As 2019 spring football finished up late last week, B5Q begins to turn its attention to more recruiting. With that, we will continue to look at who the Wisconsin Badgers could reel in with this upcoming 2020 class while also breaking down how the six current verbal commitments could influence the program.
Five of the six players planning to be Badgers in this recruiting cycle come from within the state of Wisconsin, and Waukesha, Wis. (North), wide receiver Chimere Dike made his decision to join this class back in late January.
Both 247Sports and Rivals rate Dike as a three-star wide receiver, and according to WisSports.Net, he caught 79 passes for 1,091 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. That led to the junior wideout claiming WFCA large school all-state honors.
Dike’s junior highlight film is impressive, to say the least. Of course, high school coaches will boast about their players, but Waukesha North’s Matt Harris effusively praised his standout receiver.
“He’s obviously the most athletic kid on the field pretty much anytime we step on the field, which is not easy to say especially in our conference,” Harris told B5Q in late January. “I believe the Classic Eight is the best conference in the state for football, and at Waukesha North, we’re kind of the small fish in the pond with some of the schools we’re going against.
“You can’t fake the things that he’s doing. I think he gets double-teamed on just about every single catch that he has, so he has to create things on his own a lot of times in order for him to get the ball and do the thing that he does.”
Harris noted that Waukesha North runs a spread scheme that’s “very concept-driven in the passing game.” That can be seen in the Hudl highlight film seen above, especially with Dike’s highlights as he’s catching passes from then-junior quarterback Johnny Kelliher—another 2020 recruit who according to WisSports.net threw for 2,273 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.
Dike showed at the high school level that he can be utilized in various fashions. He can catch and get open on deep passes in lining up from different areas on the field, reel in sideline grabs and take wide receiver screens and gain yards after the catch. Harris reiterated the staff worked to find multiple opportunities to get its all-state receiver the ball last season.
“He lines up in the backfield sometimes. Sometimes he’ll run some ‘Wildcat’ for us. Sometimes he’ll run slot wide receiver. He’ll run wide receiver, and really, we just base it on a lot on matchups too,” Harris said.
“When we see that another team has maybe slower linebackers, sometimes we’ll game plan it to that where we know it doesn’t matter if you double-team him with a linebacker, he’s going to get past that guy and then he’ll have more of a one-on-one matchup so that we can get him the ball.”
Also seen on the Hudl film is the ability to catch the ball with his hands extended away from his body, run sweeps and also return kickoffs. It is obvious, at least on the prep level, that there is ability to gain yards after the catch. Harris referred to him as “slippery.”
“He rarely gets tackled by one person, and you can see that a lot in his film,” Harris said. “So it’s just getting the ball in his hands, he does special things. He makes a lot of plays that just make you amazed to see how he does it. He finds the holes, he’s got great field vision.
“He’s one of the rare kids that has track speed but he also has football speed, too.”
Speaking of track speed, Dike plays multiple sports for Waukesha North. He played basketball, and from what was seen on Athletic.net, he also participates in track. During the indoor season, he ran a 6.42-second mark in the 55-meter dash—an equivalent distance to just over 60 yards. That was during the April 6 Classic Eight Indoor Conference meet, where he also long jumped 22’ 4.25.
Now heading into his final year, Harris believes his young receiver will develop more as he becomes “older and faster and stronger” and “will do everything right to get to that point.”
Early on, however, Harris saw Dike’s potential. After taking over the Waukesha North program about five years ago, Harris received the opportunity to watch Dike develop in youth football in seventh and eighth grade.
“I’ve had a couple of receivers go Division I before so really all I could do was compare him to some kids that I’ve had in the past,” Harris said. “I could just tell that he was so much further advanced than some of those kids, and I knew if we just developed him the right way and didn’t get too complicated and just let him do his thing, I knew it would come.”