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Wisconsin football recruiting: previewing the second recruiting weekend

The big question this time: could UW get an instant commitment after a summer visit?

Student Union Patio, University Of Wisconsin, Lake Mendota, Madison, Wisconsin. Photo by Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With the calendar in the doldrums of the college football offseason, the June official visiting weekends for the Wisconsin Badgers are still heating up, giving us some content to write about.

Last week, the Badgers welcomed a big batch of football recruits to see Madison and everything the town and program had to offer. This week, it’s more of the same, with another big group of prospects heading to the sunny shores of Lake Monona and Mendota. Let’s look ahead to some of the big story lines before this weekend.

Commitment watch

Despite a variety of posts and excitement from many of UW’s visitors last weekend, no deals were sealed in an opening weekend that otherwise appeared successful. Could the Badgers see some commitments this weekend?

Linebacker Jordan Mayer of Clairton, Pa. seems like a possibility. The former Boston College commit was offered by the Badgers soon after his decommitment, and the recruitment picked up quickly. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker did announce on Twitter he would commit at the end of June, but maybe a weekend in Madison pushes the timeline up.

Probably the most likely candidate to give a commitment this weekend is 3-star defensive tackle Jamel Howard. The 6-foot-3 and 320-pound big fella from Chicago will be joined in Madison by some childhood friends, and current Badgers commits, ATH Justin Taylor and DL Roderick Pierce.

UW has been building recruiting momentum in the Chicagoland area this cycle. And it seems like Howard could return home as a newly minted Badger.

Secondary is a big priority this weekend

UW has had some interesting roster math with their defensive backfield recently, and that has been reflected in the recruiting cycle for 2023.

Although the Badgers added a lot of depth in the back-end for this current season — Jim Leonhard and the defense added three senior cornerbacks and a couple safeties via the transfer portal this offseason — that means UW won’t bring a ton of experience back next year.

After defensive back prospects Nate Johnson and Kahlil Tate (another Chicago-native, for those keeping score) officially visited last weekend, the Badgers will host four more secondary prospects this weekend.

Wisconsin already has a pledge from Taylor, a 3-star defensive back from Chicago, and he will be coming to town on his official visit, as previously stated. The Badgers will also host Braeden Marshall of Lake Mary, Fla.; Quentin Ajiero of Kennesaw, Ga. and A.J. Tisdell from College Station, Texas.

Of that group, it seems like Wisconsin is in the best position to close on Tisdell in the eyes of the recruiting experts, and so far, his only official visit scheduled is his trip up to Madison.

Offensive playmakers

Last weekend, the visitor list was heavy with linemen on both sides of the ball, and not a ton of offensive players. This time, the Badgers will welcome current tailback commit Nate White from Milwaukee and athlete Collin Dixon from Tallmadge, Ohio.

Dixon is listed at 6-foot-2 and appears like a really good potential receiver target for UW. The recruiting battle for the 3-star wideout seems to be between the Badgers and the Illinois Fighting Illini, who he will visit the following weekend. Maybe, Dixon will make a choice that leads to no further visits after a sunny weekend in Madison?