Hello, I know we've been away from the recruiting process for a while. But you know what? The news is generally good. The Northwestern game was quite possibly the perfect event for the Badgers going into 2014 and forward. And there's definitely a chance we'll get a piece or two of a high, instant impact coming out.
Where we stand with...
Joe Mixon: The Badgers are definitely in this until the end. He was one of the two visitors who enjoyed his time in Madison so much that they stayed an extra day. Right now, the Badgers and Oklahoma are his top two. That being said, Florida State has a chance to impress when Mixon visits on Nov. 2.
My gut feeling is that the Badgers are going to be in it until his planned commitment on Jan. 4. All the word is he likes it in Madison, but that being said, Florida State's running game will open up for an opportunity in 2015. Oklahoma will have Keith Ford standing between him playing time next season. There's a real chance the Badgers miss. But I'm not going to bet on him going anywhere else.
Jamil Kamara: If I had to bet on one of the Northwestern big four visits to be in Badger red next season? I'd make Kamara the pick. That's not to say that Pittsburgh is out of the race, as he is going to visit their campus two more times. But the thing of it is, he likes Madison, Madison likes him, and Wisconsin is the best team going after him that he has a strong interest in.
The funny thing? Even if he commits, Kamara may not be the final receiver the Badgers will be going after, either.
John Plattenburg Jr.: As chances go? Plattenburg was the one whose chance most improved. Like Mixon, he was impressed enough with Madison and the coaching staff to stay an extra day. But while the Badgers are now in the first tier, the Badgers are looking to go toe-to-toe with Oregon, UCLA and Washington, and there's always a chance a school like Baylor would have its interest grow, which would potentially pose a problem.
Damien Mama: I think it's safe to say that if Mama comes, the Badgers will have pulled an upset. The visit could not have been any more perfect, and the Badgers couldn't move the dial. He wasn't expected to come, and it turns out he's not. Oh well.
As my duties will likely preclude me from doing a related post on this list until the season's over? This list is going to be wildly unfinished. After all, the Badgers only had six visitors for the Northwestern game and one was Utah commit and defensive tackle Allan Havili. But still, you need to know who's coming as well as who's still coming.
At least at press time.
CB Keishawn Richardson, 5-foot-11, 175 pounds
The Northeast Oklahoma A&M product and three-star cornerback doesn't have the offer list that makes one worry, but he's definitely the sort of cornerback that Gary Andersen seems to prefer, and in the face of an offer list between Ball State, Memphis, Toledo and New Mexico, Wisconsin is a likely favorite in the process. He does have the ball skills and closing quickness that would make him one who could have a fast impact for the Badgers. The plan is for him to visit for the BYU game, and unless another team swoops in before he gets his academics crossed, he's a likely commit.
WR Kadeem Goulbourne, 6-foot-4, 205 pounds
I know what you're thinking. The Badgers already have two very good receivers in tow, are a likely favorite for a third great receiver and have other intriguing talents like Daurice Fountain, David Senior Jr., and Kenric Young they're looking at. What's the deal with this guy? Well for one, that height's uncoachable. For two, he's seems to have good hands. For three, he's a solid blocker.
For four? He trucked a guy! This is another list where the Badgers are in the race until the end. (Boston College, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan State.) And if the Badgers are going after an entirely new group of receivers? Goulbourne isn't one I have hesitations with.
LB Richard Dorvilus, 6-foot-2, 235 pounds
Dorvilus is the last current official visitor for the BYU game, and remember that part where I talked about how the Badgers have a chance with a moderately regarded JUCO unless another team swoops in? Well, Indiana's circling. Dorvilus is the sort of linebacker that's perfect for the way Aranda sets up his general defense. He's big, he can run well, and he will definitely make with some sacks where ever he ends up.
RB Chris James, 5-foot-10, 211 pounds
He was one of the expected visitors for the Northwestern game, but rescheduled, and in this instance it might be a good thing. The fact that he's willing to come back for the Indiana game when the Badgers have more time to pitch him means his love for the school is likely genuine. But that being said, he's had love from Michigan State and Pittsburgh, who he'll visit before the Badgers. Plus, as of now, Tennessee gets the last ups. In the grand scheme, the Badgers have lost a little ground here.
TE Tyler Luatua, 6-foot-4, 230 pounds
He's already visited Ole Miss and Notre Dame, and he will be visiting Alabama. He has firm offers from the veritable who's who of college football (Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State and Texas). So suffice it to say Luatua is a player with some pedigree coming in. And on athleticism alone, Luatua is worth every accolade. But the question is, can the Badgers make up enough ground to get into the race for Luatua? Chris Jones and Taiwan Deal will both be taking an official visit to Madison for the Penn State game, so there will be other recruits trying to sell him on the Badgers. But ultimately? Like Damien Mama, I think Luatua may not be swayed by promises of early PT to commit to Madison.
The new hotness
As the Badgers turn October into November, we're seeing them make some late moves. Some offers have been sent to players who weren't exactly on the Badgers' radar at the start of the year, and the fact is, the Badgers might have a shot at creeping in and getting some players of renown. Quite frankly, it's exciting they're making late moves for players of this caliber.
LB Michael Lazarus, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds
I know what you're saying, he's undersized as a linebacker from jump street. Though he should likely come in and play Caputo's hybrid spot if he ever signs. But that being said? He's got the athleticism that's given him a four-star rating, according to 247sports. And oddly enough? He only has four major college offers right now (Arizona State, Cal, and Washington State are the others). That's counting Wisconsin. He visits, and the Badgers have more than a puncher's chance to get the Berkeley, Calif., linebacker to sign.
Interesting Metagame Consideration? Joe Mixon's recommending him to visit Madison. Yeah. That one.
OT Kolton Miller, 6-foot-8, 280 pounds
The major worry about the Badgers this season is that the Badgers haven't really signed the left tackle prospect that they've wanted. Interestingly enough, a miracle may have fallen in their laps. Miller's a four-star talent from California who is a natural at the pass blocking with the sort of frame that can add weight and get to the pros quickly. He has an offer from Oregon State, but considering the Badgers' history in translating linemen to the pros, Miller might quickly have a new favorite.
WR Natrell Jamerson, 6-foot-0, 170 pounds
While he isn't an offer, there's a reason why he's here. The triangle numbers. Jamerson is big enough not to be pushed around the line, and while some reports have his 40-time as low as 4.24, his speed is legitimately somewhere in the 4.3 range. Though there's always a chance he flips over to defense, Andersen is in the mood for a new catching corps and Jamerson's got the speed to make his way.
Long story short? The Badgers are in great shape to still get that BEST RECRUITING CLASS EVER. Even if they miss on something major along the way.