The Wisconsin Badgers football team has been on a heater recently. Since Memorial Day weekend, four top of the board prospects have announced that they are verbally committing to UW. It all started with 4-star TE Jack Pugh, who was then followed by his buddies 3-star OLB Darryl Peterson and 4-star OLB/DE TJ Bollers. Top it off with 3-star DE Mike Jarvis and baby? You’ve got a stew going.
Before this run of success on the trail, the Badgers had been in a bit of a recruiting lull. Partly due to COVID-19 shutdown of campus and recruiting visits and partly just due to the timelines of the prospects they were heavily recruiting. Now that Wisconsin’s 2021 class is up to 14 members let’s take a look at where the major recruiting services have them ranked in the B1G and nationally.
National rank: No. 15
B1G rank: No. 6
Stars: three 4-stars, 10 3-star, one 2-star
Avg. star rating: 3.14 (here is how Rivals does their points ranking system)
Top players: OLB/DE TJ Bollers (Tiffin, Iowa), 4-stars, 5.9; OL JP Benzschawel (Grafton), 4-stars, 5.8; S Hunter Wohler (Muskego), 4-stars, 5.8
It would appear that Rivals may have Jarvis (the only 2-star prospect in the class) a bit underrated, and his ratings jump would help the class out some. It should also be noted that the three B1G teams directly in front of Wisconsin (Rutgers, Iowa, Minnesota) all have lower average star ratings than the Badgers and are only in front of Wisconsin due to having larger classes.
National rank: No. 18
B1G rank: No. 7
Stars: five 4-stars and nine 3-stars; four ESPN300 commits
Avg. star rating: 3.36
Top players: OT Riley Mahlman (Lakeville, Minn.), 4-stars, 83 grade; OLB/DE TJ Bollers (Tiffin, Iowa), 4-stars, 83 grade; OT JP Benzschawel (Grafton), 4-stars, 83 grade
ESPN also has Wohler as an ESPN300 commit and 4-star TE Pugh knocking on the door. The Badgers QB for the 2021 class, Deacon Hill (Santa Barbara, Calif.) is due for a ratings bump everywhere, but especially on ESPN where he is the lowest rated member of the class.
National rank: No. 12 Composite/No. 10 247 Standalone rankings
B1G rank: No. 4/No. 5
Stars: five 4-stars and nine 3-stars; four Top247 commits
Avg. star rating: 3.36; .8865 average rating
Top players: OT JP Benzschawel (Grafton), 4-stars, .9424 grade; OLB/DE TJ Bollers (Tiffin, Iowa), 4-stars, .9356; OT Riley Mahlman (Lakeville, Minn.), 4-stars, .9319
Similar to the ESPN rankings, Wohler is a Top247 player and Pugh is a 4-star prospect who could move into that range. Hill still seems criminally underrated and players like DE/OLB Ayo Adebogun (Thiensville) and Darryl Peterson (Akron, Ohio) OLB could see big rankings’ jumps with strong senior seasons.
Another thing worth noting is that special teams coordinator Chris Haering (No. 9) and offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph (No. 24) are cleaning up on the recruiting trail this year. Here are the full rankings of recruiters from 247 Sports.