It's the land of Ron Dayne, Anthony Davis, Corey Clement and Tanner McEvoy. Three players on this year's Wisconsin roster hail from there, and two more will be joining the team as freshmen next year.
We're talking about New Jersey here, an easy target when it comes to, well, most things. Not recruiting, however.
With the Badgers hitting the road for Piscataway ahead of Saturday's game vs. Big Ten newcomer Rutgers, we're reminded of the gifts the Garden State's given us. From Andy Baggot at Madison.com:
First-year running back coach Thomas Brown is the primary UW recruiter in New Jersey. Beatty said older contacts coupled with those brought to life by former running backs coach Thomas Hammock have helped Brown get some in-roads.
"It's a process on getting back in there," Beatty said. "But it's not like going in cold."
In his weekly Monday press conference this week, head coach Gary Andersen touched on recruiting in New Jersey a bit more. Visibility in the area is huge, as it's a safe assumption not every New Jersey kid is a Big Ten football fan. Presumably, that's changing more and more by the day, and a big win Saturday figures to boost Wisconsin's profile even more.
"We want to get ours in that area and recruiting's been good to us," Andersen said. "In the last couple of years, we've been able to get into some homes there. We haven't won every battle there -- it's an intense recruiting area, but we've got our share fair of kids from out there.
"I know back a few years ago, it was a big recruiting area, talking to coach [Henry] Mason, they had a lot of kids from that area and we're up there recruiting. It will be great for the kids to know they will be back home to play every other year if they're from that area, so it's a positive."
Aside from Clement (Glassboro) and McEvoy (Bergen Catholic), linebacker Sherard Cadogan also hails from New Jersey (Camden Catholic). Previously, the Badgers have recruited the likes of Dayne, Davis, tight end Garrett Graham (Brick Memorial), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (New Brunswick), wide receiver Lee DeRamus (Sicklerville) and Alex Lewis (Delran).
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