UPDATE, 5 p.m. Saturday: The Badgers did indeed lose Nate Howard. He flipped his commitment to Missouri.
With Wisconsin's defensive line recruits, it was always going to be a question of how well the class holds together. The Badgers ended up getting a lot of good prospects to commit, but with the exit of Gary Andersen, poaching season opened on the Badgers' commitments.
On Friday, the defensive line took its second hit as Millburn, N.J., defensive end prospect Jake Pickard flipped his commitment from Wisconsin to Syracuse.
Honored to announce my Commitment to Syracuse University!! pic.twitter.com/dG7BPMiYhJ— Jake Pickard (@JakePickard2015) January 30, 2015
While not an entirely unexpected development, most watchers had Pickard set to join up with the Michigan Wolverines after a weekend visit was scheduled to Pickard's dream school. But after Pickard left Ann Arbor without a commitment, the race reopened up. The Badgers didn't give Pickard the fadeaway, making two in-home visits in an attempt to keep the commitment, but the Orange ended up winning the day.
"That was a great opportunity," Pickard said. "I appreciate every opportunity they gave me. The coaches there are great but after the coaching change I went back to Syracuse and re-evaluated my options and realized this was the right decision for me and my family."
The Badgers are in danger of receiving one more decommitment on the defensive line with St. Louis (Ladue Horton Watkins) three-star prospect Nate Howard coming off of an offer to in-state Missouri, but as it stands the Badgers do have an in-state three-star walk-on defensive end prospect in Andrew Ruzek in tow. There is still depth for the Badgers on the line from this class.