Recruiting, it's ever changing. You find yourself falling in love with a recruit and then he breaks your heart. Or the coaching staff walks away. Or the kid doesn't make the grades. Or some random dude is flippable.
IT'S WILD OUT THERE ON THOSE RECRUITING STREETS.
Anyway, it's Wednesday. It's time to find out who's up, who's down and who's new that you should at least keep a passing interest in.
Catching up with...
Kevin Estes: The one thing that might be annoying for a team attempting to be on the come-up like the Badgers is that sometimes they'll find a guy they like, and it's as if they get a rocket ship strapped to their backs (Porter Gustin, we hardly knew ye). After the Badgers offered Estes, he got play with Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Cal, Miami, San Diego State and Washington State. He's a prospect on the come, but the Badgers' reputation for developing offensive linemen will get them an official visit ($). If he keeps this up...
David Edwards: Conventional wisdom has been trending that Edwards is going to join Gabe Megginson and stay in-state with Illinois, but he hasn't committed yet. That being said, it looks the Badgers are about to start exploring other options. They visited the Houston area to take a look at four-star tight end and Texas A&M commit Jordan Davis and took a visit to Millburn, New Jersey, to look at 6'6 Jake Pickard. Neither has been offered yet, but if the Badgers were feeling good about Edwards, they wouldn't spend their resources to start the process.
No, seriously, the Badgers are recruiting in Texas
I told you above that the Badgers were in Houston to look at Texas A&M commit Jordan Davis. But he was not the only prospect they visited, as recent Northwestern commit Nathan Fox also got a look. Fox is a three-star linebacker, and while there's no UW offer to him, a look at his Hudl profile shows a guy that is good at playing downhill and making plays. If you remember what happened with Dareian Watkins, a visit to Madison could pay off.
Also, Wisconsin offered Arizona State commit Tony Nicholson on Tuesday. Nicholson, a 5'11, 175-pound athlete, plays quarterback for South Grand Prairie High School in Texas and would be a receiver if he stays with ASU. He has a listed 40-yard dash time of 4.49 seconds, and on that alone, it's worth seeing if he's flippable. However, considering the Badgers' established types, they are likely asking a guy who's lived on the offensive side of the ball if he wants to play defense.
Next, there's a recent offer that has garnered that ever-important mutual interest -- and there is some definite sleeper undertones to it.
DE Rahn Bailey
6'2, 226 pounds
League City (Clear Falls), Texas
Wisconsin offered this suburban Houston-area prospect on Monday, and it has turned this into a race between itself and Kansas. Now, I know what you're saying? "Kansas? But he doesn't play basketball." Here's the thing: this is Clear Falls' third year as a varsity football program. In year two, Rahn Bailey was a Class 5A all-state defensive end who registered 17 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He was very disruptive, and as his Hudl profile shows, he played smart and might have the athleticism and agility to work in coverage as an outside linebacker (he also had five pass break-ups). Bailey might only have Bowling Green, Kansas and Nevada as his other offers, but I feel like there's something here.
And now it's time for "Oh, hey, the Badgers have offered a junior college prospect and it feels like we should be excited for this because it seems like there's interest from both sides, but let's be honest, we're a little scared that he's going to find his college future somewhere else so we're not holding our breath."
It's also time for, "This class isn't finalized until we say it is: 2014 edition."
Sure, it looks as if Jerome Dews' grades aren't going to qualify him for a trip to Madison and the Badgers kicked the tires on Marqui Hawkins and decided to look elsewhere, but that doesn't mean Wisconsin is done looking for another piece to that 2014 class. So here's another junior college prospect. Let's meet him one line break from here, shall we?
CB Troy Jeter
Brooklyn (ASA College), N.Y.
5'10 170 lbs.
Jeter's had a bit of a star-crossed journey. A member of the high school class of 2011, the Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, native was set to play his senior year with the possibility of in-state glory for the Pitt Panthers. But an ACL injury caused him to miss that season and he went to prep school at the Milford Academy, where he had a fine 2011 season (seven pass breakups, three interceptions and two "big hits of the day"). Then in 2012, little's known. He didn't play football, that's for certain.
But in 2013, he resurfaced yet again. And yet again, he played well (27 tackles, nine pass breakups, three interceptions and a fumble recovery for a touchdown). He fits the mold for what the Badgers want at cornerback to a 'T.' But he also has the playmaking skills that might cause people not to want to challenge him without a good receiver by their side. Unless I'm wrong, he's got four years to make three. But, take a look at his Hudl profile. Tell me you're not interested in the possibility that he can take the leap.
Offer List Lightning Round
Any time the Badgers make an offer, it's newsworthy. But that doesn't mean much; it's often you will see a team offer 300 prospects in hopes of getting to a class of 25. You will find a lot of chaff that becomes other teams wheat. So, to help you delineate the prospects from the J.W. Ketchum IIIs of our class, we're going to hammer through a few offers all rapid fire-like.
Giovanni Pascascio: This JUCO wide receiver from Glendale Community College has the height (listed at 6'3) and athleticism to be a perfect fit for the offense the Badgers want to run. Interestingly, the rivalry that developed in January between Wisconsin and Louisville looks like it's aiming to continue. They are Pascascio's only two offers.
Auden Tate: If you want to talk about good, tall receiver prospects, the Tampa (Wharton) prospect fills the bill. This four-star prospect has a fine array of offers to his name (Clemson, Louisville, Kentucky, Miami, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and South Carolina) but that being said, unless the news changes, the Badgers are on the outside looking in. Especially if Florida or Florida State offers.
D.J. Beavers: If the Badgers are able to sign this Encino, California, linebacker man, he could develop into the sort of player that would wreak some havoc on the running games of the Big Ten. That being said, he seems to have more interest in staying west of the Mississippi. It can change, but as of now, he's just a fun name from the city Pauly Shore made famous.
Brandyn Lee: This 6'0, 170-pound wide receiver from West Hills, California, is another receiver with a small offer list (Washington State made an offer after Wisconsin on Monday to join Nevada). In that, Lee, a prospect that his coach grades as a hard-worker and one of the fastest players on the team, definitely bears watching.
Jordan Fox: This 6'3, 217-pound, three-star prospect from St. Peter's Prep in Jersey City seems like he could be a potential collegiate force. Toddrick Hunt calls his change of direction the best of any linebacker in the state; add to that an ability to rush the passer and you've got someone who you should be happy if he comes to UW. He once had a top five of Boston College, Miami, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech, but recent offers from Wisconsin... and Louisville have thrown his recruitment wide open.
Jarrett Guarantano: This Oradell, New Jersey, prospect from Bergen Catholic is going to have some hype behind him as he comes into his junior and senior years. A big arm and a 4.59-second 40-time will do that to a person. As for the Badgers, they may have come too late. It was on a day when Louisville (always Louisville) and Syracuse offered, and his offer list already includes Arizona State, Clemson, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rutgers and Tennessee. Add to that interest from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Oklahoma, and it could be a moon-shooter to land Guarantano.
Kyahva Tezino: If we're in the market for someone along the lines of a potential future Mike Caputo, Tezino just might be him. Listed at 6'0, 192 pounds, this Bishop Mora prospect from Los Angeles comes with an attacking style that's drawn nine other offers. Tezino's interest might gain traction, but even so, the Badgers would have to get past Arizona, Miami and UCLA for his services. That would not be easy.