As you all may have noticed on Friday, Jordan Scarlett did not include Wisconsin in his top four schools after decommitting from FAU. Despite not yet having a running back in the fold for the 2015 class, Wisconsin is still in pretty good shape at the position for this cycle, as well as (spoiler alert for this very post) next year's.
One good thing to come out of Scarlett shunning the Badgers was a meaningful, well-thought out and civil discussion in the comments about academics and their role in recruiting. It was only interrupted when some clown-shoe decided to start quoting entire verses of Nada Surf songs. I enjoy when we have discussions here that don't devolve into name-calling and "your mom" jokes, so keep up the good work with your thoughtful comments and your pro wrestling dancing GIFs.
Checking in with...
Dylan Kane: Aloha means "hello" and "goodbye" in Hawaii, which is my hackneyed way of saying that while Wisconsin was originally planning on welcoming Kane into the fold, a recent Oregon offer may mean that the Badgers will have to bid adieu to the three-star safety. Badger coaches projected him at linebacker, and Wisconsin has had a run of good luck with that position, so this potential loss (all 247sports projections now have Kane going to UO) might not sting as much as it would have a month ago.
Antonyo Sotolongo: It looks like Dominic Sheppard will have a friend with him when he visits Wisconsin this fall. Sotolongo is a three-star safety and teammate of Sheppard's who will be on campus for the game against Maryland in October. The Badgers aren't the favorite to land the Miami product, but this is the first visit he set. Arkansas and Duke seem to be out in front for now, but we've seen Madison change some minds before. The Badgers don't have a safety in this class yet, but if you harken back to last year's class, you'll remember that there were some high-end safety prospects that signed with UW (including Austin Hudson, who enrolled early) so Sotolongo may not be high on the Badgers' board.
Jeff Smith: While we were recently unsure as to whether or not Smith would be in play for the Badgers, a recent tweet from the player himself seem to indicate that they very much are.
Thank you to all who are recruiting me, its truly a blessing. These are my top schools as of right now *no order* pic.twitter.com/44u746V9lp— Jeff Smith Jr. (@JSmoothiie) June 30, 2014
The Florida athlete is currently being badgered (/nudges you) by Head Recruiting Coordinator Kyle Penniston (who should be moving up the 247 assistant coach recruiting rankings soon) on Twitter, so I'd imagine Smith's commitment won't be far behind.
Smith plays quarterback for Clearwater Central Catholic but projects as a corner for UW. Once we have our B5Q recruiting offices set up in Florida, I'm sure we'll have more information on Smith and his decision-making process.
Jahvoni Simmons: Wisconsin made the top 10 for the 247Composite four-star linebacker.
Here it is pic.twitter.com/Tqcelbc5J4— Big Guwap (@J_Simmons22) June 28, 2014
His list indicates that he would prefer to stay in the south, but with the likes of SUNY-Ohio at Columbus and Oregon in the mix, being far from his Virginia home might not be a deterrent. In this highlight video, Simmons looks as comfortable stopping the run as he does dropping back into coverage. Despite the current bumper crop of linebackers Wisconsin has collected, Simmons would be a take for the Badgers if it came down to it.
Sticking it to the SEC news...
Tennessee has a running back commit named Rocky Reid. It seems to be a match made in heaven and now, unfortunately, you have "Rocky Top" stuck in your head. I apologize for nothing.
Anywho, Reid is apparently trying to work out a visit to Madison ($) and plans on making his decision before his senior season starts. The Concord, North Carolina, product is rated a three-star by just about every major recruiting site. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have him join the Badgers, but the Vols could insert his name into the fight song after all of his touchdowns soooooo...take that into account.
According to Rivals, Wisconsin is the first school to offer 2016 running back Brandon Stephens ($). The Plano (Texas) High sophomore looks advanced for his age in terms of reading and hitting the hole here in his Hudl video.
Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech and a school in Ohio are showing some early interest. Just a name to keep on your radar for next year.
Rare basketball update!
While he is still trending towards Wisconsin, five-star center Henry Ellenson has seen some of his 247 Crystal Ball predictions switch over to dumb, stupid Marquette in recent weeks.
There was also this nice tweet from ESPN.com's director of college basketball recruiting about Sam Dekker's play at Kevin Durant's Skills Academy this weekend:
Hopefully Dekker can carry some momentum into next season, because I don't know if you've heard but the Badgers might be alright in hoops next year. #factsonly