The name Gary Andersen does not get a lot of love around these parts, and considering the way the former Wisconsin Badgers head coach left in comparison to the way he came in, I'm not here to blame anyone. The one good thing he did on the trail was set up Madison as the secret weapon for those that visited, it's one of the best cities in America, and it has definitely helped the Badgers win recruiting races they never really had before.
On a weekend where the high is potentially going to be ten to fifteen degrees above normal [ed. note: currently a high of 65 degress Fahrenheit], the opening weekend of spring practice is a weekend where a high value target could turn out to fall in love with the Badgers. Wisconsin does have a couple of major prospects coming.
QB Jack Coan: The biggest visitor that the Badgers are currently in the top-line of contention for is the four-star quarterback from West Sayville, N.Y. In the time since we last made mention of him, the situation hasn't really changed for Coan. Sure, there was an offer from Louisville and visits to Boston College, Northwestern, and Syracuse, But there's been no offer that changes the game against the Badgers here. It's probably not time for a commitment, but I wouldn't be surprised with a crystal ball or two going Wisconsin's way.
OLB Pete Werner: When last we left the four-star outside linebacker from Indianapolis, Ind. he recently received an offer from Notre Dame and expressed a high interest in a potential one from Stanford. To put it bluntly, the Badgers are on the second tier for Werner. With that said, the Badgers are firmly in the hat race, and the 6'2, 215-pound junior is interested enough in Wisconsin to make a second visit paid for by the Werner family. The chance may be akin to that of a boxer, but the Badgers have made it interesting with Notre Dame targets before.
WR Cody White: The game has changed with the Badgers and the 6'3, three-star prospect from Walled Lake, Mich. A Michigan State offer on Mar. 1 has given White an in-state offer to a school he "grew up" watching. It's not the end of the world, as he's still serious enough about Wisconsin to visit a second time on the family dime, and Michigan State is still very much in play for Donovan Peoples-Jones, Jaylen Harris, Danny Davis, K.J. Hamler and Hunter Rison. Batting .400 does not seem out of reach for Sparty, and all the prospects have a greater star pedigree than White.
The Spartans are the favorites, but with a potential future quarterback to take passes from on site and an overall good visit, the Badgers might be able to retake the lead.
If not, look for the Badgers interest in Plant City, Fla., three-star receiver Antoine Thompson to strengthen. Thompson recently received an offer from Mississippi State and was named the offensive MVP in the Rivals Camp in Orlando. Thompson is an electrifying athlete and absolutely dangerous with the ball in his hands. Like even if the population of this suburban neighbor to Lakeland leaves you to wonder about the level of competition question, the Hudl profile is pretty fun. Frankly, with the camp performance, I would not be shocked if the interest from the Badgers side is already as mutual as it is from Thompson.
QB Kenny Pickett: With the Badgers seeming to be in good enough shape for two of their first four initial offers at quarterback that it's not unreasonable to think that they can't land at least one, there are some offer-worthy prospects that will have to wait for the board to further shake itself out. Algonquin, Ill., prospect Chris Katernick is one of the first calls they would make if the situation arises and they need to make new offers. Another early call of the second round of offers would likely go to Pickett, a three-star prospect out of Oakhurst, N.J.
Pickett is a more mobile sort of quarterback, adding 336 yards and 5 rushing touchdowns to his 64 percent completion percentage and 19 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. The arm's strong enough to allow him to make good throws on the run too. With that said, he's not at a place where he's garnering the interest that he wants, as Connecticut, Central Florida, Rutgers, and Wake Forest are listed as "warm". Only one has offered. Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst has the time to make a personal evaluation and instantly leap to best offer territory if he finds him legitimate.
TE Logan Christopherson: The Badgers current number-one target at tight end is Jake Ferguson, who if you are reading this for the first time, is a rather a versatile player. It's enough to make the trip up from Christopherson interesting to me. He's a 6'6, 205 pounder from Lemont, Ill., who is athletic enough to be split out for at least his high school level as well as with an ability to tag defenders on the second level with his blocking. He shows good hands as well.
He's not on a level higher enough than Ferguson that if the Badgers are dead set on the Madison Memorial at a tight end that it would be a crying shame that Christopherson doesn't get an offer, but he's also not the sort of prospect that you can safely disregard from being one of the possible best 20 prospects the Badgers land either. He's definitely one of the more interesting prospects in the Chicagoland area.