At this point in the year, you're not going to see teams make too many offers for the class of 2016. There might be a random prospect that breaks out and breaks big, but at this point programs are busy working the prospects they have in contention and trying to get them to make visits and fill out their commit roster. If they can flip someone who was committed elsewhere, so much the better.
Which is why Wisconsin's offer on Monday to Isaac Nauta is so interesting to me. Nauta is a five-star tight end from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and the best prospect at the position. Are the Badgers going to get him? With Nauta having four visits to Michigan, Ole Miss, USC and TCU in play and Florida State and Georgia also as previous leaders, probably not. But the Badgers do offer a tradition of getting tight ends to the pros and Paul Chryst does have a history of getting them usage. It's an interesting offer to me, just like the notion of having a big recruiting weekend and having the centerpiece game come against Hawaii.
That sentence might not make sense, but I'll explain.
As you can see above, the Badgers will have six committed prospects on campus this weekend. I've also previously mentioned the four-star offensive prospects in Kare' Lyles, Antonio Williams, A.J. Taylor and Cole Van Lanen. Now you can add three-star linebacker Dallas Jeanty and safety Patrick Johnson II. Jeanty has been one of the more active Twitter recruiters among Wisconsin committed prospects and him being from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is going to at the very least allow for a committed Floridian presence for a visit group that currently stands as half-Floridian in terms of potential future implications. Johnson has an ankle injury that's forcing him to miss his senior season, but the Badgers are remaining loyal.
Elsewhere, the official visits, as well as two interesting prospects from the class of 2017 on-site for unofficials, are below.
CB Carlos Becker: The Badgers have been hanging around for this three-star cornerback from Kissimmee, Fla. He's been looking at schools like Kentucky and N.C. State, and he's looking at getting in the race with Ole Miss. In fact, he's scheduled a visit the weekend before National Signing Day with the Rebels.
Becker is a cornerback with enough size to get people to wait for him, but the Badgers need a good visit to get into play here. If you watch below, you'll see there's a chance for the secret weapon of a visit to Madison to work its magic.
DE Garrett Rand: Basically, it's unchanged here. The Badgers have been putting in work, and they're in a strong position for the four-star defensive tackle from Chandler, Ariz.
Rand does, however, seem in for the process. That's not necessarily a bad thing: it's better the Badgers get him ready to commit in January than be in danger of losing him via a flip. Don't expect Rand to commit anytime soon, but Wisconsin is going to be in the position of leader in the clubhouse.
G Kayden Lyles: It goes without saying that when the Badgers have an older brother that's committed, there's a top priority for the younger, especially if he has a more highly regarded star rating. Kayden Lyles, the 2017 247Sports composite top-100 prospect, is on the trip with Kare' from Scottsdale, Ariz. There likely won't be any sort of commitment here quite yet, but he's definitely atop the hot board for 2017.
CB K.J. Sails: As it stands right now, the Badgers are the last official visit for the three-star cornerback from Gibsonton, Fla. By all reports, Sails had a good visit to Iowa last weekend, but he was on Wisconsin's campus for an unofficial visit over the summer and that vaulted the Badgers into strong contention. The only question is just how far in the process Sails is; he has three official visits to work with and he has previously stated he's looking to take all five visits ($).
RB Ivory Kelly-Martin: The 2017 La Grange Park, Ill., prospect had a lost sophomore season due to an ACL injury, but he was clocked with a 4.4-second 40-yard dash time and showed shiftiness when healthy as a freshman.
The Badgers made an early offer to Kelly-Martin contingent on his health ($) coming back; with 11 touchdowns so far in his junior season, it's safe to say he's rounding back into form. The Badgers have a chance to close ($) on a running back that's slid in under the radar, and running backs coach John Settle might get shared credit for bringing in the first prospect of the class of 2017. As we expected.
CB Ke'Shan Pennamon: The most expected commitment for Wisconsin this weekend is Pennamon, the three-star cornerback from Jacksonville, Fla. The Badgers have been favorites for a while here, and Pennamon's already made noises that he's really close to being a Badger. That said, he's also made plans to visit Georgia Tech and Utah, and Georgia Southern has made him a top priority. Wisconsin might not get the commitment quite yet, but with Camp Randall Stadium's night-game atmosphere welcoming a prospect that hasn't yet visited Madison, I wouldn't bet against the Badgers closing the deal.
So it's set to be a big weekend in terms of top targets, even without the rumblings of another massive recruit ($) that's set to visit this weekend. We'll keep you posted as things develop -- there's doings a transpiring.