While the recruiting calendar has been shut down by coronavirus, that isn’t stopping the Wisconsin Badgers from pulling in a commitment for their 2021 class. On Sunday afternoon, 2021 ILB Jake Chaney (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) of Lehigh High School tweeted that he was going to be shutting his recruitment down and verbally commit to UW.
The Badgers were the first program to offer Chaney according to 247, although we noted that Rivals noted that Iowa State offered before the Badgers, back at the end of January. After Wisconsin offered, however, the 3-star (by both 247 and Rivals) ILB gained a bunch of new offers including Michigan, Louisville, Minnesota, Indiana, Pitt, FIU, FAU, Cincinnati and Vanderbilt.
Chaney, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 215 pounds, was an under-the-radar prospect when the Badgers made their offer but kind of blew up after that. Wisconsin always seemed high on Chaney’s list especially after his visit back in November for the Purdue game. He even posed for a picture with Chris Orr who, if you’re going by size, may be an excellent comparison for what Chaney could turn into at UW.
“The coaches told me I’m like Chris Orr but a little bit bigger,” Chaney said to BadgerBlitz.com. “With him graduating, they want someone to come in and be the type of player he was at Wisconsin. They think I can be like him, which is a big compliment.”
Chaney was named the District 7A Player of the Year after recording 100 tackles and two sacks in his junior year.
Hey Jake Chaney congrats on being named to the Fort Myers News-Press 1st Team All Area Defensive Team as well as a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year! #BoltUp #LehighLightningFootball @Lehighrecruits @LehighAthletics pic.twitter.com/KsTxce1ljP— Coach Chaney (@coachchaney96) December 29, 2019
Taking a look at Chaney’s tape, you see a player who is explosive in the hole and relentless in pursuit of the ball carrier. Chaney is also a coach’s kid (his father is the head coach of his high school team and also played defensive line at Florida State) and there is a play about 1:20 into his tape where he diagnoses a screen pass basically before anybody else (even on the offense it seems) and just waits for the RB to catch it so he can drop him for a loss.
Chaney is the ninth member of the 2021 recruiting class, and the third linebacker joining fellow ILB Bryan Sanborn and Ayo Adebogun (who will probably move to OLB in college). According to 247 Composite Class Rankings, the Badgers still have the No. 7 class in the country and No. 2 in the B1G which is really wild when you think about it.