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What’s left for Wisconsin’s 2018 recruiting class after the Early Signing Period?

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There’s still an open spot.

John Jackson at the 2017 Nike Football The Opening Los Angeles.
Gardena, Calif. (Junipero Serra) WR John Jackson
Student Sports

All 19 current verbal commitments for the Wisconsin Badgers’ class of 2018 put their names on letters of intent on Wednesday. What this means for you is that the blistering pace the Badgers seem to have set for themselves in regards to the class of 2019 can continue.

It also means, without knowledge of future attrition, your Wisconsin Badgers are down to one spot left for the class of 2018. Positionally, there seems to be no screaming klaxon of what the Badgers actually need, so this will be a mixture of first come, first serve among the players that they like with the previously mentioned caveat of future attrition. I’ll break down the three current major players here after Florissant, Mo., three-star safety Dallas Craddieth committed to Iowa.

WR John Jackson
6’1, 180 pounds
Gardena, Calif. (Junipero Serra)

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The Badgers have found themselves with an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver and a class of 2018 that’s got an impressive pedigree of size and speed. And yet, I’m leading off with another wide receiver? To be quite frank, you watch the Hudl profile and you understand why. He’s got good quickness and runs strong routes, and he has the ability to go up and get his.

It’s setting up to be a bit of a battle, as the Badgers look to be facing down BYU, Oregon, and Tennessee for the commitment. And of course, there’s the whole, “Hey Wisconsin’s having five receivers in a recruiting class” question of negative recruiting. But if you’re hearing word of John Jackson as the No. 1 prospect left, he does have a skill set to back it up.

CB Jairus Brents
5’10, 178 pounds
Louisville, Ky. (Waggener Technical)

Obviously, when you have a four-star talent with at least some level of mutual interest, you’re more than willing to be patient to make sure that there’s no reason why you have to take back the offer. For a player like Jairus Brents, you’re definitely willing to give him every opportunity. He’s got soft hands, good wheels, and can stick with a receiver like glue and be willing to go up and get tackles on the run.

But there’s definitely other schools in play here. Duke is making a late charge, and with Pittsburgh and Michigan State along with Alabama listed as warm according to 247Sports, there are other options for Brents should Wisconsin not prove to be a fit. Admittedly it would be disappointing, but the Badgers do already have three cornerbacks coming in if Brents does not take that mystery spot.

ILB Will Honas
6’2, 225 pounds
El Dorado, Kan. (Butler C.C.)

I’m going to level with you. If you’re reading this, two things have happened. One, it’s looking pretty likely that T.J. Edwards has been graded highly enough that he’s ready to make a move into the professional ranks. Two, the Badgers just might be the favorites for the No. 1 junior college inside linebacker in America. Why? Because the Badgers offered Monday for a prospect with two viable options in Iowa and Nebraska and there is a definite possibility that he could just decide to sign as I write this.

On the off chance he decides to take that visit to Madison, the Badgers find themselves in play for an explosive, sideline-to-sideline linebacker who can wade through traffic and make a play.

Obviously, with Chris Orr and Ryan Connelly expected to return, being an instant starter would seem to make Honas absolutely special. But with Connelly as a senior? The Andrew Van Ginkel path to a starting role would very much be available.