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Wisconsin football recruiting: Breaking down the Badgers' 2015 needs

Let's get needy.

Burke (Lake Braddock), Va., wide receiver A.J. Alexander could become a vital part of Wisconsin's Class of 2015.
Burke (Lake Braddock), Va., wide receiver A.J. Alexander could become a vital part of Wisconsin's Class of 2015.
Student Sports

It's been about three months since I've discussed Wisconsin's positional needs. While the Badgers have since added four commitments to the class of 2015, there are still some questions yet to be answered. Which tiny cornerback is going to Madison? Will the Badgers pull a Texan? What about a Georgian? Are the Badgers about to land the stud running back prospect that would cause odd amounts of rioting?

While a big board is coming, a look at positional needs would be helpful.


On scholarship: 4
Graduating seniors: 0
Committed: Austin Kafentzis

Yeah. If there's any news on a quarterback prospect for the Badgers in 2015, it's because they have a spare scholarship and all the other positions are filled and nobody's looking at James Morgan. Otherwise, we're looking at 2016 for the next man up for the Badgers.

Running back

On scholarship: 5 (7 if you count the fullbacks)
Graduating seniors: 0

The Badgers lost Jeff Lewis and they could well lose Melvin Gordon, but good gravy they're in on seven uncommitted running back prospects right now. Jordan Scarlett is visiting. Michael Weber has put the Badgers in his top three. Ty'Son Williams has the Badgers running second. And if the Badgers lose out on Scarlett and Weber, Williams is no consolation prize.

Put it this way: Gordon leaving could well be a catalyst for a blue-chip prospect aiding Wisconsin in continuing the Badgers' Running Back U prospects. But gut feeling? The Badgers pull Williams and one of Mon Denson or Devine Ozigbo.

Wide receiver

On scholarship: 9
Graduating seniors: 1 (Kenzel Doe)
Committed: Andrew James

At this point, it's pretty much "throw everything at A.J. Alexander and hope that he doesn't listen to those dastardly East Coast jerks at Penn State and Ohio State who have recently offered him." Brandyn Lee is definitely in play for the Badgers, but with Andrew James probably running at receiver on the depth chart it's entirely possible they won't go on an offer flurry.

Tight end

On scholarship: 5
Graduating seniors: 1 (Sam Arneson)
Committed: Kyle Penniston

This is basically the David Edwards show at this point. The good news is Illinois' earning a commitment from JUCO tight end (and Texas target) Andrew Davis may have taken the Illini out of the race. So now it's down to Iowa and Wisconsin. Iowa is looking at Edwards as an offensive tackle, and Drew Cook is a potential tight end. So, basically the decision for Edwards comes down to what position he really wants to play.

Offensive line

On scholarship: 14
Graduating seniors: 3 (Dallas Lewallen, Rob Havenstein, Kyle Costigan)
Committed: Jon Dietzen, David Moorman

The Badgers look to add at least two more prospects for the class. With Dietzen and Moorman, you have a strong in-state hoss and inroads into Michigan with a future left tackle prospect. Of course, the Badgers have plenty of offers out. Sam Madden could well be a big piece of the puzzle coming soon. They're going after Kevin Estes and Patrick Allen as other big-name line prospects, and let's be honest: the Badgers are going to add at least one more in-state lineman prospect.

Defensive end

On scholarship: 7
Graduating seniors: 1 (Konrad Zagzebski)
Committed: David Pfaff

I'm going to put Pfaff both at defensive end and tackle because we don't know his exact position. But this is definitely a spot where the Badgers could stand missing on a prospect or two. Joshua Alabi is the top name on the board. They could make a move to flip noted mustache enthusiast and J.J. Watt fan in Miami commit Scott Patchan, but this isn't the position where they've got 11 offers to land three.

Nose tackle

On scholarship: 4
Graduating seniors: 2 (Bryce Gilbert, Warren Herring)
Committed: David Pfaff

Wisconsin currently stands fourth for Kahlil McKenzie, and if the Badgers get further traction here, it's going to be huge for them. But the good news is that the recent offer to Zach Abercrumbia has allowed UW to gain traction because he's looking for academics with athletics. Pfaff could well grow into a nose tackle, but the Badgers need at least one more scholarship to land here.


On scholarship: 11
Graduating seniors: 4 (Derek Landisch, Josh Harrison, Marcus Trotter, Sherard Cadogan)

The fact that there isn't a commitment at this position is somewhat bothersome. Situations and moral turpitude decimated the class of 2014 at linebacker and they need to refill the spots. That being said, the Badgers are in decent shape with a lot of prospects. Osa Masina, Porter Gustin and Stanford commit Christian Folau are all Utah prospects that Gary Andersen has been after forever. Recent commitments to Notre Dame (Josh Barajas) and Michigan (Darrin Kirkland Jr.) could well get Asmar Bilal interest piqued for the Badgers.

In fact, the Badgers could well have a good class on the strength of who's interested in what they have. Anthony McKee might be this year's Dareian Watkins (good Columbus prospect that Ohio State passed on). Throw in a Chris Hart or a good in-state camper who earns an offer (*cough* Jake Whalen *cough*) and a sleeper prospect like Rahn Bailey, and though the Badgers are presently linebacker-less, it's not yet desperation time.


On scholarship: 10
Graduating seniors: 1 (Peniel Jean)

Javarius Davis is getting the full-court press and Wisconsin is going to have to fight off your Clemsons and the late offers of the Missouris and those LA schools in UCLA and USC. As it is, the Badgers would add at least one or two more of the small, quick, aggressive cornerbacks that they have offers to. Ronnie Hoggins is a favorite, and T.J. Griffin could well be another where it's a matter of "when" more than "if."


On scholarship: 8
Graduating seniors: 1 (Michael Trotter)

The Badgers should well at least add one more prospect. Austin Brown is the top prospect with reciprocal interest. They're also in on some Mike Caputo-ish flavor with Hawaiian prospect and '80s action hero character Dylan Kane, as well as Beehive Stater Quinn Fabrizio. I don't think they're going to come up empty for a safety in 2015.

Special teams

On scholarship: 2
Graduating seniors: 0

The Badgers are offering a long snapper from Ohio named Liam McCullough. If it happens, neat. If not? We should be fine.

Did anybody else get a sense of deja vu?

Anyway, the Badgers may have had a couple of months where it's more about offers than action. But you look at this and you see there's not many ifs to having a good class here; get a stud running back, maybe hit on Osa Masina, get another four-star offensive lineman, etc.

This is a class that's doing well rounding into form.