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Wisconsin football recruiting: Updates on Jordan Howard, Andre Smith, new offers

A little hope, a little future talk and a couple of highlight reels as we brush up against the recruiting dead period.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, the Badger sports world feels like it just stopped. I get it. Everybody just wants to step away and let it fester. I get it. I'm not in the mood to see just how good the Gus Malzahn Supersystem really is right away. (Spoiler: Andy Ludwig has to get the offense scoring early. Yeah.)

But the world goes on, news keeps occurring and heck, we aren't the sort of ugly fat losers that Ohio State made us feel like. People still want to see us. Heck, we might even get ourselves another receiver. Read on, I'll make like Clarissa and explain it all.

RB Jordan Stevenson

Dallas (South Oak Cliff), Texas
5'8, 185 lbs.
4-star recruit4-star recruit4-star recruit4-star recruit

As we were finishing up the touches on the initial draft of this post, there was some big news on the running back front. Stevenson, a four-star prospect and Texas commit, has officially decommitted from the Longhorns. The only other school in the chase for Stevenson has been Wisconsin. It's not a guaranteed lock that Stevenson is coming to Madison, but with that said, announcing a decommitment on the same day that Melvin Gordon declares his intention to go pro is some pretty strong circumstantial evidence that a commitment to the "W" will be coming soon.

RB Tyreik Gray

Houston (Lamar), Texas
5'11, 187 lbs.
3-star recruit3-star recruit3-star recruit

Okay, there is one piece of business that's gone bad for the Badgers. The Houston (Lamar) four-star running back prospect that was scheduled to visit the Badgers this weekend has cancelled. Odds are this is it. Reasons, beatdowns or, as shown above, there's a stronger amount of confidence in the chances of another running back prospect, it doesn't matter so much. Gray's going elsewhere.

RB Jordan Howard

Gardendale, Ala.
6'1, 228 lbs.

We started talking about Jordan Howard as a prospect last week, and the Badgers have made a big move for the Gardendale, Ala., native and sadly now former UAB running back. He's going to spend the weekend in Madison. It doesn't mean that he's a lock to come, as he's planning on taking more visits and the dead period doesn't apply to those UAB football players looking for a place to land. But with the entirely expected exit of Melvin Gordon, the Badgers' No. 2 running back slot next season is between two redshirt freshmen and a former walk-on cornerback. And since 2008, the Badgers have given their second running back at least 125 carries every season but 2009.

A proven back like Howard would do well with those carries, and heck, he might even make it more of a timeshare. He's had four games against SEC opponents while at UAB, and ended up averaging 5 yards per carry against the combined forces of 2013 Vanderbilt, 2013 LSU, Arkansas and Mississippi State. Unless there are reasons that would cause Howard to look elsewhere, expect his visit to put the Badgers right in the race.

LB Andre Smith

Jacksonville (Trinity Christian Academy), Fla.
6'0, 230 lbs.
3-star recruit3-star recruit3-star recruit

The three-star inside linebacker out of Jacksonville's Trinity Christian Academy looks like he's ready to choose where he's going to go next season, as he plans to have his announcement Thursday. He decommitted from North Carolina and took official visits to Wisconsin and Nebraska. In-state Miami is in play, and did visit Smith at his home this week. As it stands, the conventional wisdom is that the Tar Heels get Smith back.

WR Marvin Robinson

Fort Lauderdale (Stranahan), Fla.
6'4, 175 lbs.
3-star recruit3-star recruit3-star recruit

While the Badgers haven't officially offered Marvin Robinson quite yet, they're very much interested in this potential sleeper receiver out of Fort Lauderdale. Currently, they like him a lot -- after all, the conventional wisdom has him as a Badger, but the Is and Ts have to be dotted and crossed. If they get there, he'd basically commit at the next available opportunity. As his on-field talent goes, you can see why Wisconsin would like him.

This is a prospect who uses his 6'4 height very well to shield defenders from the ball. I also like that he seems to know how to come back to a quarterback when a play breaks down. He's someone who doesn't give up on a pass that's thrown in his general direction, which is huge for an offense whose quarterbacking play can kindly be described as "inconsistent" this season. Stranahan plays in Broward County, which means it's not as if he's doing this against randos and scrubs, either.

Robinson's Hudl profile lists him as someone with a 4.40-second 40-yard dash time, though it's more likely closer to 4.5, but honestly, he looks like a great fit as a part of the Badgers' offense. And heck, even if the offer might have been one of those, "Yeah, sure, we'll give you an offer but it's not really an offer," sort of offers, Robinson does have an offer from Florida State on his resume. That's never a bad sign.

QB David Moore (2016)

Alpharetta (Milton), Ga.
6'2, 180 lbs.

Sometime during this dead period, I'm going to try and whip up an entirely-too-early guide to 2016. It's going to be interesting to see what happens at quarterback. Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy will (mercifully?) graduate, and there's going to be a need for at least an arm to replace them. Wisconsin has made offers, but don't expect a Jarrett Guarantano to be walking through that door.

So, if you're looking for a potential top prospect in the second round of offers, a visit to the Peach State might prove a good lead. Sure, the Badgers haven't offered yet, but they're still early enough in the process that a forthcoming offer would most definitely mean something.

What Moore brings to the table is that prerequisite mobility with a good arm. After all, we haven't seen a pretty deep ball like that since Stave was a freshman. Moore also adds a seeming fearlessness when a play breaks down. He will always try and get something out of the play. His arm is strong enough that it works, but it also has the sort of dangerousness that might have moments of double-edged swordplay.

As it stands right now, only Marshall has offered Moore, but if you want a reason why we might be hearing a lot more here...

Why yes, that is a tweet mentioning 2016 Wisconsin running back commit Antonio Williams and fancy plans. This means there's a real possibility that their fancy plans just might have red pants to match.