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Looking ahead to Wisconsin’s 2019 recruiting class

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We’re always looking ahead.

The Wisconsin Badgers locked in 19 scholarship players and seven walk-ons on Wednesday as part of the 2018 early signing period.

We’ve looked at who else could be part of this current recruiting period, but head coach Paul Chryst and his coaching staff have already started off the class of 2019 on the right foot.

Currently, five recruits have verbally committed to the Badgers. That includes the likes of three four-star prep standouts (per 247Sports) who have caught the eye of other Power Five programs.

As we pivot towards Orange Bowl coverage and the ongoing basketball season, here’s who Wisconsin has “secured” verbal commitments from for 2019.

OT Logan Brown

  • 247Sports (Composite): Four stars; Grade: 0.9654; No. 76 player overall in country; No. 10 OT; No. 3 player in Michigan
  • 247Sports: Four star; Grade: 93; No. 88 player overall in country; No. 10 OT; No. 2 player in Michigan
  • ESPN: Four stars; Grade 81; No. 187 player overall in country; No. 18 position (OT); No. 13 Regional; No. 4 State
  • Rivals: Four stars: 6.0 Rating; No. 18 player overall in country; No. 1 MI; No. 2 OT in country.

The nationally-renowned junior verbally committed back on Nov. 19. According to 247Sports, Michigan, Alabama, Penn State, Michigan State, and other Power Five programs offered the four-star standout.

With Wisconsin’s offensive line coming back to prominence under Chryst and coordinator Joe Rudolph, Brown could be a player to watch in Madison.

QB Graham Mertz

  • 247Sports (Composite): Four stars; Grade: 0.8966; No. 305 player overall in country; No. 7 Pro-style QB; No. 3 player in Kansas
  • 247Sports: Three stars; Grade: 88; No. 358 player overall in country; No. 8 Pro-style QB; No. 3 player in Kansas
  • ESPN: Not rated
  • Rivals: Four stars: 5.8 Rating; No. 217 player overall in country; No. 1 MI; No. 6 QB

Chryst, Rudolph, and offensive quality control coach (and significant candidate for Wisconsin’s 10th assistant coach position on Jan. 9) Jon Budmayr received good news on Oct. 8 when Mertz verbally committed to Wisconsin.

According to his junior highlights, Mertz completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,684 yards and 45 touchdowns this past season with only six interceptions. Michigan recently offered on Dec. 16, so it should be interesting to see what other programs try to woo Mertz away from UW.

OL Joe Tippmann

Another early offensive lineman for this class for Wisconsin, Tippmann received offers from Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, and Cincinnati, per 247Sports. The Fort Wayne, Ind. (Bishop Dwenger) recruit verbally pledged to the Badgers on Dec. 16 and is the most recent commitment in the next recruiting cycle.

RB Julius Davis

The Menomonee Falls, Wis., standout committed just two days after Brown on Nov. 21. According to 247Sports, Davis also received an offer from Buffalo, but once again Wisconsin locked up a prominent in-state commit.

According to WisSports.net, Davis rushed for 1,762 yards (6.9 yards per attempt) with 17 touchdowns during his junior campaign. Check his Hudl film from 2017, as the first highlight seen below showcases some eye-opening talent.

ATH Leo Chenal

  • 247Sports (Composite): Three stars; Grade: 0.8539; No. 633 player overall in country; No. 59 ATH; No. 3 WI
  • 247Sports: Three stars; Grade: 83; No. 577 player overall in country; No. 59 ATH; No. 2 WI
  • ESPN: Not rated
  • Rivals: Three stars: 5.7 Rating, No. 8 Position (ILB)

The first verbal commitment for the Badgers came back on Sept. 10 from Chenal, whose older brother, John, is a walk-on inside linebacker for the class of 2018.

According to WisSports.net, Chenal rushed for 620 yards on 59 carries with 10 touchdowns and four two-point conversions. He also caught 19 passes for 366 yards and seven touchdowns, along with recording 96 tackles, 19 for loss, three sacks, and four forced fumbles.

Again, like Davis, Wisconsin received a commitment from one of its top in-state prep players, continuing the successful formula seen in years past. According to 247Sports, Chenal also received an offer from South Dakota State.