So Dare Ogunbowale is an awesome story. A walk-on who is basically completely raw at the position and shows he can develop into something. But the fact that he's there does lay bare a problem. The Badgers are short at running back, and as it stands, next year's depth is going to remain a problem.
No one's saying anything bad about Davon Crookshank. He's a good prospect and with health, he could be integral. But next year? The Badgers are looking at Corey Clement and a gaping maw at running back (Ed. note: That's presupposing Melvin Gordon leaves early for the NFL, of course).
That's why Wisconsin is hustling hard to get its a second running back out of this class. As I type this, the Badgers are truly recruiting six. As there are likely four spots remaining -- unless disaster truly strikes (and the Badgers already had an entire crop of targets slip through their fingers, so let's not get too cocky) -- Wisconsin will end up with one. Who will it be? Let's take a closer look at the candidates
5'11, 210 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale (St. Thomas Aquinas), Fla.
Brief scouting report: He's a hard runner who gets north-south quickly, and has enough speed to win some footraces.
Where his recruitment stands: It's a question if the Badgers can get a flip from this Miami commit. Ohio State's in play, but the Badgers have Scarlett at the tippy-top of their board. The Buckeyes also have some higher-pedigree prospects they're in play for.
Latest news: Saturday's decommitment of four-star running back Jordan Cronkrite shows that Miami's making Jordan Scarlett a priority for the future. The Hurricanes are taking the recruitment by the Big Ten very seriously.
Chance of a commitment: Low, but not so low Wisconsin will put a bad beat on Miami to get him. It feels like 15 percent. The Badgers have never stopped making him a top priority even through the days where Michael Weber was a thing and he didn't choose to make a visit to Wisconsin originally. But here's a Florida kid going to a school that will ignore a four-star kid to keep him.
Bottom line: The Badgers are pulling out all the legal stops to make sure that Scarlett has the best visit ever this weekend. Montee Ball's coming. The Badgers are likely going to take Scarlett's teammate in cornerback Rashard Causey no matter what. It might not be enough, but they're doing the work.
5'8, 185 lbs.
Dallas (South Oak Cliff), Texas
Brief scouting report: An undersized back who gets to top speed quickly and is very dangerous in space.
Latest news: Texas earned a commitment from high school teammate and former North Carolina commit, safety Jamile Johnson. Sure, Johnson plans on visiting Wisconsin. But this is like Causey for Wisconsin. Getting a talented but lower-pedigree player just for the reason of keeping them around.
Chance of a commitment: I'm a little on the low end for the chances. A possible Chris Warren commit to Texas means less, as the Longhorns don't have a similar style to their game. I figure it's about 5 percent that he's the guy.
Bottom line: He's a bit of an unknown in that he keeps his recruiting close to the vest. But if I'm wrong about the Badgers chances' here, I'm definitely going to be glad. Speed in space is always a good thing.
5'10, 210 lbs
Nashville (Pearl Cohn), Tenn.
Brief scouting report: The Red Mamba is a versatile back who's having one of the more dominantly efficient senior seasons in high school football: 55 carries, 936 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Where his recruitment stands: Vaughn was all set to commit to Vanderbilt before the team turned back into a pumpkin. It was between Louisville, Wisconsin and Vanderbilt for a while, ut then Tennessee offered. What was once potentially over by Friday is now wide open.
Latest news: Duke offered afterwards, but that doesn't seem to have the same traction as the in-state Volunteers.
Chance of a commitment: It all depends on if he visits or not. If Vaughn comes to Madison, that's the secret weapon. Then he has a real decision to make. Heck, Wisconsin might even become a favorite. If he doesn't visit, it's all a question of who the Volunteers can get. They're in play for Johnny Frasier and Bryce Love. If they start stonewalling on an official visit or other moves along those lines, then it's their loss and the Badgers could get a real steal. Gut feeling? 20 percent.
Bottom line: It's a wide-open race and Tennessee has that "game of horseshoes" advantage. But I would not lose hope quite yet.
6'1, 211 lbs.
Lakewood (St. Catherine's), Ohio
Brief scouting report: The running back-half of a twin duo seems to have a nice one-cut versatility to his game. If he becomes somebody down the line, there would be Matt Forte comparisons.
Where his recruitment stands: It seems the Badgers have thrown their hats into seeing if they can't pull Shaqurey Wilson from a Georgia commitment to play some wide receiver, and considering there's one slot left at receiver and the Badgers aren't looking at David Dowell as a safety, they seem to have cooled on the Dowell twins.
Latest news: Kentucky took advantage of a bye week to watch the Dowells play and potentially close the deal.
Chance of a commitment: One. It's not over yet, but this looks like a future member of Big Blue Nation.
Bottom line: If there was a question of if the twins would split up in college, perhaps the Badgers would be working harder. But I think it's safe to put the Dowell twins as prospects for someone else.
5'11, 205 lbs.
Greensboro (Southern Guilford), N.C.
Brief scouting report: Gallaspy has the quickness and vision to take advantage of his power and punish defenses every time he totes the rock.
Where his recruitment stands: The Badgers' recent offer has put them firmly in his top five. Duke has the hometown advantage, but Gallaspy was born in Michigan, so the research triangle doesn't hold the exact amount of sway as one might think.
Latest news: Gallaspy will be at the N.C. State vs. Florida State game this Saturday.
Chance of a commitment: As it stands, you have to figure the speed of the Badgers' entry into recruiting him (they didn't have transcripts for him two weeks ago) gives this a patina of Nate Howard's recruitment. Gallaspy has been wrecking shop for Southern Guilford lately -- his last effort was 347 yards in three quarters. Gut feeling? Gallaspy might be Wisconsin's guy if it can't get Scarlett, Stevenson or Vaughn. I can see the Badgers being at 30 percent for him right now.
Bottom line: Gallaspy has a highlight reel that transcends his star ranking and offers from Duke and Vanderbilt. There's a lot to like here.
6'1, 205 lbs.
Birmingham (Hoover), Ala.
Brief scouting report: A pick-and-slide runner that brings more to the Badgers than just what's on a map.
Where his recruitment stands: Wisconsin gets Shaw's first official visit this weekend.
Latest news: Hoover's in the midst of a down season and, unfortunately, Shaw's been getting that old, classic eight-men-in-a-box treatment. But again, Shaw visits this weekend.
Chance of a commitment: When someone says playing in the SEC is a long-time goal and you're in the Big Ten, that's something to overcome. But it's going to be a beautiful weekend in Madison and Montee Ball's going to be in town. It could change. As it is, there's a decent chance to make a move here. It's 15 percent, but there's upside.
Bottom line: Shaw's a solid back who could be somebody very successful in Madison, but with the other backs in play and space being limited, the fact that he's looking to wait might be the best thing for his chances of becoming a Badger.
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Jordan Cronkrite was offered by the Badgers; a miss or two on the board could bring their interest into play. Rocky Reid is a Tennessee commit who might be recruited over if the Volunteers' keep this season up. And a Bryce Love or a Chris Warren could have Wisconsin move up their ladder real quickly.
But as it stands, hitting on one of the top six would be a real nice way to fill out the position.