With National Signing Day looming Feb. 4, there have been plenty of news and rumors flying around regarding Wisconsin's incoming class of 2015. There was an unexpected addition to a traditionally stacked position group, rumors of decommitments and the ongoing saga of a particular defensive end prospect who might not leave after all. Let's get to this week's roundup.
It is unclear whether the coaching staff will be able to hold onto the commitment from Crookshank, a three-star running back out of Missouri City, Texas (Fort Bend Marshall). He was recruited by former wide receivers coach Chris Beatty, who has since moved on to Virginia amid the staff turnover.
Crookshank also has to contend with two stacked running back classes coming to Madison. This year's crop includes Shaw and four-star recruit Jordan Stevenson. Additionally, the class of 2016 has another four-star running back on the way in Antonio Williams. You can read more on the Crookshank situation here ($).
DE Jake Pickard
Speaking of Pickard, the three-star defensive end out of Millburn, N.J., Wisconsin was unable to meet with him for their scheduled visit Tuesday evening due to the expected snowstorms along the East Coast.
Pickard has been committed to Wisconsin since July, but has since taken official visits with Michigan, Oregon and Syracuse in the past two weeks. There has been a lot of speculation that Pickard might flip to join Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor, but there has been no official word just yet. Some say Wisconsin is actually now in control of the situation ($).
Wherever Pickard goes, that school will be getting an athletic defensive end prospect who exhibits good burst off the line of scrimmage. As further evidence of his athletic ability, the 6'6, 231-pound Pickard also played some tight end in high school.
WR Brandyn Lee
Hey just want to let everyone know that I decided to decommit from the University of Wisconsin. I'm open to any schools right now.— Brandyn Lee (@brandynDlee) January 22, 2015
Lee has a visit scheduled with Fresno State this Friday. Despite this loss to an already thin position group, the Badgers are currently considered the favorites to land another Fort Lauderdale receiver, Marvin Robinson, according to 247Sports' Crystal Ball predictions.
QB David Moore
Alpharetta, Ga., (Milton) dual-threat quarterback David Moore, a 2016 prospect, is scheduled to visit Wisconsin this Sunday for an unofficial. The 6'2, 170-pound signal caller has not yet received a rating from 247Sports, but you can check out his highlight tape below and make your own evaluations:
In a rarely-seen move, an SEC territory running back declined offers from multiple big-time schools down south to come to the Big Ten. Shaw, a 6’1, 205-pound bruiser from Birmingham, Ala., (Hoover) passed on Alabama and Mississippi State, among others, to come to Wisconsin for 2015.
I would also like to take the time to say that I am officially committed to the University of Wisconsin #OnWisconsin ⚪️ ⚪️— Bradrick Shaw (@bradricks27) January 25, 2015
For a while, Shaw was expected to commit to Vanderbilt, taking an official visit there two weeks ago. However, the three-star recruit cited the Badgers’ physical, downhill running style in his decision to come to Madison in an interview with AL.com.
Shaw clocked a 4.55-second 40-time and ranks as the No. 36 running back nationally in the class of 2015 and the No. 14 player in the state of Alabama, according to 247Sports. You can view his Hudl tape here ($).
Shaw becomes the third running back commit for this fall’s class, joining four-star speedster Jordan Stevenson and Crookshank (for now).
DT Kraig Howe
The class of 2015 continues to see the ramifications of Paul Chryst’s hiring as head coach.
Howe, a former Pittsburgh defensive tackle recruit who decommitted Jan. 14, officially committed to Wisconsin Sunday. He joins quarterback Alex Hornibrook as incoming freshmen who left Pitt to follow Chryst to Madison.
Proud to announce that I committed to the University of Wisconsin... On, Wisconsin!— Kraig Howe (@KraigHowe) January 24, 2015
Howe attends the same high school in Dayton, Ohio, (Archbishop Alter) as former Badgers Chris Borland and Connor Cummins. Prior to his commitment to Pitt, Howe received offers from Iowa State and Boston College, as well as Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern.
A three-star recruit, the 6'3, 253-pound Howe joins a defensive line class that includes Olive Sagapolu, David Pfaff and Pickard (again, for now).