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Badgers Recruiting

Lorne Bowman becomes 1st Badgers basketball commit of 2020 class

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National signing day for the 2019 class was earlier this week and the Wisconsin Badgers announced just one commit for the class. 

With a limited amount of scholarships open in the 2020 recruiting class, it’s likely the Badgers will look to keep a few of the remaining openings in the 2019 class open for 2020 prospects. 

However, it didn’t take long for one of those few spots to be filled, as under-the-radar point guard Lorne Bowman announced his commitment to UW via his Twitter account. 

The point guard is currently unranked in the 2020 class, but expect that to change as the evaluators at various recruiting services re-evaluate the class in the coming weeks and months. 

Bowman rose up the Badgers recruiting board after watching him take off a bit on the AAU circuit this past summer. After waiting until September to make him an official offer, Bowman leapt at the chance provided to him by the Badgers. 

The Detroit (Mich.) St. Mary’s product got to Madison for the Badgers exhibition victory over Wisconsin-Oshkosh earlier this month and raved about his weekend experience on campus. 

“The city of Madison is amazing,” Bowman told 247sports. “The campus is just as good, maybe even better. To see all the people and all the things to do around Madison, it was amazing.”

What are the Badgers Getting?

After a few classes of leaders and pass-first kind of point guards (even if D’Mitrick Trice is lighting up the scoreboard as of late), the Badgers needed a player like Bowman at the point. He’s a natural scorer and has a good shot. 

Wisconsin needs someone that can create his own offense, especially with the perimeter threats that will still be in Madison when Bowman arrives. His ability to beat people off the dribble is nice and his on-ball confidence is a change of pace from the guards the Badgers currently have. 

Imagine a future with him slashing and wings scoring from his passes? It’s a sweet thought. But, overall, Bowman is a classic project for the UW coaching staff. The good news is that the basics are all there for a quality player. 

Look for Wisconsin to get Bowman in to the weight room and for him to be a potentially lethal scorer when/if he gets his opportunity in the Cardinal and White. 

Badgers Player He Most Reminds Us Of: Trevon Hughes

Yes, Bowman has a few inches on Hughes and Hughes likely had a few pounds on Bowman when he came to the Badgers…but, there games are about as similar as you can imagine. 

Both are on the ball scorers and aren’t afraid to slash to the basket or take on a little contact. Hughes was also were speedy players who made the Badgers more athletic overall and Bowman can do that as well. 

Here’s a look at Hughes’ game for those of you not old enough to remember all the way back to 2010 or so.

What Does it Mean for the rest of the 2020 Class?

It’s a nice start to the class, but the Badgers are in on some big time targets as well and getting Bowman isn’t going to be make or break for any of the big targets on UW’s board.

There is 5 star in-state product Jalen Johnson, who has seen his recruitment completely blow up and looks increasingly likely to head to one of the blue bloods that has offered him despite a full-court press by the Badgers. 

But, the biggest names to watch are a pair of players out of Minnesota — 6-10 power forward Dawson Garcia and 6-9 Ben Carlson — to be exact.  

According to 247Sports, the Badgers also have offers out to a number of 4-star talent from across the Midwest and beyond. The big names to watch from this group are Reece Beckman (4-star guard from Louisiana), Ethan Morton (4-star guard from Butler, PA) and Shon Robinson (4-star forward from Arizona). 

Robinson took an official visit to the Madison campus in October and his recruitment may not play out much longer either unless he wants to wait out the spring evaluation period as well.

Wisconsin needs to hit on at least two big men in this class and right now my guess is that Robinson and Carlson are the likeliest bets as Garcia could see his already impressive offer list continue to grow if he wants to play out the spring and summer recruiting periods this next year. 

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Badgers Recruiting

Top 2021 OT commits to Badgers

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With the Wisconsin Badgers 2020 class nearly full to the brim, a lot of attention has been paid to the 2021 class over this summer and it has paid off big time to date.

That hot streak continued on Sunday as one of the nation’s top offensive tackle prospects committed to the Badgers. Lakeville (Minn.) South offensive tackle Ryle Mahlman made his verbal pledge on Twitter a day after witnessing the Badgers win over Michigan.

With the Badgers rushing for over 350 yards as a team, Mahlman witnessed the smash-mouth style of Wisconsin and couldn’t wait to be part of that tradition.

“The atmosphere is always good there,” Mahlman told Badger247. “In a big game, the way they played it, it brought out the best atmosphere. It was insane. It was crazy fun.

“I love how the whole city rallies around the team.”

“They played smash-mouth football,” Mahlman said.

