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Badger Bits: Wisconsin scores big on four-star defensive tackle

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Darius Latham will be the first four-star defensive tackle to play at Wisconsin since Jordan Kohout (91) joined the Badgers in 2009.
Darius Latham will be the first four-star defensive tackle to play at Wisconsin since Jordan Kohout (91) joined the Badgers in 2009.

Wisconsin's recruiting class for 2013 is beginning to take shape, after the Badgers added their 11th verbal commitment in four-star recruit Darius Latham on Tuesday evening. The highly touted 6-5, 275 pound defensive tackle made his destination known when he tweeted Tuesday, "I'm officially a Wisconsin Badger." This is a huge addition for UW and a success for Eddie Faulkner, the Badgers' new tight ends coach who recruited Latham.

Recruiting websites Scout.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com all list the Indianapolis native as a four-star recruit. Latham received offers from 20 schools, including Oklahoma, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida and Auburn. This commitment is significant not only considering the prestigious schools Wisconsin competed against for Latham, but the Badgers also do not land large numbers of four-star recruits, as they have attracted 14 in the past five seasons. What's even more impressive is that Latham is from Indiana, marking just the seventh four-star commitment from outside Wisconsin in the past six seasons.

In Latham, there's plenty of reasons for Wisconsin fans to get excited. He's reportedly extremely athletic and played on both sides of the football in high school, so don't let his defensive tackle position deceive anyone about his athleticism. A story by Scout.com made this intriguing comparison to Latham:

The coaching staff compares Latham to J.J. Watt, a former Wisconsin defensive end who was drafted in the first round last year by Houston, because Latham has that same type of ornate athleticism. Not only is he active on the football field, he is a standout basketball player with the AAU program Eric Gordon All Stars.

According to both 247sports Wisconsin recruiting expert Evan Flood and Scout.com, Latham plans to graduate from high school early and enroll at Wisconsin this upcoming January. Possessing great size and athleticism, coupled with the prospects of enrolling early, could equate to a bright future for Latham as a Badger.

Wednesday's Links:

ESPN.com says the Badgers are in the lead for landing another four-star defensive lineman.

Mike Lucas of UWbadgers.com takes a look at two Badgers trying to play for the Atlanta Hawks.

Many NHL teams are targeting former Badger defenseman Ryan Suter, but the Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings took their efforts one step further.

Why Cody Zeller made the right decision in returning to Indiana for another season.