I’m back with the latest on Wisconsin football recruiting. Lost in the shuffle of the Markuson firing – I’m with Barry on this one – was another commitment for Wisconsin as well as other players showing strong interest in the program.
Let’s get into it …
TE Troy Fumagalli (Class of 2013): 6'5", 215 lbs – Aurora, IL
A couple weeks ago I thought the next commit to Wisconsin would be from Sojourn Shelton, but instead the verbal came from TE Troy Fumagalli out of Illinois. Fumagalli committed fairly quickly after receiving the offer. As a senior prospect, he’s currently playing both sides of the ball and lines up at DE on defense. He’s getting acclimated to that position and says he likes it, but he feels more comfortable playing the TE spot. It will be interesting to see where Bielema will put him seeing as Wisconsin likes to run a lot of two TE sets, but Fumagalli is only 17 and could add more weight to his already big frame, making him a good candidate at the defensive end position. My guess is that he will end up at tight end for Wisconsin.
ATH Marcus Ball (2013): 6'3", 205 lbs – Westerville, OH
Wisconsin has been in play for quite some time for the senior from the same Columbus, OH suburb that produced Badger hooper Traevon Jackson. More importantly, Ball's brother Ray currently plays for the Badgers so hopefully that gives UW a slight edge as other major programs are in pursuit of him. Listed at 6’3" and 205 lbs, he has good size and speed and would make the Badgers’ secondary very strong. He was slated for an official visit to Wisconsin this weekend, but had to cancel and will visit Michigan State instead. I know Badger fans don’t want to hear that, but hopefully he’ll visit Camp Randall on an electric night and see what it really is all about.
OG Louis Vailopa (2014): 6'3", 300 lbs – Honolulu, HI
After the 2011 season, Bielema lost an unprecedented six assistant coaches who, for the most part, took the next step in their coaching careers. After replacing them, fans everywhere worried about what the team was losing (umm, Bob Bostad anyone?), but didn’t realize what the new coaches could potentially bring to the table, especially in recruiting.
What are the chances that a kid from the sunny beaches of Hawaii will move to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin? Well, when Bielema tabbed former Nevada LB coach Andy Buh to be the new LB coach at Wisconsin, he knew he was also getting a great resource for recruiting kids out west that fit the mold of Wisconsin. The massive Vailopa is on Buh’s list and the OG from Hawaii likes what he sees in the program. He’s not adverse to moving away from home either as he’s lived out of the country before, so it’s not a stretch that he does end up outside of Hawaii to play football. I strongly believe this would be a great win for Wisconsin as Vailopa is already at the 300-lb. mark and would give the Wisconsin program further reach.
RB Jonathan Hilliman (2014): 6'1", 201 lbs – Jersey City, NJ
With over a dozen offers already, Wisconsin has stepped in and made an offer to another high profile prep RB prospect out east. Hilliman is excited about the tradition of RBs at Wisconsin and feels like he could succeed in Madison. Though from the sounds of it, I think it will be a stretch to land him as he likes Michigan and Oregon among others.
Last week’s edition of WISCruiting Weekly included a commitment from DE Conor Sheehy for the 2014 class. Currently, that class is comprised of 4 players. Sheehy (@SheeDaddyDBWH), Chance Stewart (@Chance_Stewart7), and George Panos (@Georgie_Panos) took to Twitter to try and add one more:
@craigevans18 Join the family big man @georgie_panos @77jadengault77 @chance_stewart7— Conor Sheehy (@SheeDaddyDBWH) September 7, 2012
@sheedaddydbwh@77jadengault77 @chance_stewart7 yeah if @craigevans18 commits we could have a cool nick name like the fab 5 or something— George Panos (@Georgie_Panos) September 7, 2012
@georgie_panos @sheedaddydbwh @77jadengault77 @craigevans18 Defintely need a sweet nickname!!— Chance Stewart (@Chance_Stewart7) September 7, 2012
DT Craig Evans is the player they are trying to get to commit to Wisconsin for the 2014 class. He’s a 6’3", 305 lb. defensive lineman out of Sun Prairie, WI and was close to committing to the Badgers. He’s received additional offers from Michigan State, Nebraska, and Pitt, with more to come I’m sure. A commitment from Evans would make this already strong 2014 class even stronger.
Evans responded with this tweet:
@georgie_panosmy Man its possible very possible give it some time— craig evans (@craigevans18) September 13, 2012