After a big weekend of having future prospects on campus, the question for Wisconsin started turning to what kind of dividends would pay off for the class of 2016 and beyond. On Sunday, they were able to land Jacksonville, Fla., cornerback Ke'Shan Pennamon.
On Thursday, the Badgers landed one of the biggest commitments of the class as Army All-American and high four-star defensive tackle Garrett Rand verbally committed to Wisconsin, according to 247Sports.
What you get with Rand is a dominant force on the defensive line. Straight away, you notice Rand is a powerful force in the trenches. He fires low and can bull offensive linemen back pretty easily. He also has the athleticism to be a defensive end in the Dave Aranda defense. I'm not going to be the one who invokes J.J. Watt comparisons, but a look at Rand's Hudl profile shows he has star potential that might look familiar to Badgers fans.
I have made my decision, and will be playing college football at the University Of Wisconsin! #GoBadgers ⚪️⚫️ pic.twitter.com/zC2qXT7CQI— Garrett Rand (@rand3218) October 1, 2015
Rand also has a connection to Wisconsin with family in Stevens Point, whom he took to the Hawaii game with him last Saturday. This connection helped the Badgers earn the commitment of the Chandler, Ariz., prospect with genuine interest from Arizona State, Stanford and UCLA. Rand also received offers from Arizona, Michigan State and Nebraska, among others.
Rand joins fellow Arizona prospect Kare' Lyles (Saguaro) in Wisconsin's class of 2016 and will join a positional class with Keldric Preston, Tyler Biadasz and Luke Benzschawel. His commitment also moves the Badgers to No. 24 in 247Sports' composite 2016 class rankings.
Rand holds the following rankings from the scouting services:
- 247Sports: Four stars, No. 44 overall (2016), No. 9 DT, No. 1 Ariz., 96 rating
- 247Sports (composite): Four stars, No. 131 overall (2016), No. 15 DT, No. 3 Ariz., 0.9367 rating
- Rivals: Four stars, No. 189 overall (2016), No. 19 DT, No. 5 Ariz., 5.8 rating
- Scout: Four stars, No. 274 overall (2016), No. 25 DT, No. 02 West DT, No. 1 Ariz. DT
247Sports' Steve Wiltfong also has an enticing note about Rand: He's bench-pressed 560 pounds.
"He is the strongest kid I've ever coached," Hamilton coach Steve Belles said.
"He scares me on the bench. He's put up a 560-pound bench. That's unthinkable to be honest with you. When the bar is bending you know that's a lot of weight."
Here's video from Rand's Twitter account of him doing "only" 500.
Here's 500x2 pic.twitter.com/bP1E5XsZZ2— Garrett Rand (@rand3218) April 4, 2015