So there's some been normalization in recruiting. Ohio State's finally leaped back over Wisconsin; getting commits from Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell will do that. This does, however, still benefit the Badgers.
See, there are few things as human chess-like as recruiting. Especially from where the Badgers are. There are multiple cornerback prospects UW is after who have mutual interest and there's not enough space for all of them. Then there's linebackers who the staff's had to back up on because the crop suddenly became bumper. You look at what Ohio State did today and you can tell yourself that now there's less competition for a top Badger target like Dominic Sheppard.
I don't want to go off on some sort of Rust Cohle tangent here, but everything is connected recruiting-wise. There will always be something good that happens because something bad occurs elsewhere. And while the process is ugly, there's a reason to have faith in what the Badgers are doing. At this point, if there's a commit who doesn't seem to be a superstar, there's going to be a good reason as to why. As such, we start the notebook with one whom could well be in the "there's a darn well good reason" camp.
Jake Pickard: The Badgers kicked the tires on Pickard during the early panic about David Edwards possibly going to Illinois. Of course, Edwards joined Kyle Penniston and basically filled up the tight end position. That being said, Pickard looks to be visiting the Badgers in about three weeks. What does that mean?
For one, the Badgers are looking at him as a defensive end prospect. I mean, probably anyway. He does have the classic "frame that you can put on weight without losing much athleticism," (6'6, 231 pounds). For two, the Badgers haven't offered and he's paying his own way to get here. For three, the Badgers are looking to add at least one more defensive line prospect.
Pickard does also have some interesting offers. Louisville, Nebraska and Oregon are in, though conventional wisdom is that the Badgers are facing down Boston College. If Pickard comes to Madison and leaves with an offer, he's got the sort of upside as a defensive end that he could grow into a real good prospect. His Hudl profile's pretty sweet.
Chuck Davis: We discussed the three-star Ashuburn (Broad Run), Virginia, cornerback prospect back when he was offered in late May, and suffice it to say, I was excited. He's like the prototype of the Andersen cornerback, but he can hit. Dude, he's 5'8, 160 pounds, so the force generated is involving so much acceleration. That's science!
Anyway, he's recently come out with a top two. Guess who's there? Indiana. Guess who else is there? Wisconsin. Davis is planning on visiting in July, but of course there is that question: is he a take? I want him, but that's for reasons more whimsical than practical. He'd be so much fun. But, with a likely seven spots overall and a lot of interested prospects at the position, Davis could be waiting until his offer pedigree grows or the Badgers miss on a prospect or two.
Or you know, goes to Indiana.
Ty'Son Williams: In potential "the next the man" running back news, remember when Williams named the Badgers in his top two and everyone was thinking that was adorable because Jordan Scarlett was planning on visiting? It was a simpler time.
Now, we're going to talk about the state of play. Why? Because Josh Adams committed to Notre Dame, which was No. 1 on the list for Williams. The Fighting Irish are also in play for other strong running backs; Jacques Patrick, Soso Jamabo and Nick Brossette dot the list. As for Wisconsin, it's Williams or Weber as I talk at you presently. Jordan Stevenson's also hanging around, doing whatever, but until we hear different it's really Williams or Weber, unless Scarlett changes his mind somehow.
So I suppose it's not a clear path for the Sumpter (Crestwood), South Carolina, running back. But Williams is an automatic take the Badgers have been recruiting hard, and the Badgers don't have someone to rival him as "the man." In the super-creepy game of human chess that recruiting is, that's positive momentum for the Badgers.
Omari Stringer: Someone who was once on commit alert during Badger camp stayed an extra day in Minnesota and is now going to play college football for Indiana. It's treacherous out there for recruits. As he didn't sign with a rival, though, there's no reason to go and be a jerk or a crybaby because he found a place that wanted him.
Jeff Smith: The Clearwater, Florida, Athlete that was recruited as a cornerback by Wisconsin was recruited as a quarterback by Boston College. Three guesses who got his commit.
Basketball quick hitters
Matt Heidt: The Neenah, Wisconsin, center decided to commit to Marquette. As he's joined up with a rival, please don't go and be a jerk or a crybaby because he found a place that wanted him while the Badgers were talking to Diamond Stone and Josh Sharma.