A strong start to the class of 2019 just got stronger for the Wisconsin Badgers.
Lititz, Pa., (Warwick) tight end Hayden Rucci announced that he verbally committed to Wisconsin on Monday morning.
247Sports’ composite rankings and Rivals rate Rucci as a four-star recruit (247Sports standalone rankings and ESPN give him three stars). Rivals ranks Rucci as the No. 204 player and No. 6 tight end in the nation, while 247Sports composite shows him as the No. 331 player and No. 11 tight end.
According to BadgerBlitz.com’s Jon McNamara, Rucci—listed at 6’5, 225 pounds per 247Sports and Rivals—was Wisconsin’s No. 1 target at the tight end position.
Looking at his Hudl highlights, which show he caught 19 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns, Rucci is a mauler as a blocker. Frequently, he plays to the whistle, driving his target down the field with a good chunk of plays finishing with the defender on the ground. There’s a tenacity that shows up on film in those situations, and Wisconsin tight ends have to block well.
In the passing game, Rucci can haul in receptions and also get the all-important yards after catch.
Rucci is verbal commit No. 8 for Wisconsin’s class of 2018, joining athlete Leo Chenal, quarterback Graham Mertz, offensive linemen Logan Brown and Joe Tippmann, running back Julius Davis, safety Bryson Shaw, and wide receiver Nolan Groulx.
Currently—and it is still quite early for the next recruiting cycle—Wisconsin is No. 3 in 247Sports’ composite rankings for the class of 2019, one that includes four four-star players in Brown, Tippman, Mertz, and Rucci. Rivals currently ranks three of UW’s eight verbal commits as four-star prospects.