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Wisconsin football recruiting: let’s look at the Class of 2023!

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Recruiting never stops, so who will the Badgers be looking at in the next cycle?

Northwestern v Wisconsin Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

While the Wisconsin Badgers still have some work to do in the 2022 class, there is no time like the present to start looking ahead to the class of 2023! This is a very preliminary look at who UW will be after in the class, but will hopefully give you a list of names for you to go “oh yeah, I’ve heard of him” in eight months when they start committing to Wisconsin.

The Badgers don’t have any commits yet for the next class, which is a bit concerning as only Illinois and Northwestern are the other Big Ten teams with zero 2023 commits, but hopefully the new recruiting department that Paul Chryst says will be in place come February will help the Badgers catch up.

Let’s go position by position and name some Dudes To Know!

Quarterback

I believe it was Evan Flood over at Badger247 who first championed the idea of Wisconsin taking two QBs a class until they find the right one, and I am inclined to agree with him. Graham Mertz still has time to right the ship and deliver on the promise he has shown, but UW isn’t going to win anything without, at a minimum, an above average quarterback.

Currently, Wisconsin has three offers out and I’ll list them in order of ranking:

  • 4-star Avery Johnson (Maize, Kan.)
  • 4-star Brayden Dorman (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
  • 4-star Cameron Edge (Smyrna, Del.)

Dorman, who stands at nearly 6-foot-5, is probably the one to keep the closest eye on. He has visited UW and has expressed interest.

Running back

After losing three running backs off the team during the season and, so far, failing to get a scholarship tailback for the 2022 class, Wisconsin needs a RB in the 2023 cycle. Honestly, they probably need two.

They have six offers out already:

  • 5-star Richard Young (Lehigh Acres, Fla.)
  • 4-star Treyaun Webb (Jacksonville, Fla.)
  • 3-star Kalib Hicks (Denton, Texas)

Hicks is probably the most “sure thing” for Wisconsin, but the Badgers were in early on Young (who is from the same high school as current ILB Jake Chaney). If I’m being honest, though, Young has blown up too much and might only consider Wisconsin as a courtesy.

Wide receiver

Badgers are always looking for more talent at wideout. Here are some names to know:

  • 4-star Malik Elzy (Chicago)
  • 3-star Kai Black (Urbandale, Iowa)
  • Unranked Justin Marshall (Merrillville, Ind.)

The Badgers are in on a number of unranked prospects who look pretty solid. They will be given ratings as the scouts make their way to more games in the fall and camps over the summer. I like Marshall’s tape and I like Black being 6-foot-4.

Tight end

The Badgers always use multiple tight ends, so taking one a class is a minimum. They have a couple of offers out right now including:

  • 4-star Jaxon Howard (Minneapolis)
  • 4-star Lawson Luckle (Norcross, Ga.)
  • 4-star Andrew Rappleyea (Milton, Mass.)

Wisconsin is aiming high here so far, and that’s great, but they better have a backup plan, because Luckle is going to be hard to pry away from UGa and Howard has 50ish offers.

Offensive line

Wisconsin has recruited the offensive line extremely well over the past few years. That being said, they don’t need a ton on the o-line and can be quite selective. So far they have been, only sending out three offers:

  • 4-star OT Chase Bisontis (Ramsey, N.J.)
  • 4-star OT Cayden Green (Lee’s Summit, Mo.)
  • 4-star OT Charles Jagusah (Rock Island, Ill.)

All three of these guys are top-100 prospects and have tons of offers. If they’re only going to take one in the class, I like Jagusah the best but any of them would be great additions.

Defensive line

Wisconsin will need a nose tackle in this class and, probably, another defensive end. The top of the board player for them right now is:

  • 3-star Tyler Gant (St. Louis)

Gant is 6-foot-3 and weighs 262 pounds and could slot in quite easily at one of the end positions for UW. There are a host of players that could be a NT for the Badgers:

  • 4-star A’mauri Washington (Chandler, Ariz.)
  • 4-star Kayden McDonald (Suwanee, Ga.)
  • 4-star Jordan Hall (Jacksonville, Fla.)
  • Unranked My’Kell Gardner (Peoria, Ariz.)

Edge rusher

These are guys who would play standing up for the Badgers in their 3-4 defense, like a Nick Herbig or Noah Burks type. There are plenty of intriguing options that Wisconsin has targeted already:

  • 4-star Tausili Akuna (Lehi, Utah)
  • 4-star Chandavian Bradley (Platte City, Mo.)
  • 4-star Enow Etta (Colleyville, Texas)
  • 4-star Joshua Mickens (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Linebacker

Wisconsin has some irons in the fire here that could pay off sooner rather than later:

  • 4-star Tackett Curtis (Many, La.)
  • 4-star Liona Lefau (Kahuku, Hawaii)
  • Unranked Tyler Jansey (Batavia, Ill.)

Curtis is ranked as the No. 64 player in the country and based on everything I’ve read, the Badgers have a really good chance of getting him out of Louisiana. Lefau was offered by the Badgers way back in July of 2020 by former defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield. Jansey is an under-the-radar player that Wisconsin has been linked to for a while.

Secondary

Wisconsin will never be an elite team in the Big Ten, let alone nationally, until they improve the talent on the backend of the defense. UW has a bunch of offers out to 2023 secondary players, but the ones I feel best about them landing are:

  • Unranked CB Jack Tchienchou (Atlanta)
  • Unranked S Julian Smith (Bakersfield, Calif.)

Hopefully they’re able to make inroads with some of the more talented players they’ve offered, but historically, uh, they haven’t been able to do so.

Athlete

The Badgers have offered over a dozen players listed as “athlete” on 247, and I’ll try and guess which position UW might want them for. I already put Jaxon Howard up with the tight ends, but here are the rest:

  • 4-star Preston Zinter (Lawrence, Mass.), probably tight end
  • 3-star Alex Mota (Marion, Iowa), probably cornerback
  • Unranked JT Smith, Jr. (Cornelius, N.C.), probably running back

Wisconsin will obviously get a couple of these guys and a bunch of different ones that aren’t even on the radar right now. For instance, you’ll note that not a single player mentioned in this post is from Wisconsin. The Badgers will sign at least one player from Wisconsin, and that’s a Drew Hamm Guarantee.