He comes to the Badgers as the No. 27 ranked offensive tackle in the country and the No. 1 player in the state of Minnesota. He is also the second tackle in the 2021 class, joining Wisconsin native J.P. Benzschawel, who is also a 4-star prospect and the No. 21 ranked offensive tackle in the country according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

Make no mistake about it, getting the best player in the state where head coach P.J. Fleck has been trying to build a wall around is a huge win as well.

Mahlman joins quarterback Deacon Hill as members of this class from outside of the state of Wisconsin.

Overall, Wisconsin has five commits in the 2021 class already and that has resulted in them ranking No. 6 in the country early on in the process.

The Badgers are getting another prototypical big-bodied, but athletic player with a lot of room to grow in to his body and with his overall technique. You can easily see his potential as just a sophomore in the film above.

According to those who have seen Minnesota high school football so far this season, he has begun to feel more comfortable in his bend and continued to show the aggression that is the trademark of Badgers offensive lineman.

You can also see that he wore the No. 86 and often was seen as a blocking tight end, which should tell you all you need to know about how athletic he really can be.

Wisconsin once again continues to hit on priority targets in the 2021 class and it will be interesting to see how things continue to shake out after the biggest recruiting weekend of the season happened.

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Badgers Recruiting

Badgers add sleeper DE to 2020 class

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It is official visit season for college football recruiting once again. All it took was the first of those weekends for the Wisconsin Badgers to add to their 2020 class.

On Monday morning, Cincinnati (Ohio.) Roger Bacon defensive end James Thompson Jr. announced his commitment to the Badgers following his official visit over the weekend.

Wisconsin was the first Power 5 offer for Thompson when they offered back in July and that recognition was very helpful in getting him on campus and eventually to verbally commit.

Navy had also offered Thompson according to his 247Sports profile.

He is the 15th name to verbally commit to the Badgers program and the second defensive end, joining Cade McDonald (Hudson, Wis.) in the mix.

Thompson’s film screams a ton of potential and a good bit of athleticism. Most importantly, he screams one of those under the radar players who the Badgers excel at identifying and getting the most out of once on campus.

At 6-5 and 255 pounds, the frame is there for him to build off of physically.

Wisconsin sits at No. 28 nationally and No. 5 in the Big Ten in the 2020 recruiting cycle and has 15 total verbal commits.

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Badgers Recruiting

Acker becomes Badgers 2nd 2021 football commit

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It didn’t take long for the Wisconsin Badgers to know that local product Jackson Acker was a kid they wanted. It also didn’t take Acker long to know he wanted to play for the Badgers.

Shortly after earning an offer at camp this weekend, the Verona running back pledged to the Badgers.

In doing so, he became the second commit in the 2021 class and the second in-state product to make his verbal pledge to the Badgers following in the footsteps of JP Benzschawel.

According to Badger247, Acker was timed at 4.63 in the 40-yard dash at camp and comes in at 6-1 and 214 pounds after his sophomore season.

Acker ran for 528 yards and seven touchdowns in his sophomore season as well.

Given UW’s history at running back, this type of an early offer indicates the coaching staff seeing something big time in the player.

You can see that on his film, as he not only uses his speed, but has a big time ability to find creases and get up field quickly when he does find him.

Perhaps the most impressive thing on film is what he does in 1-on-1 situations. Instead of slowing down to try something fancy, Acker just punishes the defender and that is something the Badgers coaching staff loves.

You can see the old-school, bruising back that the Badgers have really missed as of late in him. It could be a nice thunder-and-lightning combination at work here with Acker in the fold.

It also means that the Badgers are likely looking for a pair of running backs in the 2021 class, because they are hard after some of the bigger names as well.

No matter what happens, clearly this coaching staff wasn’t afraid to offer the in-state product and take the chance of having him commit. That’s a strong belief in what they saw in person over limited tape so far to say the least.

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Badgers Recruiting

Badgers add in-state DE to 2020 class

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Sometimes patience and hard work pay off. Such was the case for in-state defensive end Cade McDonald.

After an impressive showing at the Badgers camp this past weekend, the Hudson, Wis. native picked up an offer from the home state team. It took just a few days for McDonald to return the love and announce his commitment to the program.

On Monday, he made things official and became commitment No. 8 in the 2020 class for the Badgers according to Badger247.

Wisconsin was the only FBS offer for McDonald at the time of his commitment. Other schools that were after him included FCS schools like Illinois State, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The Badgers now have the No. 24 ranked class in the 2020 recruiting cycle per 247Sports team rankings.

McDonald becomes just the second defensive player to commit in this class as well, joining fellow in-state product Cole Dakovich on that side of the ball.

Overall, McDonald is a 2-star recruit and the No. 98 ranked defensive end in the country per 247Sports rankings.

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