clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wisconsin football recruiting: The notebook to restore sanity and/or fear

New, 4 comments

So, yeah. We're steering right on out of the dead period. There's good news coming, but if you want to be one of those glass-half-empty kind of guys, we've got news for you, too.

Winter Garden (West Orange), Fla., cornerback Jalen Julius.
Winter Garden (West Orange), Fla., cornerback Jalen Julius.
Student Sports

I know what you're thinking. Ol' Positive Pete's coming off his high horse to tell you that everything's going to be OK. Momentum's around the corner and guess what? It's all gonna be okay. That gets boring sometimes. Pardon my French, but sometimes you just want to say "how dare you" to some rowdy teens who got the Wisconsin Badgers all interested and then went off to Los Angeles like some would-be Ryan Gosling.

So if you're one of those that's only happy when it rains, stay tuned! We're gonna give you what you want.

But there is hope. It's recruiting, and there's always hope. So let's begin with Wisconsin's likely No. 1 target.

Catching up with...

A.J. Alexander: All reports out of Madison were that Alexander definitely enjoyed his weekend visit to Madison ($). High grades and 10s were all around, but that's not the interesting thing. You come to Madison, and Madison's great. No one denies this for at least nine months out of the year. So you want that little piece of information to keep you warm at night? I got you.

See, Alexander's top four are North Carolina, Ohio Poly San Luis Obispo, Penn State and Wisconsin. Here's the fun part: Wisconsin is the only one offering him a wide receiver spot. Everyone else looks at him as a tight end, or in the case of Ohio Poly SLO, may have already moved on. It's circumstantial at best, and maybe someone going into his senior year at 6'4, 220 pounds would be swayed by the fact he could well grow some more, but at the best school offering the most skilled position play.

Recruiting Essentials

Javarius Davis: One good thing about the Badgers is that they will be persistent and find their way back into races they seem to have lost. This explains Davis. A current UNC commit, the latest news is that he's wavering on just how strong that commitment is. A part of that is because Bill Busch is not giving up the ghost on seeing if the former Georgia Tech commitment will choose a third school. The Badgers also get to unleash their secret weapon ($). I'll explain later how this might not be effective, but even then, it might not be such a bad thing.

Elu Aydon: Aydon's interesting. He received an offer from the Badgers after his performance at the All-Poly camp, and the reports are that he is ready to commit. I know what you're thinking: Who in the blue heck is Elu Aydon? Well, he's a 6'2, 296-pound unranked defensive tackle prospect from Pago Pago in the American Samoa, which as we all know is the city so nice they named it twice. He has offers from Colorado, Hawaii and Nevada, but as it stands, Chad Kahua'aha'a looks like he may get the first commit to officially open up that Samoan pipeline. I'll explain where there are some things to worry about, but an agile, 290-pound Samoan is never a bad prospect to recruit.

Isaac James: There was a moment this week where all the momentum for Isaac James was heading somewhat southward. He visited Northwestern. It went very well. But he hasn't committed yet, and you know what? This is a really good thing. If you were wondering why exactly he currently stands as Wisconsin's top uncommitted target at cornerback? He was at the Chicago SPARQ camp in April and killed it in speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness. He has a 4.40-second 40-yard dash time, a 4.25 shuttle and a 36-inch vertical to his game. If the Badgers get this commitment, be excited.

Cameron Chambers: So the 2016 receiver prospect from Timber Creek, New Jersey, has named his top five. Frankly, Wisconsin's in some good company. I mean, it's Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio Poly SLO. Good company. He does want to make a decision on Friday, which makes this long odds for UW. His dad is named Chris Chambers, but he's not the Badgers' Chris Chambers.

But... the Badgers will likely keep after him. They have the persistence of a dude in a romantic comedy, which is, in and of itself, creepy. That's bad news. As you're stunned about the smoothness of this segue, let's wallow.

Running back commits hard to come by

The Badgers got aced out. It's simple. They had an embarrassment of riches that they were in on, and it looks as if they're going to miss them all. I mean, six have committed elsewhere (Ty'Son Williams and Mon Denson to North and South Carolina, respectively, on Tuesday alone). As for Michael Weber, he's out there going all over the country having great visits to Miami and USC.

Oh, and did I mention that Weber's Cass Tech teammate, Joshua Alabi, is now a member of an Ohio-based university? So that's another direction where Weber gets pulled. It's hard to pull kids out of Detroit, I suppose.

So where do the Badgers go from here if they can't suck out Weber? Flipping prospects is always an option (there's no Jordan Stevenson news, which is good news. T.J. Simmons going to UCLA makes Bolu Olorunfunmi a consideration, while the same holds true with the subtext of the end of Williams' recruitment (his top two were dropped off for distance reasons, which makes me think parents coming in on an official visit could reopen things). Heck, an offer to Markell Jones could send Purdue scrambling for a new running back.

There could be another prospect offered along the way. Otherwise, this could be solely a Davon Crookshank class. That is fine; he's a good prospect. But damn, there are some missed opportunities.

Dual-sided recruitery

On the flip side, it's within Wisconsin's powers to turn things around.

Javarius Davis: Ray-Ray McCloud committed to Clemson on Monday. Why does this matter? Because Florida was in on him. The Gators wanted him to play slotback and be explosive in their self-flagellating offense, but they threw out a recent offer to the Badgers' top cornerback prospect. In a twist, however, he would be in the SEC playing offense.

It's not to say the Badgers wouldn't offer a potential offensive spot, but here's the thing: he's the top cornerback recruit and he's offered a chance to play offense in-state. You don't have to be a film critic to read the subtext.

The good thing is that If the Badgers are saving a spot for a cornerback and Davis ends up doing the whole David Palmer thing, good cornerbacks get a chance to get their academic history together. Duke Shelley wants to be a Badger? There's time to get the scores up. Ronnie Hoggins can take an SAT prep course.

Elu Aydon: It'll be interesting to see how his senior film looks, because he looked like a raw piece of clay as a junior. His highlight film wasn't impressive in that he always seemed to have his pad level up. Which is never good. That being said? He moves well. Worst case scenario, he's going to be in WWE developmental in 6 years. But if he's coming, he's coming in completely toolsy.

New offer

According to 247Sports, the Badgers offered Winter Garden (West Orange), Florida, cornerback Jalen Julius early this week. Julius, a 5'10, 175-pound three-star recruit with a reported 4.31-second 40-yard dash, was previously a Florida commit before changing his mind on July 27. The Badgers were very quick to act, offering the scholarship and positioning themselves nicely for a player who could well turn into a nice prospect (he's currently the country's No. 37 cornerback, according to 247Composite). You can see in his Hudl highlights below why Wisconsin's interested.