Saturday was one of the better days fans have seen in Wisconsin recruiting history as the Badgers landed commitments from two four-star prospects in Green Bay (Bay Port), Wis., offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen and St. Petersburg (Admiral Farragut Academy), Fla., safety Craig Watts.
It's not often the Badgers get a pure four-star prospect and to get two on the same day is an occasion for throwing your .GIFs in the air and posting them as if you were uncaring about any repercussions. Let's dive back into what exactly the Badgers gained on Saturday and what might be next in the coming weeks and months.
Cole Van Lanen
In terms of a player, what the Badgers get in Van Lanen is an offensive lineman that in most years would be the crown jewel of the state. He's a ready-made run blocker that with a 6'5, 270-pound frame has room to add muscle and become an absolute mauler on the Badgers' offensive line. Basically, he's a classic Wisconsin lineman prospect with the athleticism to have a pedigree coming into Madison.
With Van Lanen and high-upside guard Patrick Kasl in tow, the Badgers can now go down their board and after the prospect that they want most for the offensive line. Expectations suggest the Badgers will take one more player, as they can afford to be patient and not just throw out offers all willy nilly. Devery Hamilton, the tackle out of Baltimore (Gilman), Md., is the only offensive line offer 247Sports calls "warm" for Wisconsin. But even if the Badgers end up with a prospect like Chase Behrendt from St. Joseph, Mo., as their third lineman, this class is another typical quality offensive line class for Wisconsin.
If you've been a safety prospect with some ability to tackle that the Badgers have recruited in the past couple of seasons, you've found yourself being compared to Michael Caputo. Sure, you can call it a little lazy, but it's an easy archetype to understand.
The prospect is one that plays like an extra linebacker. Watts has the potential to shift the paradigm with his athleticism, sideline-to-sideline range and ability in run support. The combination of speed and upside is definitely rare in Badgers classes, and with the graduations in the secondary after next season, don't put it past him to be a day-one starter.
As for safety, after getting Pickerington, Ohio, prospect Seth Currens in May, the Badgers might be done adding prospects. Not to say they won't keep recruiting Owings Mills, Md., four-star Eric Burrell or the three-star from Katy, Texas, Collin Wilder.
For one, it's a big class and the Badgers can fill in slots with players that they want to take. For two, with an offer list like Watts', you could absolutely see a school not giving up or trying to recruit him with a renewed vigor.
But that's a worry for tomorrow. Or January. The whole having a recruiting class behind Tulane of 11 days ago is a thing of the past. Right now, Paul Chryst's staff is knocking on the door of the top 25 recruiting classes for 2016. June 20, 2015, has the potential to be an impact day for years to come.