So Michael Weber decided to go to Michigan. That ends the list of running back prospects that Wisconsin had in play during the spring and early summer. Davon Crookshank wasn't on that list. So basically, regarding that list, the Badgers got skunked.
But recruiting is a flat circle; everyone who's ever been recruited will be recruited again. The Badgers still have some good running back options to go after, and while it was said they were in play for the last batch, I'm totally going to tempt fate and say we break the roster-space rules and get all three.
New running back offers
Anyway, the Badgers have found themselves entangled in the prospects of three running back... prospects. With these new offers, the Badgers have a chance to get themselves into the business of a potentially great running back. Or, you know, they could easily fall apart and miss. But they're not to making that awkward phone call to Nasir Bonner quite yet.
RB Bryce Love
5'10, 180 lbs.
Wake Forest (Rolesville), N.C.
You look at his 247 Sports profile and a major reason why Badgers probably should have been after him sooner pops up. It's as if it's written in the sky on gossamer tears: 4.30 forty. It was at the Washington D.C.-area SPARQ camp, so that does add that bit of legitimacy that some reported 40-times just don't have. You can guess who I am talking about. As it is, you can look at Love and dream of some peak Chris Johnson future. His Hudl profile shows that he's a short strider who gets to top speed quickly.
What does this mean for you as a Badger fan? Is he going to be gettable or have I teased you into liking something that can never be? Well, the good thing is that Love's willing to travel for good academics, as conventional wisdom has shown that Stanford has gained momentum with the commitment of Ty'Son Williams to North Carolina. But Wisconsin playing from behind. Pause for jokes about Bryce Love's speed and struggles to catch him from behind.
Wonderful. Be proud of yourselves.
RB Chris Warren
6'2, 232 lbs.
It's not often you can surpass your father at a career he did very well at such a young age, but the son of the running back '90s weirdos still talk about for his power and balance is already one step ahead of his day. The paterfamilias of the Warren clan went to Ferrum College; that's a DIII school in Virginia if you're scoring at home. There will be no cracks for the third Chris Warren to fall through.
I mean, plans are he's going to name his top five on Monday, and it's not unreasonable to expect the Badgers get in there, but there is a crackerjack list of schools recruiting him hard. Stanford, Texas and Oregon are all schools of renown, and Virginia has this ability to chase stars and lock them down.
For a thumper, Warren did keep a lot of his listed 4.62-second 40-time and showed use in the screen game as a sophomore. A junior-year injury may also turn out to make him a four-star steal.
RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn
5'10, 210 lbs.
Nashville (Pearl Cohn), Tenn.
They call him Red Mamba. I know, it seems like a nickname that some NBA wags would give some random off-the-bench ginger, but there's a certain smoothness to Vaughn's running style that giving him a particular reptile grace seems apropos. I mean, even Vaughn running side-to-side is hypnotic. If you'll allow me to push this metaphor just a little farther, one would say that his stiff-arm is venomous (play begins at 8 seconds below).
Vaughn's an underrated prospect, in all seriousness, and you see that his highlights show a versatile and very-good-at-everything game. He also has an offer list that would likely allow Wisconsin to climb into serious contention (his other top-five schools are Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville and Vanderbilt). Of course, the Nashville kid with Vanderbilt in contention doesn't mean the Badgers can just be all "Hey, we got this kid."
That being said, Vaughn's current plans have a decision on Sept. 26 and an official visit or two just to make absolutely sure. As such, the Badgers have a chance to get him to visit Madison. If he comes, that secret weapon could come into play.
The Badgers go into Chicago
DT Kevin Thurmon
6'3, 255 lbs.
There were some reports that Kevin Thurmon was on a commitment watch going into Wednesday, as he was on campus. He didn't commit, but that being said, there's a lot to be interested in. I mean, he's a sleeper at a football powerhouse (Mount Carmel High School). It's as if the Badgers are making this into some form of a strategy.
If you're one of those people who likes a prospect based on offer lists, Bowling Green, Cincinnati and Purdue being his best offers would probably make you disappointed. But let's be honest: when you have a prospect who was a back-up to two Big Ten freshmen (Enoch Smith and Steven Richardson) who even elicited a glance from Florida State, there's some definite upside here. He's got an active motor and impressed in several camps with his pass-rushing skills.
The only question is, are the Badgers going to let him commit soon, or are they going to wait for Elu Aydon or Olive Sagapolu?
Tyriq Thompson: You know how it's really difficult to go into Michigan and get good prospects? Thompson committed to Michigan State on Wednesday. Of course, there are plenty of linebackers committed to Wisconsin already with others looking to visit. So this doesn't hurt as much as it once could have.
Christian Folau: Speaking of linebackers looking to take a visit to Madison, the Stanford commit from Salt Lake City is currently looking to set up a visit to Madison. If you're into that whole irony thing, he's still looking for that ACT score to qualify for Stanford, which means he does qualify academically for the Badgers.
Now, if he wants to go to Stanford, there's no reason to hope that he doesn't make that score. You're not jerks or monsters. But as it is, Wisconsin a safety school, and that's fine. There's a real chance the Badgers can add a four-star linebacker to the lovely group already in the fold.
Meiko Dotson: The Daytona Beach, Florida, cornerback is one of many who was offered by the Badgers. Dotson currently has a top-11 list; Wisconsin's in there. He's planning on visiting the Badgers, and, of course, it's a long way between now and when he commits. Plus, space is limited. So, maybe he's out of luck. Maybe he's not.
But it's nice to be wanted.