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Wisconsin football recruiting: Catching up with Badgers commits, targets

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As expected, a variety of recruits were impressed by Wisconsin’s start to the 2016 season.

Lambeau College Classic - WI vs LSU

Now that the dust has settled on a huge win against LSU last weekend, the No. 10/No. 16 Wisconsin Badgers face the Akron Zips on Saturday. While it may be business as usual for the UW, that certainly doesn’t mean an unexpected victory on a national stage has gone unnoticed.

Last weekend, I reached out to a handful of Wisconsin recruits—some currently verbally committed to the Badgers, others offered or possibly targeted by UW in the 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes.

They answered a set of rather open-ended questions via Twitter:

“What impressions did you come away with after the big win? Does it change how you look at the Badgers recruiting of you at all?”

The road to National Signing Day is a long one (especially for the class of 2018), and emotions run high after a big win like last week’s.

That being said, a big win like this goes a long way to help national perception, as seen in the players’ responses below.

Offered players

Quarterback:

Artur Sitkowski, 2018 four-star and top-five pro-style QB from Old Bridge, N.J. (Old Bridge)

“The game was great! I love the way Wisconsin played and how their QB’s operate”

  • The Old Bridge, N.J., standout went on to say that “the win definitely helps a lot.”
  • Artur told me he definitely plans to visit Wisconsin in the spring and that the youth at UW’s quarterback position will play a factor in his decision.
Ben Bryant, 2018 three-star from La Grange, Ill. (Lyons Township)

“This win justifies and solidifies that UW is the real deal and can beat anyone. This doesn’t really chance much with my recruiting, but I am just as excited now as I was when Coach Budmayr offered me the opportunity to join the Badgers and be a part of a winning team & tradition.”

  • Ben told me previously he will be lining up a visit to Madison “probably going to the game they play Ohio State”

Running back:

Justus Woods, 2018 three-star from Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Christian)

“I think it just confirms my first impression of Wisconsin: Which is that they are smash mouth football team that finds a way to win.”

  • When asked what that does to impact his level of interest in Wisconsin, he simply responded, “Increase.”

Wide receiver:

Dallas Craddieth, 2018 three-star from Florissant, Mo. (Hazelwood Central)

“Yea it does. It shows me they can compete with a team that supposed to be way better than them.”

  • The Florissant, Mo. (Hazelwood Central) receiver previously told me that the Badgers’ coaching staff, academics, success of the team, along with the player/coach relationships really stood out. He said that he and his mom really want to visit Madison and check out the university.

Defensive line:

Andrew Chatfield, 2018 four-star from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (American Heritage)

“I knew they were going to win.”

  • Does it change how you look at the Badgers? “Naw! Not really, One think I love about the Badgers is they have discipline.”

Defensive backs:

Marquis Williams, 2018 three-star from Pompano Beach, Fla. (Coconut Creek)

“The Badgers really impressed me, they moved all the way up to my top 3.”

Keondre Miller, 2018 three-star from Saint Petersburg, Fla. (Admiral Farragut Academy)

“They did what I expected them to do: which was come out and play iron man football. This doesn’t do anything but draw me closer to the program.”

Verbal commits

Izayah Green-May, 2017 three-star defensive end from Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook)

“My impression is still the exact same, I just got to see it up close. I had confidence in my school the whole way! It doesn’t change how i look at anything. It was picking up on the the intensity of the college level and mostly watching my position group as well as enjoying the game atmosphere with my fellow commits.”

“I can’t wait to be up in Madison”

Madison Cone, 2017 three-star from Kernersville, N.C. (East Forsyth)

“It’s definitely exciting watching the Badgers come out with the big win vs. LSU. It doesn't change the way i feel about Wisconsin. I had high expectations from the beginning. I cannot wait to get there in January and be a part of the Badger family.”

Tyler Beach, 2017 three-star offensive tackle from Port Washington, Wis. (Port Washington)

“I think the win showed how amazing the coaches are and how great they are at developing great players. It makes me even more excited to go out there and play for that team.”

Reggie Pearson, 2018 three-star safety from River Rouge, Mich. (River Rouge)

“I wasn’t surprised. I believe in the Wisconsin coaches and the players they coach. No it doesn't change anything, it only makes me eager to hurry and dress in the badger uniform. I’m all in.”