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Wisconsin football recruiting: UW offers the No. 1 ranked player in 2023 Lebbeus Overton

Plus: more offers, Badgers making a cutdown list and All-America honors for Wisconsin targets.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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 offers

  • 2023 5-star DE Lebbeus Overton (Alpharetta, Ga.) out of Milton High School received an offer from the Wisconsin Badgers on Thursday morning according to his Twitter account. Overton has over 20 offers from basically all of the schools you are thinking of except Clemson (who will surely offer him eventually) and, like, Texas I guess. There is currently one Crystal Ball in for Oklahoma, but it is from one of the OU writers back in August of 2020 and, quite frankly, seems like an absolute shot in the dark.

Overton stands around 6-foot-4 and weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 255 pounds (based on the average of heights and weights listed on the various recruiting sites). He is the No. 1 overall prospect in the country, the No. 1 SDE and the No. 1 player in Georgia (duh) as rated by both Rivals and 247.

I just actually scoffed out loud when reading his stats from his first two years in high school. He has recorded 175 tackles, 40.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Lmao those are insane statistics.

Overton doesn’t have a full season highlight package, but if you want to see him completely dominate high school offensive lines and terrorize opposing quarterbacks, here is his Hudl link. Overton is quick, strong and relentless. You’ll notice in the above highlight video that he plays some defensive tackle as well as end, so who knows where Wisconsin ultimately sees him playing. He has room on his frame to add weight and play NT, but if he keeps getting taller he’d probably be best suited as a DE that can rush the passer.

I don’t hold any legitimate hope of the Badgers landing a player of Overton’s caliber but, to borrow a term from political discourse, offering him is raising Wisconsin’s Overton Window for recruiting (I’M SORRY, I’M TRYING TO DELETE IT!) and making it so them offering players of this caliber isn’t so ridiculous in the future.

  • 2023 4-star (247Sports only) DT Joel Starlings (Richmond, Va.) out of Benedictine College Prep received an offer from the Badgers on Thursday afternoon. Starlings has offers from Florida State, Georgia, Michigan State, Minnesota, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and others.

Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 310 pounds, Starlings is ready to slide into a Power 5 starting lineup yesterday. According to 247Sports, Starlings is the No. 135 player and No. 10 DT in the country and the No. 3 player in Virginia. It is worth noting that Rivals, who hasn’t rated him yet, has Starling listed as a DE and not a DT.

In two games during his sophomore season, Starlings had 16 tackles and eight tackles for loss.

It is tough for an amateur like me to judge how good Starlings is because he is just so much bigger than everyone he is playing against and looks like a monster. He can get into the backfield with ease and he eats up multiple blockers on almost every snap. Starlings would be an ideal NT for the Badgers, who desperately need one in the 2022 class and another one in the 2023 class.

  • 2023 4-star (247Sports only) ATH Dakota Patterson (Corbin, Ky.) out of Corbin High School received an offer from the Badgers on Thursday night. We reached out to Patterson about what position he might play and while he hasn’t gotten back to us yet, he did tag Alvis Whitted in his Twitter post so perhaps UW is looking at him as a WR. Patterson has five other offers from Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky, Pitt, Purdue and West Virginia. According to 247, UK is the leader for his services so far and one would imagine that bigger offers will come along for a talented player like this.

Standing around 6-foot-3 and weighing nearly 200 pounds, Patterson lists WR, TE and OLB as his positions on his Hudl profile. He is rated as the No. 76 player in the country and the No. 11 ATH by 247Sports as well as the No. 1 player in Kentucky.

Patterson uses his large frame well to shield defenders from the ball and make plays in the red zone and over the middle. I think it’s important that the Badgers got in early on Patterson because basically every article that is linked on his 247 profile talks about him trying to get bigger offers.

All-American Bowl participants

  • Top 2022 target for the Badgers, 4-star OG Carson Hinzman (Hammond), received a big honor on Thursday. He has been invited to the 2022 All-American Bowl. Hinzman, who is considered a strong Wisconsin lean, is rated as the No. 5 OG and No. 129 player in the country for 2022.

Making cutdown lists

  • 2022 3-star ATH Anthony Brown (Milan, Tenn.) announced his top-12 on Twitter on Thursday and the Badgers made the cut. The other 11 teams are Illinois, Memphis, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Virginia, Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Miami (Fla.) and Indiana. Alabama and Michigan State are two schools that are listed as “warm” on his 247 profile, with the Spartans even having a Crystal Ball, so it’s odd that they didn’t make the cut.