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National Signing Day 2016: Wisconsin assistant coaches weigh in on Badgers' commits

The coaches discuss their thoughts on the class of 2016 recruits.

Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Glenbard West) running back Sam Brodner
Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Glenbard West) running back Sam Brodner
Student Sports

MADISON -- After Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst spoke with the media on Wednesday afternoon inside the Camp Randall Stadium south end zone media room, the assistant coaches' discussed with reporters commits who signed their national letter of intents.

There were 25 scholarship commitments -- including two early enrollees in linebacker Dallas Jeanty and Kare' Lyles -- and a common theme among the coaches included these future UW student-athletes being "the right fit" for the program.

Here are the highlights from Wisconsin assistant coaches on Wednesday:

Offensive Coordinator Joe Rudolph

  • Four-star offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen needs valuable reps in order to get consideration for starting job and will get those reps. "He has the athletic and mental qualities to pick things up quickly."
  • Hopes Dan Voltz will be in Madison for summer training program
  • Kare' Lyles loves football and is a student of the game.
  • Sam Brodner ran a 4.4 40 at a UW camp, was the fastest he's ever seen in 4-5 years of doing camps.
  • Inside linebacker depth allowed for Jacobs' move initially
  • Thinks wide receivers, especially AJ Taylor, may be able to help right away. "A.J. has the type of skillset where he may be able to come in right away (and play)," Rudolph said. "You just watch him play, he's so dynamic."

Defensive Coordinator Justin Wilcox

  • Since coming to Madison, he has been able to watch all incoming freshmen players on defense. "Obviously, Coach Chryst and the staff did a phenomenal job of putting that group together. It fits what's best for the program."
  • His one home visit was down to Arizona
  • Had a good visit with Rand, and had some history with him based off of previous years and a USC camp the year before. It was just conversation that needed to be had.  "It wasn't going in with a salesman (mentality). It was, 'let's just go have a talk and make sure everybody feels good.' When everyone left, it was a real good conversation."
  • Dallas Jeanty is a "super kid", noted his intangibles.
  • Said he "touched base" with most 2016 players
  • Doesn't know what position group he'll coach, but it'll be settled soon.

Running backs coach John Settle

  • Likes Brodner's maturity. "He impresses you, not only with his physicals but with his mental abilities and his maturity."
  • When they didn't have a running back commit, there was no concern within the UW staff. "Coach Chryst's mindset was to never panic," Settle said. "We didn't want to just sign a guy to sign a guy."
  • Alec Ingold will move to fullback to compete with Austin Ramesh, where he expects a "fierce battle".
  • Badgers will be looking to get back to physicality of John Clay days.

Secondary coach Daronte Jones

  • Maybe only slept in his home in Madison three nights in the last few weeks of the recruiting cycle
  • Noted heading into spring camp, they have around 8 players in the secondary. Looking for between 17-18 normally on a college roster
  • Each cornerback offers different traits -- one's an outside guy, one's an inside guy that can play outside, and the other is an outside guy that can play inside. Said Ke'shan Pennamon can come off the edge, Caesar Williams is that long, athletic corner and Dontye Carriere-Williams is a quick-twitch guy. All are what he described ars ball hawks
  • Same thing with the safeties in this class. Descrbed the savviness of Eric Burrell, the ball-hawking skills of Patrick Johnson, and Seth Currens bringing a blend the height of Tanner McEvoy with the eventual "smarts" of a Michael Caputo -- though he said he wasn't try to make comparisons on the Pinkerington, Ohio native

Wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore

  • On A.J. Taylor -- "He's a young man that possesses a lot of abilities," Gilmore said. "He can do a lot of things for you, whether if that's as a returner, whether that's as a running back or as a receiver. He's a guy who's really good in his hands. He's a really intelligent man on the field, off the field. He gets it. He sees the big picture. In saying that, I think that will give him a chance to play as a freshman."
  • On Taylor: He can play on the outside and the inside. Where the running back is concerned -- told Settle to stay away jokingly.
  • Caught wind of Quintez Cephus from an email from his Coach in May of last year. Didn't know he was a "heck of a basketball player."

Tight ends coach Mickey Turner

  • On Jake Hescock, said he's a big kid, but what stood out the most was his athletic ability - playing defensive end and picking the ball off in stride. "There are a lot of things as once we got to know more about him, it only reaffirmed about what we felt." Talked about being student body president
  • Says Hescock likes hunting and fishing and skiing -- "He's kind of a Wisconsin kid, born and bred. He just happens to be from a different state."
  • WIth his large frame 6'7 frame, says at tight end you need to have a little bit of bulk to play the position. Said his high school has a done a good job with their weight training, which'll benefit Hescock. With the depth, they have the luxury of waiting to see how he develops.

Special teams coach Chris Haering

  • Over 100 punters in two days at Wisconsin's camp back last June -- noted how punter Anthony Lotti performed during the competition. His tools fit UW's pro-punt system -- has a nice leg but has the ability to hit high hang times
  • Could Lotti come in and be the No. 1 punter? "We've told them that, 'your goal is to come in and compete to be the starting punter. That should be your goal, and we're telling the other two guys that's their goal, too.'"
  • Wants to create that competition to find a punter who's confident heading into the first week of the season.