It’s hard to believe it, but the early signing period for college football will be here on Wednesday. That means the Wisconsin coaching staff (whoever is on it and isn’t on it we still haven't quite heard) will begin to receive letters of intent from commits to make things “officially official”.
Wisconsin is expected to sign 12 players to the 2023 class on Wednesday, but there will likely be more that come at a later date. In years past Wisconsin all but wrapped up their class on early signing day but this year will be different given the coaching changes and instability over the course of the season. Not a bad thing, but certainly different! Despite that, Luke Fickell has made some strong inroads in recruiting, and hopefully, this class will continue to grow beyond the early period. Below are the 12 players Wisconsin is expecting to sign on Wednesday.
James Durand, 4-star offensive lineman, Chandler, AZ
The Badger's top player in the 2023 class currently is James Durand out of Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona. Durand is currently ranked as the 6th best player in the state of Arizona. He is a huge get for the Badgers as he will come to Wisconsin as a player outside of the Badger's usual pipeline which is always important.
Braedyn Moore, 4-star athlete, Hamilton, OH
Moore is one of the more recent commits to Wisconsin as he committed to the Badgers last week as one of Fickell’s first commits to Wisconsin. Previously, Moore was committed to Cincinnati but de-committed amid the coaching change. Moore was reoffered when Fickell went to Wisconsin and has since committed to the Badgers. Moore is very athletic and long which should give him some promise in the secondary where he projects.
Nate White, 3-star running back, Milwaukee, WI
Nate White is the top player in the state of Wisconsin and despite the coaching changes and instability has remained committed to being a Badger. White is an exciting prospect with great speed and agility. White should be a player that the Badgers can use in a lot of different ways on the offensive side of the ball with his athleticism.
Jonas Duclona, 3-star cornerback, Naples, FL
Jonas Duclona has a very similar story to that of Braedyn Moore when it comes to his recruitment. Duclona was also previously committed to Cincinnati but decommited when Fickell left for Wisconsin. He also received an offer from Wisconsin and committed to the Badgers on the same day as Moore. Duclona is a strong and athletic cornerback that should be a really nice fit for the Badgers at a position where they needed to land some depth. His brother Jason Duclona is also a 2023 defensive back. He was previously committed to Cincinnatti as well but is now committed to UCF.
Jace Arnold, 3-star cornerback, Marietta, GA
Speaking of the cornerback room, Wisconsin also landed a couple of others to that position. Jace Arnold is one of them and at one point was the highest-rated recruit in the class for Wisconsin. Arnold held offers from North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia but has remained committed to the Badgers. Arnold is very quick and played both running back and cornerback at the high school level. Arnold recently took another official visit to Wisconsin to reaffirm his decision to play for the Badgers.
AJ Tisdell, 3-star cornerback, College Station, TX
What’s really exciting about this class is the fact that they are landing players outside of their traditional pipeline. Tisdell is no different as he comes to Wisconsin after playing high school ball right in Texas A&M’s backyard. Tisdell also brings strong althetisim to Wisconsin and is a player that played all over the field at the high school level. His versatility should really benefit Wisconsin in the second overall.
Justin Taylor, 3-star athlete, La Grange Park, IL
While landing players outside of the radius is important, it’s also important to land players within your pipeline. Justin Taylor is one of those players as he will come to Wisconsin from the Chicagoland area. Taylor was voted as an All-Area player by the Chicago Sun after he recorded 35 tackles and nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards as a receiver and running back. Where Taylor ends up position-wise remains to be seen but an athlete is an athlete and you trust that Fickell and Company will find the right spot for him.
Tyler Jansey, 3-star linebacker, Batavia, IL
Another player selected to the Chicago Sun All-Area team was Tyler Jansey out of Batavia. To me, Jansey just fits the mold of a Wisconsin linebacker perfectly. He’s a player that shows the ability to rush the passer but also drop back in coverage. With a likely new defensive scheme coming in for Wisconsin (3-3-5) it will be interesting to see where Jansey translates in terms of the linebacker position.
Jordan Mayer, 3-star edge, Clariton, PA
Another possible linebacker in the 2023 class is Jordan Mayer who comes to Wisconsin with good size and speed for a high school prospect. Mayer stands at 6’4” 235 pounds so he’ll come into Madison with a strong frame to build on. Mayer played defensive end and tight end at the high school level but looks like he could be an outside backer depending on the scheme he is in.
Cole LaCrue, 3-star Quarterback, Broomfield, CO
Much of the recruiting conversation around this 2023 class was about the quarterback room as Wisconsin seemed to swing and miss at multiple players. However, it seems to have worked out in the end as the Badgers landed Cole LaCrue. LaCrue is very much a dual-threat player that can make plays with his feet and his arm. LaCrue is a confident player that led his team to a state title this Fall.
Brothers @Ty_LaCrue and @lacruecole18 shared this moment after winning the 4A state championship game 24-14 Vs. Loveland on Dec. 3rd.— DeMarco Randall (@DeMarcoDR9) December 6, 2022
After posing and a slight tug of war for the trophy Cole said "... my dad this one's for you baby, this one's for you."
Christian Alliegro, 3-star linebacker, Avon, CT
Wisconsin landed another linebacker in the 2023 class in Christian Alliegro out of Avon Old Farms. Alliegro is the second player (Marshall Howe) to come to Wisconsin from Avon so it appears the Badgers are starting to build a line out East as well. Alliegro is a physical player that looks to be a solid inside linebacker prospect for the Badgers.
Tucker Ashcraft, 3-star tight end, Seattle, WA
From coast to coast the Badgers have also landed a player from the PNW ain Tucker Ashcraft. Ashcraft is a big pick-up for the Badgers in an area they are not traditionally making their mark. Ashcraft is also a nice piece for the tight end room which has thinned out some with graduation and the portal. He has a nice catch radius but was used more as a blocker at the high school level. At Wisconsin, it’s good to have both skills and it appears Ashcraft has that.