Mohamed Barry isn't a Wisconsin Badger anymore, and that's a shame. He has a chance to be great, and Kansas State is likely going to gain from it.
I have five reasons why this is standard issue for the Badgers and it's gross for you to impugn someone whom the Badgers went after in the first place, but I'll save those for when I feel a need to wag my finger at you. Today is not that day. You are warned, but today is not that day.
Today is the day we discuss where the class stands and what exactly might happen at certain positions where UW's still looking to grab spots.
Spoiler alert? The Badgers are done at quarterback.
UW QB commit Austin Kafentzis shattering records
Eleven state records haven't stopped the Badgers commit from improving many facets of his game.
Quarterback: I mean, really, here's the prospect for whom the would-be recruitniks actually have a case as someone woefully undergraded and a potential national player of the year. Austin Kafentzis is locked in. We're all happy about this.
Running back: If you're one of those "reading the tea leaves" types when it comes to recruiting, the news is good when it comes to Dallas (South Oak Cliff) tailback Jordan Stevenson. There are more 247Sports Crystal Balls going in his direction, and Texas offered Miami (Westminster), Fla., Jordan Cronkrite on Tuesday. Why does this matter? Because Cronkrite is a back of a similar style to Stevenson: smaller (5'11, 190 pounds) and reliant more on speed and athleticism then just trucking dudes (see Stevenson's Hudl clip below). It's not a guarantee of anything, but the arrow is most definitely trending
Not to say that the Badgers aren't going to stop going after Michigan commit Brian Cole, either. Heck, if they somehow could get both, they'd take both. Cole is a top-50 athlete, after all -- they'll let him hang out and do whatever. This is the Badgers' top two, and they aren't in awful shape for either. If they need to break glass because they miss one, they're still in play for backs like Bryce Love (Wake Forest, N.C. -- though they would have to gain some ground), Bradrick Shaw (Birmingham, Ala.) or Louisville commit James Allen (Citra, Fla.).
Long story short, the expectation is Wisconsin's going to take a single back. The Badgers will take two if the longshot comes in, but there's reason to believe they won't fall short of expectations, especially with prospects like Stevenson still out there.
Wide receiver: The goal is to get one, though with Andrew James and Brandyn Lee seemingly firmly in tow, if the board changes they might not worry about what would happen if Shaquery Wilson doesn't flip. The Coral Gables, Fla., prospect and three-star receiver is a current commit to Georgia, but like with Krenwick Sanders last year, the road to the field in Athens looks like it's going to get a lot muddier between now and National Signing Day. Wilson is an automatic take should he flip, but the news has to remain good for Georgia to get prospects of a higher pedigree.
As for Stafford, Va., receiver Gary Jennings, the situation hasn't changed. Outside of the fact that Notre Dame is looking at him as a defender and the rest of the programs that currently reside as 'warm' on his 247 interest list don't, he's still looking like a player that will take his decision down to the wire. As a Virginia prospect, he does have burgeoning interest from the in-state Cavaliers. So if you're a tea leaves guy, you're sensing impending doom here.
As it stands, the Badgers only lose Kenzel Doe from this position and they'll have the bodies to prevent this class from being thin. Just do all your good luck-charm shenanigans to make sure that there's some sort of development with other prospects next year, because it's been a while since there were two competent targets at the position.
Tight end: David Edwards seems like a lock and if Kyle Penniston somehow didn't become a Badger there would be rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. I might actually join in, because that would let all the air out of the enthusiasm for this class. Anyway, the Badgers are great at this slot.
Offensive line: If four-star guard and New Smyrna Beach, Fla., prospect Jalen Merrick commits, it would change some things on Wisconsin's board. Not only because it would be a delightfully unexpected addition -- and expectations are that UW is a hat-race school in his eyes -- but because the Badgers really aren't worried about getting another offensive line prospect. They have four great prospects solidly committed. Merrick would merely be icing.
