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Wisconsin recruiting: football and basketball updates after a busy weekend

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There were a lot of recruits on campus to take in the Iowa game and one of them received an offer.

RB recruit Jalen Berger
@B5QPhotos; Matt Fleming

Recruiting is the lifeblood of any major college athletics team, but following it closely as a fan can sometimes be difficult and can often be time consuming. We’ll try and condense all the recruiting news you can use into this bi-weekly post. It’ll include updates on current commits, including stats from their high school games, as well as news on players the Badgers are still pursuing. Let’s get down to business!

Football visitors for the Iowa game

  • 2021 QB Cole Stenstrom (Saint Paul, Minn.) out of Mounds View High School came over for the Wisconsin vs. Iowa game. Stenstrom is a dual-threat QB who doesn’t have any offers, as far as I could tell, but has interest from South Dakota State.
  • 2021 TE Derek McDonald (Atlanta, Ga.) from Marist School made the trip up north for a visit to Madison. McDonald is unrated by both of the recruiting services but has interest from Appalachian State, Georgia, Kentucky, Central Michigan and a couple of Ivy League schools.
  • 2021 4-star DE TJ Bollers (Tiffin, Iowa) was back in Madison for another visit over the weekend with his parents. The No. 136 player in the country, as rated by Rivals, is not close to making a decision, but everything points to Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa being the teams to beat.

With the Badgers playing a 3-4 defense, Bollers could be a prime candidate to switch to an OLB/EDGE rusher position if he decides to come to Madison.

  • 2021 RB Alex Current (Muskego) came down to Madison for the Iowa game. He has interest from Michigan State, Northwestern, Iowa, North Dakota State and Western Michigan.
  • 2021 DE Sammy Smith (Madison) from Madison West came across town for the Badgers game. There isn’t a whole lot of other info on Smith out there.
  • 2021 5-star P Arlind Bengu (Avon, Ohio) of Avon High School was at the game on Saturday. He is rated as the No. 3 punter in the 2021 class by Kohl’s Kicking Camp and the No. 39 kicker.
  • The big fish on campus over the weekend was 2020 4-star RB Jalen Berger (Ramsey, N.J.) of powerhouse Don Bosco Prep. The Badgers have had excellent luck with New Jersey running backs going back as far as Ron Dayne, and including Corey Clement and current record-breaking RB Jonathan Taylor.

Wisconsin was a bit of a latecomer to the recruitment of Berger, but have quickly shot to the top of his list. Hometown Rutgers, Penn State, the Badgers and LSU appear to be the schools that he is most interested in at the moment. UCLA and Ohio State are probably in the next tier of teams and then basically every school you’ve ever heard of has made an offer to Berger.

The 4-star talent is playing in multiple high school all-star games and plans on making his college choice, live, during the Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4th. The Badgers should be right in the thick of things until then.

  • 2021 3-star WR Jaylin Noel (Kansas City, Mo.) of Park Hill High School came to visit Madison on Saturday for the Iowa game and then the next day he received an offer from the Badgers.

Noel is a 5-foot-11 and 170 pound wideout who has offers from Minnesota, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State and South Dakota State. Kansas, Louisville and a couple of others are showing interest in Noel as well. According to 247 Sports, no school has separated themselves from the pack in Noel’s recruitment.

  • 2021 WR Kameron Lee (Kenosha) of Indian Trail Academy returned to Madison for the second time this season. The 6-foot-2 WR hasn’t been offered by the Badgers yet but if he continues his upward trajectory it could be coming.
  • Top 2022 target, 4-star S Braelon Allen (Fond du Lac), was back in Madison for an unofficial visit. Allen is rated as the No. 76 player in the 2022 class by 247 Sports and currently only holds an offer from Iowa. Notre Dame and Wisconsin are the other two schools that are pursuing Allen heavily so far.

Basketball visitors for the Iowa game

  • 2021 4-star SG Julian Roper (Franklin, Mich.) out of St. Mary’s School came to Madison to catch the basketball game on Friday night and stayed for the football game on Saturday afternoon.

By all accounts he had a great time in Madison but, obviously, did not commit over the weekend. There are still two spots open in the 2021 class, although Greg Gard and company may decide to bank one of those for 2022 since they are signing six players in 2020 and wouldn’t want the classes to get too unbalanced.

Other basketball recruiting news

  • 2021 4-star C Jackson Grant (Olympia, Wash.) committed to the wrong UW over the weekend. The Badgers got Grant on campus for an official visit, but they were always behind the Huskies in the pecking order. Grant valued being able to play close to home and Washington is lucky to have him.
  • Those are good stats. Those are two good players.

Football commits highlights

  • 2021 3-star QB commit Deacon Hill led his team to their first playoff victory in 30 years. Hill tossed four TDs in the 44-0 rout.