Spring camp has been over for a few weeks now and with all the attention on a new national signing day for the 2018 season and beyond, teams like the Wisconsin Badgers are now trying to figure out the plan ahead.
However, they are well in to the 2018 recruiting season and with high school camp and satellite camp season coming up faster than you’d think it is a great time to look at the state of the Badgers 2018 recruiting efforts.
No position gets more attention than the quarterback in every class. It seems like a perfect place to start our series on where the UW recruiting efforts stand for a medium-sized class to come in the 2018 class.
Let’s take a look at where things stand then.
The first quarterback came in the fold for the Badgers early on in the process. With Wisconsin putting him in the priority group along with Artur Sitkowski and Jack Tuttle, Bryant chose to commit on Dec. 7 this past year.
All indications are that Bryant has only continued to grow physically and mentally as a QB since then. He’s currently the No. 25 ranked pro-style quarterback and has a lot of the fundamentals of a pocket passer that can succeed at UW.
Once it became clear that both Sitkowski and Tuttle weren’t going to be Badgers, the next offer out was to Cincinnati St. Xavier quarterback Chase Wolf. He’s got a little something that the other members of the UW quarterback group don’t have — a true ability to make things happen with his legs.
The film is clear in that he can eat defenses with his legs, scoring double-digit touchdowns through the air and with his legs last season while splitting time with a four-star recruit (and Penn State signee) in front of him.
Wolf has things to work on, like his release point and gun-slinger mentality. The latter gets him in trouble as he tries to fit the ball in to tight coverage a bit too much and tends to lock on to a single receiver as well. Given that last season was his first getting real minutes at St. Xavier, this upcoming season will be interesting to watch. Could Wisconsin be getting a steal in its second commit at this position in the class?
Players In the Mix:
Simply put, the Badgers wanted two quarterbacks in the fold for the 2018 class to help fill out the quarterback depth chart. Wisconsin will go in to this season with three scholarship quarterbacks in the fold, unless Malik Zaire decides to transfer to UW. Getting two new players in there on scholarship finally gives the Badgers the depth they will need going forward.
State of the Recruiting Board:
Wisconsin got two of its biggest priority recruits early on and that says a lot about the effort the put in to the position from the get-go. Getting two quarterbacks in the fold before summer camp season has begun? That’s a win in and of itself.
Sure, there were names like Artur Sitkowski and Jack Tuttle that were at the top of the board, but UW targeted Bryant and Wolf as major options and pounced. Bryant’s commitment before Tuttle was ready to do so spoke volumes of what Jon Budmayr and Chryst thought of the young quarterback at the time.
Wolf was the next big target and Wisconsin played this one brilliantly, putting a bit of a squeeze on the situation with Carter Bradley out of Jacksonville, Fla. coming up for a visit during spring camp. Wolf sped up his timeline a bit and became a Badger this past weekend.
Getting QB set this early is a huge win, especially since there needed to be two quarterbacks in the class. Let’s consider this a massive success for the Badgers on the recruiting trail.
The bigger question given UW’s increased efforts at the position over the last few years is just how big a splash this class will make on the field.
Acker becomes Badgers 2nd 2021 football commit
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.
Badgers add in-state DE to 2020 class
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.
Badgers get commitment from 2020 OLB Cole Dakovich
The 209 football recruiting cycle hasn’t technically ended and already things are heating up quickly for the 2020 Wisconsin Badgers recruiting class.
A day after accepting a verbal pledge from in-state wide receiver Chimere Dike, the Badgers now have their 6th member of the 2020 class with Waukesha (Wis.) Catholic outside linebacker Cole Dakovich announcing his pledge on Twitter on Friday morning.
This was another quick recruiting life cycle, as UW offered on Saturday during their first junior day and Dakovich jumped on the offer a week later.
He is another under the radar recruit, with the Badgers offer being his only to date. However, that is more likely because Dakovich has played only one year of football since the 7th grade and it was a productive year at that.
In his first year back to playing football, Dakovich racked up 105 tackles, 18 for loss, 2.0 sacks, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles. He also had 16 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown on the offensive side of the ball.
Wisconsin has a long and storied history of identifying these types of prospects and having them turn out well over their time in Madison.
He is not ranked by any of the scouting services out there, that’s how little football he has played to date.
The Badgers are now 11th nationally in the 2020 team recruiting rankings after some movement around the country yesterday.
In-state 2020 WR picks Badgers
Just a month after the Wisconsin Badgers got the 2019 football class signed, they got their fifth verbal pledge to their 2020 class.
Following an offer at junior day on Saturday, Waukesha (Wis.) West wide receiver Chimere Dike jumped at the chance to follow the team he’s been a fan of all of his life.
Getting this commitment gives UW five players in the mix, but also their first non-offensive lineman commit in the class.
Wisconsin is getting a player they found early in his football playing days and only competed with Iowa State for a scholarship offer to date.
This past season Dike caught 79 passes for 1,091 yards and 12 touchdowns. At 6-1, 170 pounds, Dike gives UW a nice frame to work with and his production says there is potential here.
It has led to him being rated a 3-star prospect by 247sports and the No. 6 ranked player in the state. He’s also the No. 99 ranked wide receiver in the 2020 class.
Wisconsin had him near the top of their board and getting him to verbally commit this quickly has to make the coaching staff very happy.
It also means the Badgers continue to keep a very high national ranking for this class. Wisconsin is ranked No. 10 in the country and No. 2 in the Big Ten right now. They also have a crazy .890 average player rating for the class so far.
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