Recruiting always goes quieter on road weeks. There's no official visits, and when you're at 20 total commitments, you're not likely to see much in the way of new offers going out for the class of 2016. So as you're looking at someone who's hesitant at going too deeply into a class that's yet to sign letters of intent that's 15 months and 2 weeks away? A post like this is going to be shorter. But that doesn't mean there's not anything going on.
Badgers make running back moves
After all that with former Wisconsin, now Ohio State commit Antonio Williams, you knew the Badgers were set to make a move at the running back position. Heck, they were set to make multiple.moves -- and on Wednesday, they started the process. Tthe first moves didn't go to your Tre Harbison's or your Matthew Falcon's, however. Heck, it wasn't even Kyle Porter that went first. But that doesn't mean the Badgers aren't in play for anything splashy.
George Hill: If you're looking for one of the top uncommitted athletes in the class of 2015, the 247Sports' composite four-star running back from Hubbard, Ohio fits the bill to be sure. He's got great speed, good hands, and a surprising skill to run inside with those attributes. The Badgers offered Hill on Wednesday per Scout.com's Bill Greene, but this might fall in the too little too late category. He is set to visit East Lansing this weekend and the Spartans have been considered heavy favorites since Hill decommitted from Ohio State.
That said? If Hill leaves Michigan State without a new commitment, the Badgers chances shoot up exponentially. Hill has a top three that includes Pittsburgh and West Virginia. I mean, when you can be in the top four on a back with this sort of a Hudl on merely offering alone? It's a bet worth making.
Brandon Stephens: The Badgers first formal move was a re-offer, of sorts. Stephens, a composite three-star back from Plano, Tex. was initially offered by the previous administration -- but between the initial love for Williams and the change in staffs, Stephens was put on the offer in name only list and committed to Stanford. The recruiting process is at once slow as it is fast, and suddenly both sides are willing to do the dance again.
The offer list for Stephens is dotted with some of the best schools in the country (Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M), and he just plain runs really well. He'll pick and slide to the next level quickly, and shows good power and speed when he does. He also has great balance and agility to his game, That said, there are three schools that are working on the flip right now as Oklahoma has the door open on the interest list and Texas had him on side for the Red River Shootout. Long story longer, the Badgers definitely have a solid chance to win the flip, but there's options closer to home. The dance may continue.
Kyle Porter: Thursday, the Badgers officially moved to make the offer list a triumvirate with the offer to the Katy, Tex. three-star prospect. Porter's got a drive to get upfield and the athleticism to get yards in chunks. As it stands, he has an official top three of Arkansas, Oregon, and Texas. It's a strong offer list, but Arkansas already has a running back in tow, Oregon does as well. Texas doesn't have one, but they did get three commitments last year, which helped the Badgers rent the rights to Jordan Stevenson. It might get the Badgers a second victory in a battle with Texas.
On the state of defensive ends
The Badgers also had a defensive end on campus with cool name and high upside receiver prospect Quintez Cephus. But it wasn't Austrian-born, Lake Forest, Ill., prospect Thomas Schaffer. Rather, it was 8-man football sensation from Howard, Kan. (West Elk), Isaiahh Loudermilk. Loudermilk enjoyed his visit and now the Badgers are firmly in contention for a strong athlete with a frame that's college ready.
What does this mean for Schaffer? Nothing. Like Cephus is an or/also with Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Schaffer is still in play and it's reasonable to expect a visit either next weekend or for the Northwestern game -- but it's always been thought that Schaffer was going to battle between Oregon and Stanford with Wisconsin as the dark horse. If you want to talk about the multi-dimensional chess of it all. If the Badgers don't land Schaffer, him landing in Oregon would only help the Badgers chances with Loudermilk, as he's set to visit the Ducks on the weekend of November 20 to November 21.
If they land both? Don't be surprised to see a commit changes positions to the opposite side of the ball. If they land neither?
Eh, more spots for running backs.