The early signing period is upon us and so far the Badgers have put together a solid group for the 2022 season. In total, the Badgers signed 14 players to the 2022 class on Wednesday.
Five of those players come from the state of Wisconsin but it wasn’t all-in-state players as the Badgers nabbed commitments from players in Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and New Jersey among others. Wisconsin landed six offensive players to the group, and seven defensive players with a couple of others that could end up on either side of the ball.
Headlining the class of 2022 is once again, you guessed it, a top-tier offensive lineman in Joe Brunner. Brunner is a 4-star offensive lineman out of Whitefish Bay High school and is the top overall player in the state of Wisconsin. According to 247’s Allen Trieu the Badgers will be getting a tough, physical player who finishes his blocks and gets off the ball well. All good signs for a Wisconsin offensive lineman.
Joining Brunner is Isaac Hamm out of Sun Prairie. Hamm is the highest-rated defensive player in the state of Wisconsin and will bring a combo of size and speed to the mix on the defensive line. Hamm has lined up as an edge in high school but projects to be a down lineman at the next level. Wherever he plays Hamm brings a high motor and a lot of toughness to bolster Wisconsin’s defensive line room.
Another highly rated defensive prospect is safety Austin Brown out of Johnston City, Ill. Brown is a hybrid player that projects to possibly be a safety or a linebacker at the next level depending on his size. Brown is listed as a 3-star prospect by 247’s composite, but 247’s ranking has him a bit higher and listed as a 4-star.
Next up is Curtis Neal out of Williams Amos Hough in North Carolina, a familiar school if you follow Wisconsin football recruiting as Neal is the third player to come to Wisconsin from that school (Devin Chandler, Gio Paez). Neal is a physical down lineman that was highly recruited by Ohio State and South Carolina before ultimately deciding on Wisconsin as his future home. Neal is already fitting in well with the in-state burger joints.
One player that really saw his recruitment skyrocket is that of Aidan Vaughan out of Walled Lake Western in Michigan. Vaughan was originally committed to Air Force but his recruitment really picked up steam shortly after that, and the offers rolled in. In the end, Vaughan de-committed from Air Force and committed to Wisconsin and he appears to be a player that could be the steal of the class given his size, speed, and athleticism.
Joining Vaughn in the linebacker room is Tristan Monday, a 3-star linebacker out of Scottsdale, Arizona. Monday was originally an Arizona Wildcat commit, but de-committed from there and switched to the Badgers. Monday brings a solid frame to the Badgers and plays a very hard-nosed style of football which always does well at Wisconsin.
Mondays, am I right?!— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 15, 2021
Tristan is in the game - Welcome to the Wisconsin family! pic.twitter.com/DwUDcY66bt
The linebacker position was a spot that saw multiple players join Wisconsin, as was the cornerback room. The Badgers inked two corners in this class to bolster an already talented room. Avyonne Jones joins Wisconsin out of Southlake Caroll High School, a very strong program out of Texas. He was originally committed to Oklahoma State but de-committed and joined the Badgers. Joining him is A’Koury Lyde out of Depaul Catholic in New Jersey. Lyde brings speed and physicality to the cornerback room that should play well at Wisconsin.
After Monday in the rankings is a few offensive players starting with wideout Vinny Anthony. Anthony is out of Louisville, Kentucky, and possesses a good combination of size and speed. In his senior season, Anthony hauled in 49 passes for 1,108 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was also a team captain and led his team to the state title game.
Another promising wideout is Tommy Mcintosh out of Dewitt High School in Michigan. Standing at 6-foot-5 Mcintosh certainly, has the frame to possibly work into the tight end position, but 247’s Allen Trieu said he has the speed and athleticism to play wideout at the next level as well. Either way, he seems like a very promising prospect for the Badgers.
If Mcintosh ends up at wideout the Badgers could look to in-state tight end JT Seagreaves to fill out the tight end room in the future. At 6-foot-6 Seagreaves possess a really big frame and catch radius that could blossom at the next level. When camping with the Badgers Segreaves really stood out to the coaching staff and ended up being their preferred target on the board.
Rounding out the skill positions is that of Cade Yacamelli who comes to the Badgers from Penn Trafford High School in Harrison City, Pennsylvania. Yacamelli is an interesting prospect that could play a number of different positions at Wisconsin. In his senior season Yacamelli did a little of everything lining up at running back, wideout, and defensive back. He racked up 1,200 all-purpose yards in his senior season and brings a lot of athleticism to Wisconsin.
It’s great to have a couple of wideouts and tight ends in this class with some players departing the program after the Las Vegas bowl, but just as important as that is the guy who will be throwing it to them. That brings us to Myles Burkett, the 3-star signal-caller from Franklin. Burkett was named Wisconsin’s Gatorade Player of the Year this past week and will bring some strong leadership to the Badgers quarterback room. It appears Burkett is in quite a happy mood.
Every good signal-caller needs a protector upfront and that role very well could be filled by the likes of Barrett Nelson. Barrett is the brother of Wisconsin’s Jack Nelson, and if he plays anything like his brother does the Badgers might have quite the duo on their hands. Barrett possesses a really good frame at 6-foot-6 and should give the Badgers another quality lineman right out of their backyard of Stoughton.
Overall, this class currently ranks No. 44 nationally and No. 11 in the Big Ten. Wisconsin landed two 4-star commits, and 12 3-star players. Those numbers are not quite what the Badgers have had over the past few years, but that isn’t necessarily a major cause for concern. In terms of average recruit rating, the Badgers sit fifth in the Big Ten.
There is still a chance for Wisconsin to move up in the rankings as 4-star IOL Carson Hinzman may make his choice between the Badgers and Ohio State later this week.
With the transfer portal and COVID waivers Wisconsin, like many others, took somewhat of a smaller class than usual. Of the players landed, each possesses a strong amount of talent and good average ratings compared to other teams. The players Wisconsin nabbed each should be players that develop into strong prospects for the Badgers in the future.