Yeah, we missed. No Joe Mixon, no Jamil Kamara. Wisconsin isn't going to have its all-time greatest recruiting class. But it's still going to be a very strong class. We're likely going to be bettered by this class, and there are still three or four players that are going to be takes for the Badgers.
First of all, let's break some names down.
Melvin Holland Jr.: There's a lot to like in regard to Holland's athleticism, and heck, stealing a player who's expected to commit to a rival (Minnesota) would always be neat. But there's a reason he's currently running second at the position: it's the trust of what's returning at wide receiver.
That's not to say that the cupboard is completely bare. Alex Erickson and Robert Wheelwright both have the potential to step into the lineup and break out. But there's a reason why Wisconsin fans are so excited about the potential of Krenwick Sanders. It's because the cupboard might not be completely bare, but it has olives and in this metaphor, Gary Andersen dislikes olives.
With a more raw talent, the Badgers will be distanced by a high-floor polish. More on that later.
Kolton Miller: Oregon has made an offer, but the question is, is the offer currently commitable? It doesn't seem to have moved the dial. Oregon State and UCLA are very much in play, but the Badgers are still very much alive for Miller.
Chris Lammons: After the early exits of Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson, Chris Lammons suddenly had an opportunity to play earlier at Florida. But Thursday, he backed off his commitment to Florida. South Carolina appears to be the heavy favorite, but Wisconsin never stopped recruiting the four-star cornerback.
Sure, visiting Wisconsin in January seems like a dodgy proposition. But we're still multiple weeks away from the majesty of National Signing Day. And with the recruiting class almost done, the Badgers look to fill in the final holes with some intriguing talent.
Jan. 17 currently has a visit from the committed, intriguing sleeper linebacker prospect in T.J. Edwards. Add in one of the three four-star linemen that the Badgers are very much alive in the race for in Washington prospect Kaleb McGary and you have some star quality, and it's the third prospect that could very well be committing before all is said and done.
WR George Rushing
6'1, 180 pounds
After Louisville lost Charlie Strong, Rushing wavered from the Cardinals. When Louisville came crawling back to noted sleaze Bobby Petrino, Rushing decommited, and frankly, the Badgers could gain from the Cardinals seeming endorsement of moral turpitude. In late November, the Badgers had Rushing scheduled to come up for a pre-dead period visit, and a quick look at his Hudl profile shows that he has the polish to get to the field fast on this team. He's got great hands and good quickness to get the trust of the quarterback (WHOEVER IT IS) in 2014.
Jan. 24 currently has two visits. One is the tall South Florida commit who the Badgers want to play cornerback in Deiondre Porter. The other has some definite skills to his game, but he comes with one big question.
S D'Cota Dixon
5'11, 179 pounds
Can he play cornerback? Because that's what the Badgers are betting on here. As it is, he would be a perfectly fine pick-up if the Badgers were looking to play him at safety. He is a very willing hitter and has some strong skills as a centerfielder in the passing game. His Hudl profile shows he has shiftiness (when he played running back, he wasn't just a straight-line speed guy). He's likely not going to roll up and start right away, but patience could very well pay off here.
So who are the Badgers going to take to round out their class? My assumption is that the Badgers will end up with three. The fourth slot will go to Uriah Leiataua, unless the Badgers can manage to al-a-ka-zam a surprise from the ever-shifting coaching carousel.
1. The Offensive Tackle Prospect That Commits (Frank Ragnow, Miller or McGary)
2. George Rushing
3. Diondre Porter or D'Cota Dixon
UPDATE, 2:24 p.m.: As pointed out by MelvinGordon4Heisman below, the Badgers have offered three-star Memphis, Tenn., athlete Cornelius Sturghill. The 5'10, 170-pounder will visit Wisconsin Jan. 31.
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