Defensive line: With the Monday commitments of Elu Aydon and Olive Sagapolu, it seems as if this area is done. With David Pfaff, Jake Pickard and Nate Howard able to come in as defensive ends, this is a class that's set up to help alleviate the depth problems that have reared their less-than-handsome heads at the position this season. In fact, it's entirely possible that the Badgers could just plug and play Howard as an outside linebacker if the situation presented itself.
Linebacker: They still have Nick Thomas, Jordan Griffin and Chris "Seriously averaging 14 tackles a game for his high school" Orr as inside linebacker prospects for next year with Dominic Sheppard and Zack Baun coming in on the outside. The expectations are that the Badgers will grab Christian Folau, which will help for 2017, and if the Badgers grab Alta, Utah three star linebacker prospect Quinn Fabrizio? It will also be a prospect to fill in the holes of the 2017 class.
As for who might replace Barry in this class, I would look toward two names from football-rich states. Dallas (Skyline) prospect Kylan Johnson is one. Yes, while Johnson is being recruited by Bill Busch, he has that certain sort of downhill aggressiveness and spread quarterback athleticism that turned T.J. Edwards into someone who could be a force to be reckoned with as soon as next year. Listed at 6'3, 202 lbs., Johnson might be a step too slow to be in the Badgers' secondary. That just means he could well be perfect as an outside linebacker coming off the edge. That is, if Wisconsin can beat out Arkansas and Kansas State.
The other possibility to look for here is going to St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale and making a harder push for Chris Hart. Like Johnson, Hart has the Badgers listed in his top three and is looking to make an official visit to Wisconsin before he decides. He also brings a good power rush to his game and has that all-important motor. The Badgers have to beat out Michigan State for his services, but if they're looking for a potential attacker off the edge, Hart could be a nice pick-up that keeps open the STA pipeline.
Cornerback: There's going to be at least one more here, and while Carmel, Ind., recruit Isaac James is the leader in the clubhouse, there's a certain amount of chicken being played. The Badgers want a commit soon so they don't have to hustle in January to scoop up as many prospects as possible like last year; James wants to officially visit Indiana, Missouri and Northwestern before he commits. So long as his team is going for the state title, that's not happening. The three-star prospect is a supreme athlete, but the Badgers might move on here.
STA's Rashard Causey has been 1A for the longest time. That hasn't changed. After him, there's still something of a muddy board. Jessie Liptrot from Neptune Beach, Fla., was the last offer at cornerback, which definitely means the Duncan Fletcher prospect would be a take at the position, and with an official visit scheduled for Jalen Julius (Winter Garden, Fla.) and a future official visit likely for Joshua Norwood (Valdosta, Ga.), expect the Badgers to try for two and at least get one out of this position.
Safety: Wisconsin looks pretty solid here. Lubern Figaro and Austin Hudson are receiving regular in game repetitions as freshmen, and while Peniel Jean has been getting regular run as a safety, the Badgers look like they're deep enough at the position. There is, though, the strange case of four-star safety Juantez McRae. The three-star Baltimore prospect paid his own way to come out to Madison last weekend, and I didn't include him on the official visitors list on account of the fact that he was supposedly classified as a class of 2016 prospect.
Turns out, that's not the case. Not to say that McRae couldn't be a take in this class; he's a four-star talent with good ball skills and an ability to play centerfield. The Badgers are also expecting Serge Trezy to finally arrive in January. That means there's likely going to have to be some projection needed if McRae's going to come into this class. I wouldn't put it past the Badgers to find a way, but the space, she is limited.
So all in all, Wisconsin has that handful of spots. Expectations are that the class coming in 2015 will finish with one running back, one receiver, one linebacker and two corners. You can be reasonably sure the Badgers are not done adding four-star pieces to the class at hand.
There are going to be surprises of both kinds between now and February. You will like some. You will hate some. Barring some bad luck along the way, the Badgers should get their first top-25 class.