The first day of the 2018 early signing period has passed us, and by 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, the Wisconsin Badgers’ class was pretty much signed, sealed, and delivered (except for maybe one or two more down the road?).
Nineteen scholarship players and seven walk-ons will head to Madison to play for Wisconsin. Five—cornerback Donte Burton, wide receiver Taj Mustapha, athlete Aron Cruickshank, defensive lineman Bryson Williams, and safety Reggie Pearson—will enroll early in January.
“It’s been extremely rewarding to get to know all of our signees and their families throughout this process,” head coach Paul Chryst said in a statement released on Wednesday. “What I’ve been most impressed with is how well they fit with one another, within our football program and with the University of Wisconsin. We obviously feel they can add value to our team on the field, but just as important is how their personalities, character and work ethic fit this university and our football program.
“We’re very excited to add 26 high-quality young men to our program today and look forward to helping them grow through the next chapter of their lives.”
The coaching staff is “excited” for these class of 2018 Badgers, the fans and media have speculated and given their opinions about this class—but what about the players themselves?
Since Saturday, we have been asking this current crop of Wisconsin commits who they are most excited to see on the field from this class of 2018 recruits.
S Reggie Pearson: “Definitely Nakia [Watson]. I’ve talked to him almost every day. That kid is going to be electric. Physical. Huge. He has some speed for his size, and his open field moves are great. He’s playing big Texas football. Texas is known for football so I think he will defintiely bring something to the table, even behind ‘JT’ [Jonathan Taylor] or in front of JT. That kid is electric.”
OG Michael Furtney: “I wouldn’t say there’s one that stands out, but what I would say is I’m really excited to see us all play out there together just because how quickly we’ve all bonded and getting alrady so close to each other I feel like it’s going to be a cool thing to see how all of us play out on the field, too.”
DL Bryson Williams: Jaylan Franklin. “He’s tall and he’s athletic. I’m excited to see what he can bring for us.”
CB Travian Blaylock: “Reggie Pearson no doubt!! He is a great player and I’m ready to see him ball!”
RB Nakia Watson: “I’m most excited to see Michael Furtney, he’s a great player and RBs always have to develop relationships with their O-Line.”
TE Jaylan Franklin: “I’m most excited to see Chase Wolf. He has really caught my eye and I think he will bring a lot to the table and show people not to underestimate him.”
OLB C.J. Goetz: “The 2018 class is so tight that to be honest I can’t wait to play with all of the guys! It’s going to a very exciting time!”
OL Andrew Lyons: “From the class of 2018, I think John Chenal is intriguing to me because of his versatility in high school. He can do it all, and I can tell from meeting him and watching his film he a great competitor. Especially being a walk-on it will give him that extra motivation to be great.”
QB Nate Carter: “I’m really excited to see what Boyd [Dietzen] can do. He’s powerful and has a high motor which will help him a lot.”
ILB John Chenal: “Bryson Williams is definitely one who I will enjoy watching. It is clear that he sets himself apart from other ball players. He seems to have all the necessary physical abilities to become a high level player.”