We've given the recruiting process a couple of days to breathe after the spring game. I figure it's going to be best for business if we take a look at the needs of the Badgers as they stand right now. It's still early and though the Badgers look like they might have taken a big hit, keep hope alive. This class still has a chance to be a really good one.
Note: Scholarship counts below are estimations based off media reports and analysis.
On scholarship: 5
Graduating seniors: 1 (Joel Stave)
Committed: Kare' Lyles
Going with Lyles, the big-armed, three-star prospect from Scottsdale, Ariz., the Badgers are set at quarterback in 2016. They could devote the energy to Lyles' highly-touted 2017 prospect brother Kayden to commit ($), as well as get a head start on seeing if they can't get themselves a top-notch 2017 quarterback like Dylan McCaffrey or Tua Tagovailoa.
On scholarship: 7 (10 including fullbacks)
Graduating seniors: 1 (FB Derek Watt)
Committed: Antonio Williams
Talented recruits come for UW's spring game
Though the expected commits didn't pan out, a promising group of recruits visited Madison for Wisconsin's spring game last month.
Running back, a position where most Badger fans were worried about the depth last season, has suddenly become one of the deepest groups in the nation. On top of that, touted four-star Williams is coming next year as an early enrollee. When Serge Trezy and Caleb Kinlaw are your current fourth and fifth running backs, you're in good shape. Even if disaster strikes with Williams, you might not need a replacement.
On scholarship: 8
Graduating seniors: 2 (Alex Erickson, Jordan Frederick)
The past couple of seasons have seen the Badgers begin with fewer receivers then they earned commitments from. With the spring move of sophomore Natrell Jamerson to cornerback, getting to February with at least two receivers is paramount. The news is good on Kansas City, Mo. (Rockhurst), four-star prospect A.J. Taylor. Visiting twice ($) and getting a Crystal Ball projection from 247Sports recruiting expert Evan Flood shows that the momentum is firmly on the Badgers' side here.
A second prospect to look for would be to the recently offered, DeMatha Catholic (Maryland), four-star prospect Tino Ellis. There is reason why Virginia Tech would be a favorite, as his cousin, Donovan Riley, caught and returned the pick-six that got the Hokies the most inexplicable upset of the year over Ohio State, but Ellis' top suitors seem to be Maryland, Rutgers, Wake Forest and West Virginia. The Badgers could end up finding their way into the race here.
If not, there are fingers, there are pies. Lakeland, Fla., three-star prospect Tariq Young has that sort of "get out in space and good things happen" that you'd want in a receiver. Not only are the Badgers his only offer, he is planning on visiting in early June. That said, the last word on him was about playing defense. If this remains the case, expect the Badgers to hit the tall Texas receiver tree hard.
On scholarship: 5
Graduating seniors: 1 (Austin Traylor)
If you want to know a position where a prospect can make a splash at in summer camp and likely come away with a offer, tight end is it. The Badgers have six current offers out at the position and the best case right now is sneaking back in Naseir Upshur's top 13.
The Badgers do need one. The latest possibility is three-star Aurora, Colo. (Regis Jesuit), prospect Jack Stoll. Stoll made a visit to Madison for the spring game and has offers from Colorado, Nebraska, Texas and some of your finest Mountain West schools.
On scholarship: 14
Graduating seniors: 2 (Tyler Marz, Ray Ball)
This is a year when the Badgers have many options for not a lot of spots. The expectation is the Badgers still get three linemen, even though no one has come across the line. The bad news: It looks like Hartland's Ben Bredeson will make a visit to at least Michigan before deciding, and suddenly Notre Dame believes it has a chance to pull him. The Badgers are far from dead, but I want to give you early notice if the momentum starts to shift.
With that said, the Badgers are still big favorites for Bay Port's Cole Van Lanen, and one of the offers that slid in under the radar this month has a chance to pay big dividends is Baltimore (Gilman) lineman Devery Hamilton. The four-star prospect from the Charm City comes out ready to play as a 6'6, 290-pound, mauling run blocker. As it stands, the Badgers are in a race between Stanford and Michigan for Hamilton. If Bredeson decides to stay in the Big Ten outside of Wisconsin, the cold comfort is that the chances for Hamilton do likely improve.
As to who might be a third lineman, the Badgers have made recent offers to Josh Ball, a 6'7, 315-pound 247Sports four-star prospect from Fredricksburg, Va.; and Alaric Jackson, a 6'7, 280-pound three-star prospect from Detroit, Mich. Ball is a prospect with a giant offer sheet; we may not hear more from him. Hickson, being a prospect from Michigan, is going to be a little bit of a challenge to get out of state, but at the very least he is looking to visit.