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Wisconsin football recruiting: Updates on Anthony McKee, Nate Howard; more defensive talk

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We're talking defense. So much defense.

Joe Rudolph may be bringing some Pittsburgh targets with him to Wisconsin.
Joe Rudolph may be bringing some Pittsburgh targets with him to Wisconsin.
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2015. There's no hoverboards. There's no flying cars. And unless the Marlins somehow change their logo, name, and league affiliation by April? The Cubs aren't gonna win the World Series. So sorry kids, while Santa Claus may be real, Back to the Future isn't.

And let's be honest. That's okay. Would you really want to hoverboard in weather like this? You aught to just sit back and look at the recruiting news. And there is actually some news beyond the fact that it's so cold and Paul Chryst is about to finally make some phone calls and get back on the recruiting trail.

Anthony McKee: The Badgers had a brief flirtation with this 247 sports composite four-star outside linebacker out of Columbus, Ohio over the summer. But between now and then? Gary Andersen was cool with the linebackers. And McKee had some top notch schools that he flirted with. Sure, Oklahoma's kind of fallen apart, but he also received offers from the likes of Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Tennessee, and West Virginia. But no one's done enough to commit. And he visited Pittsburgh on December 5th.

Who was his primary recruiter? Why, Joe Rudolph of course. This makes the fact that Rivals is reporting Anthony McKee is going to visit Madison on January 23 very interesting. Not just because he's a perfect Dave Aranda linebacker. But it also helps as to who might be a formality as an announcement,.

I mean, obviously this is circumstantial evidence, but there are already reports circulating that Joe Rudolph will be the Badgers offensive coordinator. That said, the simplest explanation of the fact that McKee's planning an official visit to a school that let itself fade out of his thoughts has to be that Rudolph's going to run the offense and seems charming on the recruiting trail.

What does that mean for you? Likely nothing. McKee visits Michigan State next weekend, and they're one of his favorites. He might not even make it for the visit to Madison. But if he does? McKee is a real good option.

Kraig Howe: Now it seems as if the Badgers aren't going as aggressively after Pitt commits like Gary Andersen has been offering Badger linebackers. And that's because it's true. Gary Andersen's offered Dominic Sheppard and Jordan Griffin. But if the Badgers are in danger of losing a commitment, it's more than likely going to be someone who falls along the defensive line.

Enter Howe. The three-star defensive tackle from Dayton (Kettering), Ohio, looks to be setting up an official visit ($). And if there was going to be a prospect who committed to Pitt that the Badgers would have an absolute need for, it would be Howe. If Elu Aydon or Nate Howard end up flipping, Howe would be more than mere consolation prize as a replacement. He's very similar in frame and game with David Pfaff. It will be a good piece if there's a mutual interest here.

Nate Howard: Speaking of Howard, the St. Louis (Ladue Horton Watkins) prospect is finalizing his visit plans for the end of the recruiting schedule. On January 16, he will join Badger commit Jake Pickard in Syracuse. But January 23 is the day where the recruitment rubber meets the road. The in-state Howard will visit Missouri.

Truth be told, this might be where the Badgers end up losing a prospect. But that's a bridge to cross when they get there. And if the reports are accurate and the Badgers end up with Inoke Breckterfield? That seems like a stronger position for the Badgers to get in on Howard.

T.J. Griffin: Paul Chryst has done something seemingly unorthodox. There's been a lot of committed prospects that haven't received a call from the head coach. The Virginia Beach (Ocean Lakes), Virginia prospect is one of them. Though a part of this is about just how hard the assistants are working to keep prospects in tow during the dead period. Chris Beatty would likely deserve a great amount of credit if Griffin develops as expected. Why?

Oregon's going after Griffin again ($). That Oregon. The Heisman trophy winner playing for the national championship Oregon. The interest might not be strong, but they're coming back in play.