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BTB Signing Day Roundtable

Bucky's 5th Quarter is happy to participate in its first Big Ten Bloggers roundtable. Throughout the football season the Big Ten Bloggers have weekly roundtables to discuss the season and they are having one this week to wrap up last week's signing day.

This one is graciously hosted by Zombie Nation. They asked the questions, we answered and they put together a great wrap-up post. Here is our contribution:

Post-Signing Day BTB Roundtable:

1. Were you pleased with this year's recruiting class? Where did your
team excel? Where did they fall short?

B5Q: This year's class has the making of any other Wisconsin recruiting class. Bret Bielema grabbed the second tier players and now the goal is to make sure they don't become the "sloppy seconds." Most fans are disappointed in the class, but I'm actually somewhat surprised the class is as good as it is after such a bad season. The coaching staff addressed the dire need to add depth on the defensive line and they did so while also adding talented players at the skill positions. QB Jon Budmayr has a lot of upside, while RB Montee Ball could be the No. 3 tailback as a true freshman and WRs Kraig Appleton and Jeff Duckworth could get in the mix right away.

2. Name one or two players you want to see get on the field ASAP, and
where you think they will fit in.

B5Q: The importance of improving the defensive line cannot be understated. The loss of Kirk DeCremer (career ending back injury) is really going to hurt more next season than it did this past season when the line still had experience. At least one of the top D-line recruits (David Gilbert, Shelby Harris and Jordan Kohout) will need to step up and contribute next season. Personally I think Kohout (Waupun, Wis.) has the best chance to be ready by the fall.

3. This one's purely for the sake of argument. Much has been made
about the SEC's recruiting 'dominance' over the BigTen, particularly
this year. Either validate that claim, or try to prove it wrong. At
least vent a little bit. You know you want to.

B5Q: Well I think it's pretty obvious that the SEC kicked our butts this year when it comes to signing the top players. A lot of Big Ten fans will say, "Yeah, but a lot of experts think Ohio State has the best class in the nation." That may be true, but there is a huge drop off after that and that gap is only going to hurt the conference more if Ohio State doesn't start beating these SEC teams in the BCS bowl games.

4. Going into next year (already), where does your team need to focus
its efforts? How about the BigTen as a whole? What can the conference/
your team do better to attract more highly-regarded recruits, or is it
even an issue?

B5B: Global Warming! Global Warming! We need warmer weather to compete with the SEC, or at least that's what the experts say. I don't buy it. If Wisconsin wants better recruits then maybe it should stop playing The Citadel, Cal Poly and Wofford every year. How about you go out there and prove that you can hang with the SEC by playing an SEC school? I'm not saying Bielema needs to schedule a home-and-home with Florida, but what's wrong with South Carolina or Ole Miss? Oh and while your at it, let' s freshen up the playbook a bit. Running off-tackle every play is only going to get John Clay and LT Gabe Carimi to the NFL. Why do highly regarded recruits want to play in the SEC? Have you seen their playbooks? Flashier teams on primetime national television sounds more appealing than playing Toledo on the Big Ten Network. Just saying.

One word/number answers...

How many freshmen (in your class) redshirt in 2009?

BTB: 15 of 24 redshirt. Four or five will play significant roles on offense/defense. Another four or five will see time on special teams.

Did you watch live TV coverage on signing day? If not, how many times
did you hit 'refresh' on your browser on signing day?

BTB: Yes. ESPNU and BTN.

Are you going to your spring game?

BTB: Nope, although the fact that the Badgers can't lose is appealing.