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Wisconsin Badgers recruiting: WFCA awards and other updates

A lot of Badgers commits are also really good Wisconsin high school football players!

I know we used this picture on the last recruiting post too, but Ben Barten just keeps winning awards. Blame him.
@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!

Current football commits awards

The Wisconsin Football Coaches Association has announced its All-State, Player of the Year, and Assistant Coach of the Year Awards for 2019. The WFCA is producing separate Large School and Small School All-State Teams once again, with six players also identified as part of an 8-Player All-State Team. Here are the Wisconsin commits that were honored as Large School All-State selections:

  • Kerry Kodanko, OL, West De Pere, 6-foot-4, 285, SR
  • Jack Nelson, OL, Stoughton, 6-foot-7, 285, SR
  • Trey Wedig, OL, Kettle Moraine, 6-foot-8, 320, SR
  • Jonny Davis, QB, La Crosse Central, 6-foot-5, 195, SR (he’ll be playing basketball at UW)
  • Chimere Dike, WR, Waukesha North, 6-foot-1, 185, SR
  • Cade McDonald, DE, Hudson, 6-foot-7, 250, SR
  • Cole Dakovich, OLB, Catholic Memorial, 6-foot-5, 250, SR

Here are the Wisconsin commits that were honored as Small School All-State selections:

  • Ben Barten, OL, Stratford, 6-foot-5, 275, SR
  • Tanor Bortolini, OL, Kewaunee, 6-foot-6, 275, SR
  • Ben Barten, DL, Stratford, 6-foot-5, 275, SR (that’s right...he was all-state on both sides of the ball)

It should also be noted that Barten was named the Small School Defensive Player of the Year. Here is what had to say, bolding my own:

Small School Defensive Player of the Year honors went to Stratford defensive lineman Ben Barten. A two-way star, Barten was a key part of a Stratford defense that did not allow a point until the state semi-finals. Despite sitting out the second half of most games as a result of blowouts, he has recorded 58 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and three sacks for the Tigers. A Badgers commit who earned First Team All-State on both offense and defense as a junior, he has was a two-way choice this season.

Current football commits playoff highlights

His team hadn’t even won a playoff game in 30 years and now they find themselves in the semifinals thanks to Hill’s dominant performance. He’s going to fit in well here methinks.

Current basketball commits updates

  • 2021 4-star commits PG Chucky Hepburn (Bellevue, Neb.) and PF Matthew Mors (Yankton, S.D.) took in Wisconsin’s win over Marquette at the Kohl Center on Sunday. It was the first time either of them had seen a competitive game in Madison, and they couldn’t have picked a much better one tbqh.
  • The Badgers basketball social media team did a really nice job on signing day last week. This shit matters, so it’s nice to see Wisconsin care about it and do it well. Not every school does.
  • Lakeville (Minn.) North is basically a Wisconsin feeder program now.

In-state players offered by dumb schools that aren’t Wisconsin

  • If I were a football coach in the midwest and there was an offensive lineman from the state of Wisconsin that the Badgers were even thinking about offering, I’d offer him. No questions asked. 2022 4-star OL Joe Brunner (Whitefish Bay) is a no-brainer, but still.
  • Shit, did I tell my plan to someone at Notre Dame?

2022 4-star OL Carson Hinzman (Hammond) was also offered by the Irish over the weekend. Brilliant strategy, Brian Kelly!

  • 2021 CB JaVaughn Byrd (Milwaukee) got his first FBS offer last week. Thomas Hammock knows what kind of kids there are in Wisconsin and he has made it a point to offer a lot of them while at NIU.
  • I didn’t know which section to put this in, so it’s going to go here.

2021 4-star OT JC Latham, who is originally from Milwaukee but currently attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., did not include the Badgers in his top-10.