I know, I've been quiet on this for a while. Took a week and decided to talk draft and work for 60 hours. Because day jobs can do that to me.
That said, I'm back. And I come bearing news. There's a potential commitment coming very quickly. And always, plenty of new offers.
QB Kare' Lyles: The three-star prospect from Saguaro, Ariz., was already set to visit Wisconsin unofficially this weekend. He's a Badger legacy with a big arm and plenty of time living in Middleton. Well, on day one of the visit, the Badgers led off with a scholarship offer. This is an offer that could close the deal quickly. It's a chance to come home, a chance to learn under noted quarterback whisperer Paul Chryst and, let's be honest, if there's a Pac-12 team that likes what Lyles does at any point, we're not going to see it not offering because the Badgers already have dibs. It might not be this weekend, but expect Lyles to be a Badgers sooner rather than later.
Received my first offer from the University of Wisconsin! #OnWisconsin ⚪️— Karé Lyles (@klyles9) March 12, 2015
RB Tre Bryant: This isn't quite a situation where you need to throw a klaxon about Badgers commit Antonio Williams, but it does warrant mentioning should disaster strike. Bryant is a three-star running back from Saint Louis (Christian Brothers College) who is set to make an unofficial visit to Madison next weekend. As a contingency, Bryant would be a quality choice. A brief search shows a back that has run around a 4.50-second 40-yard dash time, and someone who has the agility to make his athleticism fluid and show that if he comes, he is more than a mere planned bee.
OT Sam Heckel: This might be the year that Wisconsin in-state offensive linemen start gaining regard amongst the star-chasers. Obviously, Arrowhead's Ben Bredeson is a borderline five-star talent and Bay Port's Cole Van Lanen is a four-star, but the fourth-ranked offensive lineman in the Badger state is seeing his recruitment grow into something noteworthy.
Heckel has received five offers in the past five days alone as he comes to Madison this weekend. As a prospect, Heckel's one of those prospects that seems tailor-made to grow into a future star at the position. The three-star from Waukesha West has the 6'5 frame to put on 30-40 pounds without losing much athleticism. The offer might not come straight away, but he's definitely a name to remember as the road to 2016 rolls on.
RB A.J. Taylor: A.J. Taylor is the top ranked athlete in Missouri, and he's definitely got the wheels (4.40-second 40-yard dash) to show it. The 247Sports Composite four-star running back prospect from Kansas City is more of a regional flavor in terms of the offer sheet as it stands right now (Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Northwestern) but someone with that athleticism and intelligence (after all, a Northwestern offer) is definitely someone who's worth knowing. I'm not going to tell you he's better than Antonio Williams, but if the Badgers try and get cute and throw in a James White to Williams' Montee Ball, Taylor's a great prospect to look at. Either way, he might get an offer on his visit this weekend.
Offers of note
With the skipping of a week, I'm not going to give you a full-on, whole hog look at whom the Badgers are offering. But there are definitely some good prospects UW might be able to get a foothold with, and if the Badgers find their way in on a prospect like Pompano Beach outside linebacker Alexy-Jean Bapitiste... we'll explain further.
Therran Coleman: You don't have to worry about the Badgers giving this 6'0, three-star cornerback prospect from Pittsburgh (Brashear) any sort of fadeaway. Coleman has three offers to his name; Paul Chryst's given him two of them. He's tall and athletic. If he looks for the dang ball, Badger fans would be thrilled.
Sam Schlueter: This three-star Mayer, Minn., offensive line prospect has the offer that Sam Heckel and Spencer Kanz are both waiting for. At 6'6, 275 pounds, he's already coming with a good lateral agility and punch that will serve him well in the trenches.
Also, the first play on the Hudl profile has a poor schmo getting trapped straight to hell. That's fun.
Austin Andrews: Any time you can get a tall cornerback with good athleticism, that's fun. Any time you can go into Columbus, Ohio. and offer a prospect that Ohio State's not in on yet? That's superb. Andrews is a 6'1 cornerback who in high school is fast enough to get to the corner and has the thumper's instinct of a good, strong safety. I know you're like, 'Hey, isn't he supposed to be a good cornerback prospect?' But if you get a guy that can cause a receiver to hear footsteps from any position, that's not a bad thing. That's most definitely a good thing.
Brandon Peters: It would go without saying that the Badgers weren't going to pass up offering one of the best quarterback prospects in the Midwest. Peters, the four-star prospect out of Avon, Ind., has Michigan and Indiana as his favorites, but if Michigan can pull K.C. Costello out of California, then things get interesting. Of course, the Badgers already offering Kare' Lyles on his visit shows they aren't going and loading up on Peters and all his eggs.
Dontavious Jackson: When you look at a high-four star prospect from Houston, (Elsik) Texas, with offers from a veritable who's who of college football, you think, the Badgers are a long shot in terms of grabbing Jackson. And they might be. But when the pro team he's been rooting for has a certain famous Badger in down in Houston, this might be a situation where Wisconsin has a chance to get in the race.
Obviously, when looking at a top-five linebacker in the nation, forgiveness of the old file photo of Bret Bielema in the tweet comes easy. As a player, Jackson has instincts and athleticism that allow him to slot in at any linebacker position. Already being 6'3, 235 pounds means he has the physical maturity to be a 400-tackle player in his college career. Wisconsin would have to go in and get a player Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M have a head start on, but look at the Hudl tape. Jackson's worth the effort.