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Wisconsin football recruiting: 5 running backs the Badgers could be interested in

With a desire for two running backs and only one offer in play, who might the Badgers be interested in?

Manvel, Texas running back D'Vaughn Pennamon.
Manvel, Texas running back D'Vaughn Pennamon.
Student Sports

If you're looking at what's likely to happen for Wisconsin when the recruiting dead period finishes up, the most obvious answer is the next set of running back offers are likely to come out. The question that's likely to be asked is: who's next to be offered?

Yes, Kyle Porter (247SportsRivalsScout) is in play and the Badgers definitely have a chance to close on the Katy, Texas star, but that is definitely a scenario in which the Badgers are going to have to win a battle to earn the commitment.

Since the stated desire is to get two running backs in tow by National Signing Day, I'm going to break down five potential options for you. It's far from scientific, and I'm probably going to leave a name off the list that will end up getting an offer. But here are the five likely candidates as I sit writing this in the middle of the closest thing to a blizzard we've seen in a while.

D'Vaughn Pennamon (247SportsRivalsScout)

5'11, 199 lbs.
Manvel, Texas

Now, I know that you're thinking a three-star commitment to Ole Miss isn't exactly going to be the easiest player to flip, and you aren't wrong. But when you consider that Pennamon is currently one of three committed running backs to the fighting Hughs Freeze, you have someone with the potential to flip.

In a logline form, Pennamon is Montee Ball with a better set of hands; a.k.a. he has great quickness and vision and runs with a consistent effort. He does have an official visit set to Alabama, but the Crimson Tide are going after multiple running backs for one slot. If someone slides past Pennamon or Pennamon decides to wait, there's an opening for a move to be made.

But yeah, I'm not going to try to tell you we're going to win a recruiting battle with Alabama.

Sam Brodner (247SportsRivalsScout)

5'11, 215 lbs.
Glen Ellyn, Ill.

In a world where the linebacker position in Wisconsin's recruiting class wasn't essentially filled to the brim by mid-June, the emergence of Sam Brodner when he visited the UW camp on May 31 would have probably led to some kind of Kendric Pryor-esque flip to the offensive side of the ball after Antonio Williams decommitted, and one half of the equation would have been filled.

That said, the Badgers have a chance to land a very intriguing athlete who destroyed defenses up and down the Land of Lincoln to the tune of 1,917 yards rushing and 47 total touchdowns. He's a back that runs with a thumping power and has been timed twice in the 40-yard dash with a sub-4.5 time. Wisconsin's going to have to beat Iowa to land Brodner's commitment, but the Illini already have three running backs in tow.

Kentrail Moran (247SportsRivalsScout)

5'10, 192 lbs.
O'Fallon, Ill.

The Badgers have another option in the Land of Lincoln if they want someone who's a little more physical than pure speed. Moran is a three-star Illinois commit who had Iowa State, Louisville and Syracuse sniffing around before the dead period started. He's a surprisingly strong inside runner for a back his size and that is a skill set that always has value. As it goes, the Badgers could land him quickly if they decide to offer.

Zack Moss (247SportsRivalsScout)

5'10, 205 lbs.
Hallandale, Fla.

I've always said I'm a bit of a sucker for a versatile back, and Moss does fit the bill. About the only thing the current Utah commit and three-star back doesn't have is the second gear to pull away. Everything else is there on his Hudl profile. He gets to top speed quickly, he breaks tackles, he can make a defender miss and he has good hands. He recently committed to Utah, and that probably means this is a Utah Ute I'm forcing you to take time to ponder, but Moss's tape has some real swell plays on it anyway.

Terence Stephens (247SportsRivals)

6'1, 190 lbs.
Imperial, Pa.

If we get to this point, there will likely be other names here. For one, three-star prospect and FIU commit Khalil Herbert (247SportsRivalsScout). For two, this would probably be the point where you would hear legitimate discussion of giving Kimberly, Wis. prospect Blair Mulholland (247SportsRivalsScout) a full scholarship in the "life comes at you fast" final countdown to the recruiting process. Why? Because when you're looking at someone who is a two-star athlete committed to Bowling Green on his first offer, the first blush isn't going to be pretty.

That said, Stephens has the tools to be something more than the station that a two-star MAC commit might dictate. He hits the hole hard and accelerates very well. He can break tackles and does offer the shiftiness to make a defender or two miss along the way. He's definitely a developmental prospect, but his Hudl profile shows something.