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Badgers Recruiting

Wisconsin Badgers 2018 Football Recruiting: Safety breakdown

Wisconsin has depth and youth at Safety, so how does that play out with the 2018 recruiting class?



With Wisconsin Badgers spring football out of the way and coaches hitting the road on the recruiting trail, it is time for us to also dive in to what is happening with the 2018 recruiting class.

Earlier this week we started by taking a look at the quarterback position, where the Badgers are

So, it would only be right that we start our look at defensive recruiting with the “quarterback” of the defense — safety. The Badgers have a ton of depth and a lot of competition happening, despite loosing starter Leo Musso to graduation.

That means recruiting efforts at the position will be all about finding potential and the best fit possible.

Wisconsin has seemingly hit the jackpot at this position in the last few recruiting cycles, has that continued in to the 2018 class? Let’s take a look.



Reggie Pearson Jr.

Wisconsin got off to a fast start in the 2018 recruiting cycle, and surprisingly enough its first commitment came last August. It also came from an out-of-state product in Reggie Pearson from River Rouge, Mich. (a Detroit suburb).

He isn’t the most heralded of safeties in this class, but has been a solid commitment for the Badgers to build on. Additionally, he brings good size and speed to the position going forward.

Trent Ingalls

This commitment came as a bit of surprise, if only because it came out of nowhere. One visit for a game, an offer and less than two weeks later Ingalls committed. What Pearson brings in physicality and size, Ingalls brings in instincts and ball-hawking ability.

He’s got a really good mental game and nose for the football in coverage. Film on Ingalls shows someone who is fundamentally sound, but likely needs to work on his tackling game at the next level. That will come with more bulk and the finer points of the game from Jim Leonhard. It will be interesting to watch the progression of Ingalls in a Badgers uniform.

Players in the Mix:

DeAndre Square Detroit, Mich. (Cass Tech) 

Much like the quarterback position, Wisconsin is done at safety for the most part. Unless there is someone special or a straight athlete that turns in to a safety in the future, don’t look for the Badgers to add any more safeties in this class.

However, if there is one player UW will fit in at the position it will be three-star safety DeAndre Square from famed Detroit powerhouse Cass Tech. He is listed as “warm” towards the Badgers according to 247Sports and there is certainly mutual interest. Square not only is a quality player (No. 26 safety in the class), but gives UW a foot in the door at one of the most talent-rich high school programs in the country.

At 6-1, 200 pounds, Square also could be that extra in the box safety that UW liked to play with a few years ago. Think Michael Caputo with a bit more athleticism to his game coming out of high school.

Beyond Square, don’t be surprised if the Badgers are done at this position.

State of the Recruiting Board:

We’ve pretty much hinted at this all along, but Wisconsin prioritized this position early on in the recruiting process and got two very different safeties in the fold by the end of October. That was a big surprise considering some of the names that were offered before Ingalls, but we all know head coach Paul Chryst and Co. know this state like the back of their hands.

Given Wisconsin’s depth and youth at the position, the Badgers could afford to go after a few players who are projects and then try to land a bigger fish. All the eggs seem to be in the basket of Square, who is a heavy Michigan State lean at this point.

Wisconsin has had a way of pulling surprises on the recruiting trail and this would be a big win if Square ends up committing to UW over its Big Ten rivals.

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Badgers Recruiting

Badgers add sleeper DE to 2020 class



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



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



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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Badgers Recruiting

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.

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