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 as well as news on players the Badgers are still pursuing. Let’s get down to business!
New football offers
- We mentioned this the other morning in the Blogopean Union, but Donald Driver’s son, Cristian Driver, now holds an offer from Wisconsin.
My man @CristianDriver_ has finally received a offer from his hometown. Remember this as we continue to chase our dreams: “Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” @donald_driver80 #WisconsinLove @lammi_sports pic.twitter.com/hNk0Leubh5— Donald Driver (@Donald_Driver80) September 19, 2019
The class of 2022 4-star DB/WR from Texas also has offers from LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas Tech, Minnesota, TCU, Virginia Tech, Washington State and Liberty.
Every other team on his list is mentioned as being “cool” by 247Sports, even some teams that haven’t offered yet, Liberty is the only one that has no mention of how Driver is feeling.
- Top 2020 LB target, Kaden Johnson (Minneapolis, Minn.), has been racking up impressive offer after impressive offer this fall. His latest is from an SEC West powerhouse.
Extremely blessed to have received an offer from Louisiana State University pic.twitter.com/hsu22KIqWt— Kaden Johnson (@KadenJohnson9) September 16, 2019
This still seems like a two-horse race between the Gophers and Badgers but you never know what will happen once the big dogs come calling.
- There is a lot of chatter that 3-star ATH/LB Preston Zachman (Catawissa, Pa.) is a silent commit to Wisconsin already. He’s at 100% on 247Sports’ Crystal Ball prediction to the Badgers and, look, he’s excited to receive an offer from UW! After an impressive showing over the summer at camp, he was offered by Paul Chryst this week.
Excited to receive an offer from Wisconsin university!!!! pic.twitter.com/8Q2kcdOZqC— Preston Zachman (@ZachmanPreston) September 12, 2019
The Badgers are, by far, his best offer so far but he also has offers from Temple, Army, Air Force and a number of smaller schools.
Basketball recruiting update
- This is, obviously, much less important now given the decisions that were made this week, but Greg Gard was still out on the recruiting trail for 2020 recently.
Wisconsin’s Greg Gard will be in tomorrow for Top-100 senior Zed Key, a source told @Stockrisers.— Jake (@jakeweingarten) September 15, 2019
Zed Key is a power forward from Long Island, N.Y.
- While in New York Gard even handed out another offer.
Reece Brown, a 6-foot-8 wing from Clifton Park, N.Y., also has offers from Georgetown, Richmond, UMass, Rutgers, Vermont, Saint Louis and a bunch of smaller northeast schools. The Badgers are obviously now “out” on Brown I think the fact that they even offered him this week is important.
It would appear that Gard and co. have learned from their mistakes of putting all their eggs in one basket and having that, well, not work. They had backup plans this cycle, hell it seems like they had backups to their backup plans too.
Official and unofficial visitors for this weekend
- There are a handful of visitors for the basketball program that are coming into town for the Michigan game. According to 247Sports, they include 2020 commits the Davis twins from La Crosse, Johnny and Jordan, 2020 PG Lorne Bowman, 2021 PF commit Chris Hodges (Schaumburg, Ill.) and 2021 C Jackson Grant (Olympia, Wash.).
Grant, being uncommitted, is obviously the big target this weekend. He appears to be a strong lean to the wrong UW, but also the one closer to his home. Getting him on campus is a big deal for Gard because that has swayed prospects before.
2021 prospect Jackson Grant has set three official visits, a source told @Stockrisers: Wisconsin (9/21), Stanford (10/29), and Washington (TBD).— Jake (@jakeweingarten) September 10, 2019
Washington’s Mike Hopkins will see him Thursday.
Grant is now rated as the No. 53 player in the whole country by the 247Sports Composite and would be another huge get if Gard can sway him.
- Holy crap is there a ton of talent on hand for the football program this weekend. I mean, I suppose it makes sense as this is a BIG NOON SATURDAY game, the crowd should be electric and if the Badgers win that’ll make them a top-10 team...but still! I’ll try and roundup as many of the visitors as I can for you right here.
- Justin Walters, a Composite 3-star S out of Bolingbrook, Ill., will be on campus.
- Younger brother of Travian Blaylock, Taylen, an unranked S from Humble, Texas, will be there.
- 2020 3-star LB commit Malik Reed from Chandler, Ariz. will be in the building.
- 2021 3-star DE from La Grange Park, Ill. Ryan Keeler will be in attendance.
- Randolph Kpai will be on campus. He is rated as a 4-star OLB in the 2021 class out of Sioux Falls, S.D.
- 4-star 2021 TJ Bollers out of Tiffin, Iowa is a big name who will be at the game.
- In-state 2021 3-star DL Hayden Nelson will make the short journey from Brookfield to Madison for the game.
2021 DL Hayden Nelson (@Hayden9Nelson), already with three offers. Told @Badger_Blitz Wisconsin wants to see his first four, five games to see improvements from sophomore to junior year. Will visit #Badgers during Michigan game on 9/21. pic.twitter.com/h7K308hXtV— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKoco) August 23, 2019
- 4-star 2021 DE Rodney McGraw (Elkhart, Ind.) will be in Madison.
- There are others coming, big names too, that I can’t find publicly available announcements for, but this post will be updated as necessary.
- UPDATE (1:25 pm CT) 3-star 2021 LB Bryan Sanborn, brother of current Badgers LB Jack Sanborn, will be in the building this weekend.
- UPDATE (2:36 pm CT) 2-star ATH from Milwaukee Nate Valcarcel will be joining the long list of players in Madison this weekend.
- UPDATE (2:36 pm CT) Another Milwaukee product, Jerry Cross, will be making the short drive to Madison this weekend. Cross is a class of 2022 WR who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 218 lbs. He has already been offered by Iowa and Northern Illinois. Wisconsin probably won’t be far behind.
UPDATE (4:20 pm CT) 4-star 2021 in-state safety Hunter Wohler will be in Madison. He is at the top of Wisconsin’s board for 2021 and for good reason. Kid is a baller.
UPDATE (Saturday, 7:37 am CT) 2021 pro-style QB Branden Miller (Grand Rapids, Mich.) will be in the house this morning.
Other football recruiting news
- And here is a nice writeup on 2020 TE commit Cam Large by the Boston Herald.
There was never any doubt from @cam_large that he would play college football & he fulfilled his dream by committing to Wisconsin this summer.— Greg Dudek (@gdudek10) September 18, 2019
“I’ve always been so driven to do that. It’s always been a belief inside me that I’m going to do it.”https://t.co/Pc6QyDyVaF
UPDATE (12:45 pm CT): We incorrectly stated which game 2023 recruit Gus Yalden is going to be attending. He will be coming to the Michigan State game NOT this weekend’s game against Michigan. Drew regrets being unable to read.