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Wisconsin football recruiting: Michael Weber, Miles Boykin headline weekend visits

Inside: Five impressive prospects visiting, plus sleeper talk and a pair of future running backs named Robert.

Four-star Detroit (Cass Technical) running back Michael Weber is visiting Wisconsin this weekend.
Four-star Detroit (Cass Technical) running back Michael Weber is visiting Wisconsin this weekend.
Student Sports

I know what you're thinking. Why are we talking recruiting right now, and why is this not basketball-related? Basketball, basketball, basketball. And more basketball.

I'm here because there's some big news on the horizon for the currently three-pronged class of 2015.

Weekend visitors

Hey, remember when I did an entirely-too-early look at 2015? That seemed like a fools errand. But you know what, this weekend has a chance to be huge -- there are four visits that come directly from that list. The Cass Tech (Detroit) teammates of Joshua Alabi (who would be a tremendous 3-4 end) and Michael Weber (who would have a high chance of joining the tag team at running back from day one), as well as Illinois natives Gabe Megginson (who's now up to 23 offers) and David Edwards (who is the most likely to be the first commit of the bunch.) And you can add to this...

Miles Boykin: The only real concern from Boykin is that he's a little bit of a tweener right now. You look at his size (6'5, 208 pounds) and you can see him becoming a tight end. But the prospect from New Lenox, Ill., would cause all sorts of match-up issues if he remains a wideout, as you can see here. He's a willing run-blocker and has some soft hands. His offer list is impressive (Michigan State, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech are highlights) and if the Badgers' 2015 receiving class ends at one, Boykin would be a great one.

Updates on top targets

Nasir Bonner: Unfortunately it looks like Bonner might be the victim of the vicissitudes of recruiting. Because if you look at his Twitter feed, he would love to come to Wisconsin. He would be a great fit at Wisconsin. Dude looks like he could step in and James White all over the place. But right now, he's a Thomas Hammock guy in a Thomas Brown world. Plus, when you have a player that once was a four-star become a three-star, it's one of those "damnit recruiting" sort of moments.

Andre James: The recruiting process is still yet to fully coalesce here, but Andre James might be someone worth getting your hopes up for. Gary Andersen identified him as a prospect two years ago when the Herriman, Utah, prospect was only a freshman, and he's kept after him even through the job switch to UW. James has grown into a four-star prospect with some big offers (Miami, Oklahoma, Oregon and UCLA are highlights) but there's a growing Utah contingent in Madison. If there's good news with Osa Masina, maybe it gets another four-star talent.

Tommy Hatton: The offer hasn't come yet, but if and when the Badgers come after the 247 composite four-star offensive guard, they have a real shot to get the commit. Hatton has a lot of intrigue to him; one glance at the Hudl profile and you see someone who knee bends, locks in and drives. The Montvale, N.J., prospect already has offers from 13 schools including Duke, Iowa, Louisville and Maryland, but only the Terps have offered from that bunch. The Badgers could jump ahead with a quick offer.

Luke Ancrum: If you're looking for this year's potential Leon Jacobs, the Sebring, Fla., prospect might be your huckleberry. The Badgers were Ancrum's first offer and when you see that Georgia Southern is his second, tou might think this is just the Badgers' staff getting cute. But the kid was playing basketball until recently and also has a 40-yard-dash time that's gained speed as he's been coached up. If you look at his Hudl profile and see that this is the raw version of Ancrum... oh, man, he could do some things.

Jeff Smith: If you're looking for this year's potential D'Cota Dixon, the Clearwater Central Catholic (Fla.) prospect might be the fit for you. The Badgers are the first school to offer Smith, but he's a dual-threat quarterback in high school, and the coach who's leading Smith's recruitment is Dave Aranda. So that tells you UW believes in him as an athlete, but he's not likely to be the next Sojourn Shelton.

Roosevelt Lawrence: Andersen has made it a priority to make the Badgers a name to know in Florida, and as you're reading, he's taking the challenge seriously. Lawrence, a Tampa, Fla., Alonso prospect is listed at 6'0, slightly taller than the cornerbacks Andersen's been going after, but his game locks in as what Andersen wants in a cornerback. He's quick, he attacks and he's willing to thump. He currently only has four offers, but with interest from Florida, Miami and Ohio State, he's got that upside.

Russell Ude: If you're looking for a potential three-star prospect from Georgia that might become one of, if not the most hyped prospect in the class of 2015, Ude might be it. The Atlanta native has good athleticism to his game, and his offer list shows that there's some real big programs coming after him (Duke, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State and Penn State have offered; Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford and USC have expressed interest) as well as just how smart this kid is (Harvard, Princeton and Yale have also offered). A cursory look at the film, and you can see why he might be under-starred.

Marcus Ford: As pass-rushing goes, Marcus Ford is highly intriguing. You look at this Gibsonton, Fla., prospect's Hudl profile and you see a lot of left tackles and running backs seconds before they yell, "Look out!" The part where the left tackle has his arms out and his back toward the defensive side is a highlight. Ford has a legitimate 4.6-4.7-second 40-time going off the edge and he has offers from Duke, Rutgers, Miami and South Florida, plus a lazy comparison to Rohan Blackwood.

Zach Giella: If anyone were to make a meme of Thomas Brown doing the Oprah-styled YOU GET AN OFFER AND YOU GET AN OFFER EVERYBODY GETS AN OFFER, they would be lazy, but correct. Brown has been aggressive in getting his offers through Georgia, and Giella is another highly intriguing three-star. Remember, the Badgers are looking to add five offensive linemen this year, and the Augusta Christian prospect would look real strong at left tackle. He has some strong offers out there already -- the Badgers would be going toe-to-toe with LSU and South Carolina if they make a move -- but Wisconsin linemen are faring pretty well in the NFL.

'Future running backs named Robert' Corner

Robert Washington: The Badgers are going to go in early on some highly-touted future running back prospects. Washington's going to be just as hyped as Joe Mixon was last year and Jordan Scarlett is this year. The Huntersville, N.C., Southlake Christian prospect already has 20 offers to his name, including Arizona State, Duke, North Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA and West Virginia, and he rushed for 2,500 yards and 28 touchdowns as a sophomore. It seems to be a challenge to get him, but at the very least, if you're reading the subtext of this article, the Badgers have a chance to make a move. This is a good thing.

Robert Burns: Am I talking about a 2017 running back? Yes. Why? The Miami Gulliver Prep runner already has an offer from Ohio State. Secondly, if you look at this Hudl profile, good health and good luck mean this kid has a chance to be a five-star future talent. He's quick, breaks tackles and runs with some tremendous balance... and he still has time to develop.