Wisconsin hasn't had a player commit for the 2015 class since March 11, when wide receiver Andrew James (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) joined the Badgers. Between then and Sunday, there have been many offers, a few disappointments and some promising leads on high-end recruits. Then, the top-rated player in the state of Wisconsin, offensive tackle Jon Dietzen, committed to the Badgers. The 6'5, 330-pound behemoth out of Seymour chose the Badgers over offers from Illinois, Miami, Michigan and Nebraska.
That's what we like to call momentum with a capital "Mo." Let's take a look at a few other youngsters that are showing interest in Wisconsin.
Badgers continue to try and make inroads out west
Late Thursday, the Badgers tossed an offer toward San Marcos, California, offensive tackle Kevin Estes. The 6'6, 275-pound lineman is picking up offers left and right, and currently boasts them from Arizona State, Washington State, Boise State, Colorado State, Oregon State and Duke. Estes hasn't been rated by 247 yet, but appears to be rising up major schools' lists with alacrity. The undersized tackle has the frame to add on another 30 pounds easily without losing much of his mobility or athleticism, which is on full display in his Hudl profile. Estes appears to have a mean streak and relishes contact, which is apparently a positive quality for an offensive lineman to have. The Badgers are looking to add a full line's worth of prospects this recruiting cycle, and Estes could be a nice under-the-radar addition for Wisconsin's future o-line.
Top linebacker recruit names top eight; Wisconsin makes the cut
Top 8 in no order Wisconsin Utah UCLA Arizona State Michigan USC Notre Dame Stanford Thank you every other school and coaches! Grateful— Osa :) (@OS_tertag) May 1, 2014
Osa Masina out of Brighton High School in Salt Lake City announced his top eight late last week. Masina is a 247 Sports composite four-star OLB/RB who will most likely play on the defensive side of the ball at the next level. He's the second-ranked player in Utah and eighth-ranked outside linebacker in the country. The rest of his list includes mostly West Coast/Pac-12 schools, but Michigan and Notre Dame being there shows he's open to moving to the Midwest for school. The fact that the Badgers made the cut is further proof that Gary Andersen and Chad Kauha'aha'a still have major pull in the state, and will continue to make Wisconsin a threat there. The Utes are the current favorite to land Masina, but it's a great sign for Wisconsin's hopes to expand its recruiting footprint that Masina has the Badgers in the mix.
More offensive linemen? Why the heck not!
Friday, we mentioned that Wisconsin offered Drayton Carlberg from DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. Carlberg is a strong Minnesota lean, and also has offers from Illinois, Iowa State, Michigan State, Rutgers and Vanderbilt. The 247 Sports composite three-star offensive tackle is the third-ranked player in the state and 80th-best tackle in the nation. Carlberg impressed over the weekend at the Rivals Camp Series in Chicago, playing both offensive tackle and defensive end.
Literal breaking news!
As I was writing this, a tweet from 247 Sports national college football recruiting analyst Ryan Bartow came across my timeline and informed me that Wisconsin had just extended two offers to players in Dallas. CB Takadrae Williams and ATH Willie Smith of South Oak Cliff HS are the two lucky recipients of these offers, and there is, uhh, not much information on either player. Williams' 247 profile is bare and Smith's shows no other offers besides Wisconsin. Smith, a three star prospect, is 5'11, 165 pounds and plays both free safety and quarterback. Williams is 6'1, 175 pounds. Williams has an impressive Hudl profile video (linked above) which shows the rangy junior playing great one-on-one coverage, hitting with authority and displaying a nose for the ball. Smith's Hudl profile shows him playing both safety and quarterback, but I imagine that Wisconsin is looking at him more on the defensive side of the ball since Austin Kafentzis is already in the fold. Smith is small but athletic as all get-out. Rivals lists Maryland and Texas Tech as schools that have interest in Smith, but no one else has offered him. I think Wisconsin might be on to something with these two guys, and hopefully getting in early with them will resonate well.
The Badgers have been trying to lock up DeMatha Catholic in Maryland as a pipeline these last few years, and with Taiwan Deal and Chris Jones already in the fold, things are looking promising. There are currently no offers out for 2015 at DeMatha, but Wisconsin has already offered three players from the 2016 and 2017 classes. A potential star that Wisconsin has offered is Shane Simmons, a four-star defensive end in the 2016 class. He's the eighth-ranked SDE in the nation and 158th-best player overall. In the last week, the 6'4, 220-pound end has received offers from Clemson, Miami, Nebraska, Wake Forest and the aforementioned Wisconsin offer. This goes along with previous offers from Florida State, Maryland, Tennessee and Arizona State. You may not remember, but FSU won the national title last year, and if Wisconsin is going to go toe-to-toe with the best, it'll need every advantage it can get. Having former teammates speaking highly of their program is great for UW. A lot of times, these kids are the best recruiters with their "yolo" and their "swag" and their "rock and roll."
The Rivals Camp Series that I mentioned earlier took place over the weekend in Chicago, and Wisconsin had multiple players of interest there. Here is Rivals top-10 list of Wisconsin targets. You'll notice that Dietzen is No. 1 on the list and committed the same day as the Camp Series! Coincidence? Probably, but still pretty cool.
We'll be back again on Wednesday with more recruiting goodness for you maniacs that need your fix during the interminable offseason.