Could Jordan Stevenson land at Oregon State, consequently handing Gary Andersen vindication for his supposed disdain of Wisconsin's academic standards?
Quite possibly, according to multiple reports that circulated Friday after news of Stevenson's release from his letter of intent at Wisconsin. On Thursday, we learned that Stevenson -- a four-star running back from Dallas (South Oak Cliff) who was the Badgers' top 2015 recruit at the position and held the possibility of competing for a backup spot at UW right off the bat -- was denied admission by Wisconsin and would be released from his LOI. As a NCAA qualifier, Stevenson can enroll with any school (pending admission, of course) immediately after he is released by Wisconsin, which happened on Friday.
So where will Stevenson, 247Sports' composite No. 17 running back, end up? According to 247Sports' Ryan Bartow, who broke Thursday's news, Stevenson spoke with coaches from nine schools "less than 45 minutes after receiving his release" including Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Louisville, Nebraska, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Texas Tech and Tennessee. Bartow added that Stevenson said Oregon State, Nebraska and Tennessee -- in that order, for whatever it's worth -- "stick out" to him and that Stevenson hopes to make his college choice "later this weekend" before enrolling early next week.
A few other reports later Friday seemed to echo that shortlist, though it is still early in this process. Rivals' Sean Callahan said Stevenson was "down to" Nebraska, Tennessee and Oregon State and The Oregonian's Gina Mizell said Oregon State had already contacted Stevenson, his mother and his stepfather.
It's worth recalling that Stevenson -- originally a Texas verbal commit -- committed to Wisconsin shortly after Andersen left the Badgers and before Paul Chryst was hired. He appeared sold on Wisconsin and eager to get on campus, judging by his Twitter feed, but Andersen's initial recruitment of Stevenson could apparently pay dividends for the Beavers.
Again, it's very early -- Stevenson still has his page on Wisconsin's official roster, even. But for Badgers fans frustrated by the latest development in the storyline of Wisconsin's purportedly too-rigorous academic standards, the thought of Stevenson joining up with Andersen or Big Ten rival Nebraska is undoubtedly tough to swallow.