The class of 2019 early signing period starts on Dec. 19, which makes it just a month and seven days away. With the chance to rep the Big Ten West in the conference championship game anymore, why not take a look at what the Wisconsin Badgers have cooking for this cycle—especially after a prosperous week on the recruiting trail.
Wisconsin currently holds 17 known verbal commitments, plus four walk-ons, for the class of 2019. Four of those scholarship pledges and two walk-ons came in the just the past couple of weeks.
There is still a lot of time left between now and the early signing period, and how this class adds or even subtracts remains to be seen.
Looking broadly, here’s how Wisconsin currently sets up nationally heading into the final five or so weeks before the early signing period takes place.
Currently, Wisconsin ranks 28th in the nation according to its composite national team rankings system. The Badgers are seventh among Big Ten teams—perhaps a positive sign for the conference in terms of a collective push to secure the commitments of more highly-rated-players—but they boast an average player rating per recruit of 0.8747. That’s up compared to last year’s average (0.8648), and when looking upon years’ past, it appears this crop of commits is the best-rated since the service started keeping track (outside of the 2020 class, whose four commitments currently average a rating 0.8974).
247Sports composite rankings rate Wisconsin’s commits as follows:
- One five-star: Logan Brown
- Two four-stars: Graham Mertz and Rodas Johnson
- Fourteen three-stars: Spencer Lytle, Hayden Rucci, Leo Chenal, Julius Davis, Joe Tippmann, Semar Melvin, Gio Paez, Dean Engram, James Williams, Keeanu Benton, Maema Njongmeta, Skyler Meyers, Clay Cundiff, Stephan Bracey
Those composite rankings rate Brown as the No. 14 recruit overall and No. 3 offensive tackle in the nation. Mertz ranks as the No. 99 overall player and No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country.
As a reminder, 247Sports also has standalone rankings as well for each player, as the composite takes into account other major recruiting services in some algorithm. During our National Signing Day/early signing day coverage next month, B5Q will include those in our profiles of each player.
#Badgers 2019 recruiting class ranks No. 29 in the country. They've never finished inside the top 30 of the 247sports composite national team recruiting rankings.https://t.co/vI9lkIU1yE— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) November 7, 2018
The longtime recruiting service has Wisconsin a little higher than 247Sports, with this class ranked 24th in the nation and fifth in the Big Ten. Looking at years’ past, the highest a Wisconsin class has finished via Rivals was 33rd (both in 2005 and 2014).
When looking at this class’s average star rating (3.35), that places Wisconsin even higher at 20th in the nation.
Six players are rated four-star prospects, with the other 11 as three-star recruits:
- Four-star: Mertz, Brown, Rucci, Melvin, Lytle, Johnson
- Three-star: Chenal, Davis, Tippmann, Benton, Williams, Engram, Paez, Cundiff, Meyers, Njongmeta, Bracey
Some key breakdowns of the highest-rated players in this Wisconsin class:
- Brown ranks as the No. 30 overall player and No. 5 offensive tackle in the nation.
- Mertz is the No. 62 overall player and No. 2 pro-style quarterback in country.
- Johnson is the No. 176 overall player and No. 10 offensive guard, though it appears he will play on the defensive side of the ball.
- Rucci is the No. 250 overall player and No. 13 tight end.
B5Q spoke with BadgerBlitz.com’s Jon McNamara last Friday to break down more from the recent commits. Well worth the listen for those that like to dig into where these future Badgers could project.
Currently, ESPN ranks Wisconsin 29th in the nation. Because the team breakdowns are behind a paywall due to ESPN+, that is all I have on this.
Wisconsin commits in #DreamFearlessly Fan Vote
From UW’s 2019 class, Davis and Benton are in the Final Four to lock down spots in the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game. Both are currently trailing, but Badgers fans can go to the link here and vote every day. It appears you can vote once per browser (Chrome, FireFox, Safari, etc.) and from different devices (mobile/desktop/iPad), so really, you can submit your choices several times per day.
We need every @BYUfootball and @BadgerFootball fan to help out!— All-America Game (@AllAmericaGame) November 14, 2018
Vote for future Cougar @chase_roberts11 or future Badger @keeanu_benton to earn the final spots in the Under Armour All-America Game! --> https://t.co/oTnY40Xxik pic.twitter.com/0KAF2P7abW
More 2019 highlight videos
A couple of commits from this year’s class, with help from well-known digital artist guru Nolan Kromke of BadgersDigitals, have tweeted some highlight videos:
Just the beginning... :@BadgersDigitals pic.twitter.com/cr6dUWpiVt— Hayden Rucci (@haydengucci) November 11, 2018
We’re in that mode❗️ : @BadgersDigitals pic.twitter.com/pJbh1x25gs— Graham Mertz (@GrahamMertz5) November 10, 2018
Next stop: Madison, WI : @BadgersDigitals pic.twitter.com/K8nIHbwhTA— Clay Cundiff (@clay_cundiff10) November 12, 2018
You know how we coming!!!— Rodas Johnson (@onlyrodas10) November 12, 2018
: @BadgersDigitals pic.twitter.com/tpyXAfQAn6
Chapter 1 ✅ Chapter 2 Pending....— Julius Davis (@juliusdavis32) November 12, 2018
: @BadgersDigitals pic.twitter.com/PKF2t53Tmk