The Wisconsin Badgers football team added a big commitment on Sunday — emphasis on the big.
3-star nose tackle Jamel Howard (Chicago) pledged his commitment to Wisconsin on Instagram, making him the twelfth prospect to commit to UW’s 2023 class so far. Howard chose the Badgers over his home state Illini. Howard also had offers from Akron, Ball State, Central Michigan, Iowa State, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Toledo and Western Michigan.
The 6-foot-3, 320 pound nose tackle from Marist High School in the Windy City will give Wisconsin the typical space-filling nose tackle needed up front in their 3-4 base defense.
Looking at his film as a non-expert, it does look like Howard could be a force in the defensive front, and not just a block eater. He has a really good first step and is able to cause havoc on the offensive line. He seems to be similar to Keeanu Benton in his ability to add a little bit more play-making from the nose tackle position. It will be interesting to see if he ticks up in the recruiting rankings, but he certainly fits a positional need and profile for the UW defense.
Howard is the fourth player from Illinois to commit to Wisconsin this season, joining linebacker Tyler Jansey, fellow defensive lineman Roderick Pierce and defensive back Justin Taylor. Howard in previous interviews said he was close with both Pierce and Taylor — all three are Chicagoland natives.
That influx of Chicago players could be a good sign for the Badgers’ recruitment of Kahlil Tate, another player UW is after. The 3-star defensive back is friends with Taylor, Pierce and Howard, and the recruiting experts believe his choice is down to Wisconsin and Iowa.
Howard’s commitment is also a good sign for the defensive line recruiting, as the Badgers look to add some more meat up front. After defensive line target Ashton Sanders (Los Angeles) committed to Cal this past week, adding Howard is a good piece on the defensive front. UW is still after Arizona-native My’Keil Gardner as well.