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!
- 2023 unranked ATH/RB JT Smith, Jr. (Cornelius, N.C.) out of William Amos Hough High School is the first player to announce receiving an offer from Wisconsin after attending their camp on Thursday. So far he also has offers from East Carolina, Minnesota and Penn State.
After A Great Conversation With @GaryBrownUW & @PaulChrystWISC I am blessed to receive an offer from The University Of Wisconsin ⚪️ #AGTG #OnWisconsin @SWiltfong247 @AllenTrieu @DonCallahanIC @HoughFB @SC_DBGROUP @CoachSimmons_ @elitesportsmktg @CarolinaXposure @Evan_Flood pic.twitter.com/ewPYq4cxRJ— JT Smith Jr. (@jtsmithjr704) June 3, 2021
Standing at 5-foot-11 and weighing between 190 and 200 pounds, Smith has not been rated by either of the major recruiting services yet. If you are an avid follower of football recruiting at UW, you’ll recognize Smith’s high school as the same one that produced current Badgers DL Gio Paez and WR Devin Chandler as well as 2022 DL target Curtis Neal.
“They [Paez and Chandler] love it here,” said Smith to Evan Flood of 247Sports ($). “Me and Devin used to hang out before he left. That’s my guy. He was telling me I need to come visit. He loves the school.”
As far as I can tell, Smith spent his first two years at Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day School before transferring to Hough, and so his highlight tapes are all from his first high school. Smith played both RB and DB for Charlotte Providence Day and is an impressive athlete. He can run between the tackles as well as get outside an make people miss. One thing that stood out to me was from his defensive highlights. He was able to diagnose plays and react quickly to make stops or breakup a pass which will serve him well as he continues his prep career.
- 2022 unranked ATH Cade Yacamelli (Harrison City, Pa.) out of Penn-Trafford High School also earned an offer from the Badgers at their camp on Thursday. He has a whole host of FCS offers as well as offers from Air Force, Army and Navy. Wisconsin is his first Power 5 offer.
After an awesome camp with @BadgerFootball , I am extremely excited to announce I have received an offer to the University of Wisconsin ⚪️ @CoachJoeRudolph @jimleonhard @CoachWhitted @CoachHaering @GaryBrownUW pic.twitter.com/Iuo3ARYFM9— Cade Yacamelli (@cyacamelli) June 4, 2021
Standing at 6-foot and weighing 195 pounds, Yacamelli has been on Wisconsin’s radar for a while. He plays safety, running back and returns kicks for his high school, but it is unclear where the Badgers may see him at in their lineup. His Hudl profile lists him as a SS and WR.
His tape notes that he rushed for 794 yards on 78 carries as a junior and caught nine passes for 68 yards as well. He scored 12 touchdowns too.
Yacamelli is an impressive athlete. He is tough to tackle and fast in the open field. His Hudl profile lists a 4.48 40-yard dash time and a 3.95 shuttle time, to go along with 25 reps on the bench press (at 185 pounds). He looks like another player, similar to Pennsylvania native Preston Zachman, that Wisconsin might like to bring on board and just kind of see where he fits in once he’s on the team.