After a day like Thursday, when the Badgers went into Arizona and grabbed themselves a four-star lineman for 2016 with Chandler (Hamilton) product Garrett Rand and Scottsdale (Saguaro) recruit Kayden Lyles for 2017, one has to wonder what the Badgers are set to do for an encore. Though with an 11 a.m. CT start time on Saturday against Iowa and a class of 2016 that's already at 20, there isn't going to be a list chock full of potential impact players.
But just because this weekend lacks quantity doesn't mean it doesn't have the potential for another major piece to join the class of 2016.
Eric Burrell moves up visit
With the somewhat surprising victory for Colorado in getting the commitment of four-star safety Craig Watts, Wisconsin's safety board becomes crystal clear: Get the four-star Burrell, or be OK with likely being done. With the Owings Mills (McDonogh School), Md., prospect all set to be on campus for the Iowa game and landing safely in Madison earlier on Friday, the Badgers have a chance to make a move here.
Just landed in Wisconsin— Eric burrell (@EricBurrell_) October 2, 2015
After all, when a prospect moves up his official visit, it is usually a signal they are wanting to make a decision sooner rather than later. When we last spoke of Burrell, he was set to visit Wisconsin for the Northwestern game on Nov. 21, in between visits to Boston College and Syracuse. Moving up a visit seven weeks is definitely something meaningful in Wisconsin's favor.
Still, do not take that as me saying be ready to get all your favorite GIFs onto this blogging spot. For one thing, the Boston College visit is currently scheduled for Oct. 30. BC might not have the "zazz" of some of the other schools in his top five, but it's a school playing tremendous defense and has the academic chops Burrell is after.
There's also the Duke question, as the Blue Devils are the 247Sports crystal ball favorite for Burrell. They do have a stylistically similar commit with a higher pedigree in Lawrenceville (Archer), Ga., four-star recruit Dylan Singleton, but Burrell has had Duke leading at times and has not yet scheduled an official visit. In a scenario where you can look at there being a specific delineation between Burrell's top three and Nos. 4 and 5 on his list, a direct contender is not what you're looking to have with the remaining unscheduled unofficial.
On the other hand, you have a prospect that has not set foot in Madison, and therefore hasn't seen another major strength of what the Badgers can offer. You also have a coaching staff that has shown it can close when the time is right. They will be giving Burrell all the VIP attention.
Watch this space -- something good might happen.
2017 linebacker to make trip
Considering the reputation Wisconsin running backs coach John Settle has had as a sort of dead albatross on the recruiting trail, I was all set to make a joke about how he was the man who brought in the first piece to the next class and it was the most expected thing in the world -- but Lyles just had to commit and ruin my comedy. You know, such as it is.
Still, even though a Settle-offered prospect might not be first, it's definitely not out of the realm of possibility that one could be next as Juwuan Jones, a 6'3, 215-pound 2017 prospect from Buford (Lanier), Ga., is all set to make the trip up to Madison. By the dint of first offer, the Badgers have the edge here -- and Jones has been playing well enough that it is at least somewhat surprising another school hasn't followed suit.
@LarryJTheSecond tells me he has 51 tackles (37 solo), 3 tackles for loss, 2 pass deflections, 1 QB hurry on the season so far.— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisK_AJC) October 1, 2015
It's not a complaint, though. You have the recruiting trail for a super productive inside linebacker that carries the size and keeps the range to play on the inside at the next level all to yourself? That's the furthest from a bad thing.