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!
Former Badger finds new home
- Former UW starting safety Reggie Pearson, who missed all of last season due to injury, will continue his career at FCS South Dakota. The Yotes play in the Missouri Valley Conference with noted FCS powers North Dakota State and South Dakota State. We wish Pearson good luck and hope that he has a great rest of his career at South Dakota.
New 2023 offers go out on the defensive line
- 2023 3-star DE Jahkai Lang (Troy, Mo.) out of Troy Buchanan High School received an offer from the Wisconsin Badgers on Monday per Lang’s Twitter account. Currently, Lang only has one other offer, from Kentucky, but with his first two offers being from an SEC and Big Ten school you can expect others to come flooding in soon.
Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 235 pounds it wouldn’t be shocking if the Badgers were recruiting him to be an OLB and not a DE in their 3-4 defense. He is rated as the No. 16 wide defensive end and the No. 8 player in Missouri by 247Sports, he isn’t rated by Rivals yet and also doesn’t have a Composite ranking either.
In 2020, he had 60 tackles (46 solo), 19 tackles for loss, eight sacks and four fumble recoveries. He shows a promising ability to get to the passer and impact plays even if he doesn’t sack the QB. I’m no expert, but there are a couple of technique things with his hands and disengaging from blocks that he could work on, but there is a ton of potential here.
- 2023 4-star DT Edric Hill (Kansas City, Mo.) out of North Kansas City High School also received an offer from the Badgers on Monday. Hill has seven other offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Minnesota and Washington State.
Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 270 pounds, Hill would need to add a little weight (which he obviously has time to do) to fit in on the UW d-line. With the recent news that Bryson Williams has been working at DE as well as NT you could see Hill fill a similar role. So far, Hill is only rated by 247 and they have him as the No. 180 player and No. 12 DT in the country while being the No. 5 player in the state of Missouri.
Hill appears to have a high football IQ and good discipline, especially on read option plays where he doesn’t break contain and always seems to make the right read as a defender. The only stats I could find for Hill seem incomplete (19 tackles, five sacks), but his highlight video shows him sacking the quarterback many times, recovering a couple of fumbles and even returning one for a touchdown.
- 2023 5-star DE Brenan Vernon (Mentor, Ohio) out of Mentor High School (which you may recognize as Micah Potter’s high school) received an offer from UW on Monday as well. Vernon has a dozen offers and currently Ohio State, West Virginia and Notre Dame are listed as “warm” on his 247 profile with the Buckeyes owning five Crystal Ball predictions.
Thankful to receive an offer from Wisconsin ❤️ pic.twitter.com/9au8MTuhmh— Brenan Vernon (@brenanvernon) April 13, 2021
Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 245 pounds Vernon possesses a great frame to add weight to which would set him up to be a disruptive DE at Wisconsin. The 247 Composite has Vernon rated as the No. 9 player and No. 2 SDE in the country and the top player in the state of Ohio. While getting the top ranked player in Ohio out of the clutches of Ohio State, it’s nice to see Wisconsin throw their hat in the ring for a player who could be a difference maker.
Vernon has a lot of traits that are similar to former Mentor star, and current Buckeyes standout, DE Noah Potter. Like in Hill’s video above, Vernon shows a high football IQ in his ability to make reads on option plays and also shows a good motor. There are obviously things for him to work on heading into his junior season, but he, at worst, seems like a potential multi-year starter at Wisconsin.