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Wisconsin football recruiting: Badgers make top 3 for A.J. Taylor; updates on Garrett Rand, cornerbacks

There is good news in recruiting. Swearsies.

Chandler (Hamilton), Ariz., defensive lineman Garrett Rand.
Chandler (Hamilton), Ariz., defensive lineman Garrett Rand.
Student Sports

The first recruiting post after a controversy is always a post where you feel like you're peeking your head out and checking to see if it's safe. I mean, that Jordan Stevenson thing happened, and it will happen again with another prospect. But with all notice of future hot take tornadoes shunted to the future, let's talk about the now. Good things are happening now.

A.J. Taylor names top three

One of the top targets in terms of need named his top three last week, and 247Sports composite four-star prospect and wide receiver target A.J. Taylor changed the playing field on who he was interested in. Wisconsin was in, which goes without saying, as I probably would have found something else to lead off this post with -- but here's the part that should get you hyped...

...Missouri's out.

Yes, the Badgers now have to face down Northwestern and Maryland on August 1 for the Kansas City, Mo. (Rockhurst) speedster. Now, there is a big reason to put Taylor on commit alert for this Saturday. For one, Maryland hasn't received any sort of unofficial visit for Taylor. For two, when A.J. Taylor came back to Wisconsin on his second unofficial visit? There was no visit to Northwestern.

The Badgers were leading for Taylor even before the possibility of future running back carries came into play. I'm not telling you it's a stone cold lead pipe lock, but on Saturday, it would be a severe upset if the Badgers didn't end up with Taylor.

Garrett Rand enjoys visit to Wisconsin

You know, the theory of Wisconsin being this place that's nothing but fields and cows and cold may actually work to the Badgers' advantage on the trail. If the recruiters can get a prospect on campus, Madison will do a real good job of selling people on the possibility of playing football for the Badgers. I mean, it's one of the best cities to live in the country as well as one of the best collegiate atmospheres.

So, if you were one who would be surprised by news of Garrett Rand, the four-star defensive line prospect out of Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton) being "blown away ($)" by his visit? Don't be. Be happy, because Rand has got blue chip potential as an athlete as well as the academics to go hard in the paint of whatever major he wants. Could Wisconsin be in the lead for Rand? ($) If so, it would be huge because every day you have the lead is a day that you build an advantage on the trail.

Rand isn't quite ready for the commitment just yet, and an offer from a Pac-12 school like Stanford ($) or USC could flip the recruiting table toward an unfavorable position for the Badgers. The Badgers do have a bunch of extroverts on the Twitter machine, and after meeting Fort Lauderdale, Fla. inside linebacker Dallas Jeanty on his visit, one of the Badgers three commits/Twitter recruiters is making sure that Rand remembers that Wisconsin is great.

Cornerbacks Corner

I know, I know, I KNOW. There have been no cornerbacks that have committed yet, but there's little reason to panic yet. Cornerbacks are coming, and as we all know, Madison is awesome and if you're not gonna be charmed by it you probably had a free visit to take. The Badgers aren't out of play for good corners either.

South Florida commit Armunz Matthews is coming into Madison Tuesday night for an unofficial visit this week ($). There was a brief period where he was a top target for the Badgers at cornerback, but he reaffirmed his commitment to the Bulls. Either way, the Tallahassee, Fla. (North Florida Christian) prospect would be a good addition even if depth wasn't a consideration. A recent certain crystal ball prediction makes things interesting, and has offers from Arizona, LSU, Kentucky and Missouri.

Temecula, Calif. (Lindfield Christian School) speedster Lorenzo Burns had to reschedule his visit from this week ($), but he will make an unofficial visit in August instead. He is anxious to see Madison ($). The upside, he's still intrigued enough to go two-thirds of the way across the country to see Wisconsin on his own dime. Also, he gets to top speed quickly and is shifty when he gets the ball in his hands.

Finally, there's the explosive athleticism of Jacksonville, Fla. (University Christian) cornerback Ke'Shan Pennamon. He got in an officially scheduled a visit to Wisconsin on September 26 against Hawaii. He has the Badgers in the top three, and it has a shot to be a night of commits for the Badgers.