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Wisconsin football recruiting: Badgers playing catch-up with Jordan Scarlett

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Let's ride the chillwaves of recruiting and catch-up on what we've missed.

Jordan Scarlett at 2014 The Opening at Nike WHQ in Portland, Oregon.
Jordan Scarlett at 2014 The Opening at Nike WHQ in Portland, Oregon.
Tom Hauck—Student Sports

So with news of the past few days stressing people out, I figured the time was going to be right for some lighter fare. Fare that brings the interested watcher no stress at all.

That's right, we're doing a recruiting notebook. You're welcome.

It's been a couple of weeks since we did one of these, and we're sorry. The good news: there's good news. We'll start with proof positive that recruiting is a flat circle.

Jordan Scarlett: One thing you can never say is that when the Wisconsin Badgers want a recruit, they stop hustling until they can get to them. The four-star running back knocked the Badgers out of his final four in May before deciding he was going to stay in-state and commit to Miami. But he's joining his St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Laurdale, Florida) teammate cornerback Rashard Causey in Madison on Sept. 27 to watch Wisconsin take on South Florida.

Does this mean we can expect to welcome Scarlett to flip city? No. He's a Florida kid with a Miami commitment; there's a high degree of difficulty. But the Badgers are great at going all John Cena and overcoming odds in recruiting. Maybe the secret weapon of a visit to Madison does it, maybe not. Short story longer, we're alive where we were once dead.

Austin Kafentzis: I know this was mentioned in some comments sections here, but it bears repeating. Kafentzis has been off to a nuclear-hot start to his senior season. Last Friday, UW's prized 2015 quarterback commit accounted for all six touchdowns in a 42-26 win over Utah powerhouse Salt Lake City East. On the year, the Beetdigger has passed for 405 yards and rushed for 359 with nine total touchdowns.

Oh, and he's officially enrolling early.

Semisi Uluave: The four-star offensive tackle from Honolulu announced last Friday a top three of UCLA, Texas Tech and Oregon. This will likely lock in the Badgers having a class of four offensive lineman for the year, but of course that doesn't mean there isn't a possibility they don't attempt to work their way back into play.

Juan Harris: At this point over the past couple of seasons, the Badgers have had a piece for the next recruiting class in place. In 2013, they had George Panos and Jaden Gault. This year, we've already mentioned just how Kafentzis is all up and around doing stuff. Harris, a 2017 defensive tackle from Niles, Illinois, might possibly be ready to commit early -- maybe ($). At the very least, the Badgers are in the lead for the future four-star centerpiece of the 3-4 defense. He might not be able to drive, but he's got a real future.

Offer List Lightning Round

Labor Day was the start of a new period where schools can send verbal offers to juniors and sophomores. These are newsworthy, in that we can start looking at a new list of prospects to cull and see if they can get some traction. We'll start with a 2015 offer that slipped through the cracks.

Jamile Johnson: I know what you're thinking: the Badgers had to offer this four-star South Oak Cliff (Dallas) safety before August, right? I mean, they had two other members of the secondary as commitments in X'zaviae Ausborne and Takadrae Williams, as well as running back Jordan Stevenson as someone who could possibly flip. Wisconsin offered him a full two days after he committed to North Carolina. So, watch this space if something happens, but this feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.

Lokeni Toailoa: This top inside linebacker prospect out of Rialto, California, is someone who seems capable of starting on Day 1. He generates a lot of acceleration and plays downhill. Of course, he already has offers from Arizona State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA and USC, which does make pursuit a worthwhile challenge.

Rashaun Smith: He's a top-50 four-star outside linebacker prospect out of Towson, Maryland. He's got that sort of lean and athleticism that allows people to project him as something dangerous on 3rd-and-11. Of course, he already has a massive amount of offers. Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and South Carolina got there first, so this could be difficult.

Caleb Kelly: Look at his Hudl profile. If you watch and think this guy isn't going to be a five-star prospect in about a minute of your time, you're doing it wrong. The Fresno, California, prospect is definitely someone you should throw the kitchen sink at. He only has 11 other offers right now, but they are dotted with Alabama, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Stanford and USC. If Wisconsin competes, this would be a definitely a good thing.

Basketball quick-hitter

Alex Illikainen: The stretch power forward from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, that's going to play his senior season at the Brewster Academy in New Hampshire put the Badgers in his top-four on Tuesday. He has Iowa, Minnesota and Oregon as his other three schools and is planning on visiting Wisconsin sometime this month. As I've said before, if illikainen commits, this would definitely be a good get for the Badgers, and not just because of that whole Minnesota thing. The Badgers live for tallish dudes that can hit the three. He fits the game plan very well.