen, WI
Tyler Cooksey, GA
Humphreys is a teammate of Penniston's who was excited by his offer and will visit at some point. Whalen is one of the top instate prospects in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has given Cooksey a look, and will continue to try and make in-roads in the Peach State.
Humphreys will probably play the Field spot. Bowen could end up anywhere but he plays a position similar to the "B" in high school and could end up there, and Patrick to the inside. I like Cooksey to play either inside or at the boundary spot.
Need Assessment: 2-4: Wisconsin brought in one outside corner in Tindal last season and a nickel corner in D'Cota Dixon. They have Shelton and Hilary starting for at least 2 more seasons, but depth is a concern if guys like Huge Etienne and Terrence Floyd never show anything. With loads of offers going out at the position, expect 3-4.
Javaris Davis, FL
Ronnie Hoggins, FL
Nhyre Quinerly, VA
Ben Bascom, FL
Davis, a cousin of D.J. Gillins, is a nice looking versatile athlete. He'll get plenty of recruiting attention from the staff as well as his cousin. Hoggins has had the Badgers on top for a while, and should end up signing with them. Quinerly looks like a future Badger as well.
Need Assessment: 1-2: Hudson and Figaro were newcomers as freshman last season, and Trezy comes in as a Junior. Wisconsin has no scholarship safeties left from the 2013 class. Considering one or both of Hudson and Figaro may not redshirt, Wisconsin needs 1 and maybe 2.
Austin Brown, FL
Despite not sounding too optimistic about leaving the state of Florida, if UW stays on him and Brown doesn't get the attention from big Florida schools, Wisconsin may be where he ends up. Seems like a guy who just needs to have a nice official visit. The fact that Wisconsin has offered so few safeties says they feel good about their chances with somebody who they've offered.
Andrew James, FL
James committed recently to the UW. His main talents are as a return man, where he can use his speed. He'll look around at other schools, but I think he sticks. He'll likely work as a wideout as well as a return man.
Breakdown By State
New Jersey: 2
Gary Andersen said he wants, I believe it was, about 20 players from the sunshine state on his roster at a time. If he pulls about 5-6 per class he'll be happy.
I think going forward, we should expect around 3 or 4 Wisconsin kids a year. The staff will continue to look Nationally for prospects, and if they keep putting results on the field and the assistants stay on board, their recruiting pull should increase. The state of Wisconsin has it's talent, but down the road there will only be room for a few of them in a typical year.
I'd love this class if it were to unfold like this.
*New Class Projection* (19 May 2014)
Because things change like every day in the recruiting world. 10 new names on this list, including 4 on on the linebackers board.
Kafentzis is the man here, no other quarterbacks will even get a look unless it's to play a different positon.
Alex Anderson fell off the board after committing to the Mountaineers, so I'll turn to a Texas guy in Davon Crookshank. Denson is the mainstay from my last projection.
I was convinced Wisconsin was going to settle for one Wideout, but offers are going out and UW was actually looking at adding a transfer. Alexander is a popular crystall ball pick for the Badgers, and Jackson has a relationship through 7 on 7's with DJ Gillins and a beatable offer list.
After seeing Megginson stay home with the Illini, I have the feeling Edwards could do the same, or even surprise people and choose Iowa. If Edwards falls off the board, don't be surpised if the staff settles with just Penniston.
Dietzen and Moorman are already on board, and if he has the green light to commit Madden should be next. Donahue likely will camp this summer and the staff will decide to go hard after him or not, and if they do he's a realistic prospect. Hatton has an eye on him, and depending how the board falls and how Hatton's senior season looks early on, he could get an offer.
Treadway comes from Illinois, where distance shouldn't be too big of an issue. Wisconsin is his best offer so he's still on the list. Pfaff I think earns an offer at camp and commits soon after.
Barry has regressed from saying UW is his leader, but that doesn't mean it isn't still true. His teammate Fennell has the Badgers in his top 5. Fabrizio should be a Badger unless Stanford or another bigtime program rolls through, and Hart could be the same deal as he just named a leader and has connections with guys like Dez Southward and James White. Hart will play the boundary and could be used as a down lineman in subpackages.
Hoggins and Davis are mainstays here, while Griffin and Shelley are the new names. He's said that Wisconsin is recruiting him the hardest, and he's from the same hometown and high school as Thomas Brown, his lead recruiter. His offer list has some names in Clemson and Tennessee, but Clemson is filling up fast in the secondary and UT throws out way more offers than they actually honor, it seems.
Johnson is a priority for UW at safety, where they only plan to take one player.
James will be brought in as a return specialist, and will likely either play on offense as a slot receiver or as a cornerback on the defensive side.
A lot of talent here. Not many true 4* guys, but plenty of impressive 3* prospects with strong offer lists.
Early Look At 2016
5 Stars. Ben Bredeson was awarded 5-star status by 247sports. If he keeps his spot amongst the elite, he'll be the rare 5-star player that Wisconsin can even have a real shot at, nevermind actually get the man to commit. Here, it looks like Bredeson will end up a Badger.
Related, or Nah? Javon Kinlaw looks like he has the potential to be a 4-star or higher player out of Goose Creek, SC. Sound familiar? Caleb Kinlaw is from the same high school. I scoured the internet, but can't figure out for sure if they're actually related, although it would make plenty of sense. Anyways, maybe Wisconsin will give Goose Creek another look and go after Kinlaw.
Who Will Be The Quarterback? Seth Green may be leading the pack when it comes to a potential offer, as he's from a nearby state (Minnesota), has dual threat abilities and has been confirmed contacted by the UW staff. Also, keep an eye on Juwan Pass, Lindsay Scott, and possibly in-state Max Meylor.
One In The Chambers. Wisconsin has a shot at a blue-chip wideout in Cameron Chambers who has family ties to the Badgers, but they'll have to go hard after him and beat out Ohio State, Michigan and likely Penn State, among other elite programs who will offer between now and 2 full years from now.
A Big Name At Running Back. Wisconsin has Evander Holyfield's son, Elijah Holyfield, excited about an offer, and with the strong running backs tradition and Thomas Brown doing the lead recruiting, this one could happen. Wisconsin has also offered 5 other runnning backs for 2016.
The More Borlands, The Better. Tuf Borland out of Bolingbrook, IL, is related to a former Borland who suited up in Cardinal and White. Not Chris Borland, but rather Kyle Borland played for the Badgers a while back. Borland has only an offer from instate Illinois, but if Wisconsin goes after him hard once the '16 cycle gets going, Tuf could sign as a Badger.
Another Raridon Brother. Sam Raridon signed as a Badger to play on the defensive line before eventually bowing out of playing football. He has remained a student at Wisconsin to my knowledge, which could potentially help out with his little brother John, who is one of the top offensive lineman in the country.
Thanks for reading! Comment, comment, comment, guys.