While there's an admitted worry about the Wisconsin Badgers losing four-star defensive tackle Garrett Rand to UCLA as he takes an official visit to Westwood this weekend, to borrow a phrase from any president making a big speech in January: the state of the union on the trail is strong. Surprisingly, in fact.
When last we left Lil' Jordan Humphrey, he left the Badgers off of his final list on Christmas. While missing out on the Southlake, Texas (Southlake Carroll), prospect was disappointing, there was a class at wide receiver that you could already consider to be one of the strengths of the class. At least until the 247Sports' composite three-star athlete tweeted about some travel frustrations. And when there was a reply asking him where he was off to?
@RyanEATSworld Wisconsin— Lil'Jordan Humphrey (@LJ_Humphrey23) January 23, 2016
Wisconsin wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore kept working and the Badgers reportedly will get an official visit from a receiving prospect this weekend that's listed at 6'5, 199 pounds, and who played running back in high school and still caught 57 receptions for 876 and eight touchdowns in the passing game as a senior.
All the projections for his commitment keep him in Texas however it's a January weekend where the high isn't going to be -2 degrees, and the fortune does favor the Badgers gaining momentum with a prospect, ranked four stars by Scout.com, coming to Madison.
@FastballKpb it's not that cold— Lil'Jordan Humphrey (@LJ_Humphrey23) January 23, 2016
With the latest announcement that Humphrey had in regards to a decision date back from earlier this month via Twitter, it looks the Badgers may get the closing visit for Humphrey, as he's set to announce his college choice on Jan. 30.
What's up Wisconsin— Lil'Jordan Humphrey (@LJ_Humphrey23) January 23, 2016
There's also an exciting aspect to the other official visitor as Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Glenbard West), three-star running back Sam Brodner moved up his official visit to this weekend. The Badgers come into the weekend as the favorites.
While a recent Iowa offer is a noticeable concern, the fundamental flaw of the recruiting class does come into the Badgers favor here. Iowa has Toks Akinribade, Barrington Wade and Toren Young as running back commits. We all know how many running backs the Badgers have in tow.
Could Brodner come to Madison and make a commitment? Stay tuned.
Are the Badgers favorites for Erik Swenson?
Now you remember Deron Harrell, right? The Denver, Colo. (Denver East), athlete that was given a greyshirt offer because spots were tight and Ceasar Williams had the Badgers as a favorite. Well, the situation isn't wrong. The Badgers are not exactly in a scenario where they throw out offers to anyone.
Why are we starting here? Because all of the sudden, the Badgers have been gaining momentum in terms of 247Sports crystal balls for Downers Grove, Ill. (South), four-star offensive tackle and recent Michigan de-commit Erik Swenson. While Wisconsin is the new favorite for a four-star prospect no matter how the development process seems to have shaken down, the real question is do the Badgers have the potential scholarship space to grab him beyond treating a commitment poorly?
The Badgers could offer him as a greyshirt and wait to see how it shakes out, as they could conceivably go up to a class of 27 with the early entrances of linebacker Dallas Jeanty and quarterback Kare' Lyles. With that said, they very well could be up against the 85-man scholarship limit. There's a definite mutual interest on both sides, but there's also definitely some red tape that needs to be solved unless Swenson is so serious about the Badgers' ability to develop NFL linemen -- and Wisconsin having a regular date with Michigan on the schedule for the foreseeable future -- that he's willing to wait a semester.
The Badgers have too many prospects that want to spend their Saturdays at Camp Randall Stadium. It's a problem, but much better than the problems of January 2015.