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Wisconsin football recruiting: UW makes cutdown lists, plus hands out new TE offer

UW makes a pair of cutdown lists for highly rated CBs and gives out an offer to a top-TE with Wisconsin connections.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 19 Wisconsin at Illinois Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 (sometimes more) post. It’ll include updates on current commits, including stats from their high school games, as well as news on players the Badgers are still pursuing. Let’s get down to business!

New offer

  • In a move that had been rumored to be happening for some time, 2022 3-star TE Kaden Helms (Bellevue, Neb.) out of Bellevue West High School earned an offer from the Wisconsin Badgers on Monday. You may recognize Bellevue West as it is the same high school that fellow TE, and top 2022 UW target, Micah Riley-Ducker and 2021 basketball commit Chucky Hepburn attend.

Similar to his teammate Riley-Ducker, Helms has a pretty impressive offer list. He currently sports offers from Arizona State, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, LSU, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Purdue, TCU, Tennessee and Texas Tech among a few others.

Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 222 pounds, Helms has the frame to grow into a prototypical Wisconsin TE. He is ranked as the No. 393 and No. 17 TE in the nation by the 247 Composite and the No. 4 player in the state of Nebraska, one spot behind Riley-Ducker. The 247 standalone rankings are higher on Helm, ranking him a 4-star and the No. 12 TE in the nation, five spots ahead of his teammate.

Helms is a punishing blocker that seems to welcome contact. While he isn’t super-refined as a route runner, he does have soft hands and looks like he can make catches in traffic. He doesn’t seem to lineup with his hand in the dirt too often for Bellevue, at least on his highlight tape, but there are a couple of plays where he does and he was effective. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to play against a team with two tight ends this good in high school. Must be a freaking nightmare.

I think the Badgers could shoot to the top of Helms’ list quickly and hopefully the idea of heading to college with familiar faces is a good one to him.

Badgers make two top-tens

  • Wisconsin is always searching for more talent in the defensive backfield and they got some promising news on Monday from a pair of highly sought after cornerbacks. 2022 3-star CB Avyonne Jones (Southlake, Texas) out of Southlake Carroll High School included the Badgers in his top-ten list.

The other nine teams he’s still considering are Kansas State, Arizona, La. Tech, Arkansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, SMU, Houston and Colorado. On 247, the Crystal Ball predictions are split between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech so the Badgers have some work to do but UW has an ace in the hole because Jones is friends with current Badger and native Texan Caesar Williams.

Wisconsin also made the top-ten for 4-star CB Keenan Nelson, Jr. (Philadelphia) out of St. Joe’s Prep. The other nine finalists include Maryland, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Pitt, Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia, Rutgers and Virginia Tech.

The highly rated prospect doesn’t have any Crystal Ball predictions but hopefully having smart and handsome bloggers from his hometown recommend that he play at Wisconsin helps.

Old friends in new places

  • Former Wisconsin walk-on TE Gabe Lloyd is going to finish off his college career by playing for FCS powerhouse North Dakota State. We wish him luck and hope that Wisconsin never, ever, schedules the Bison.