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Badgers Recruiting

Wisconsin Badgers 2019 Football Recruiting: an early cornerback breakdown

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With 2017 in the rearview mirror and the 2018 Wisconsin Badgers recruiting class already signed, sealed and mostly delivered, it is truly an offseason to look forward to what is ahead.

That’s especially true on the recruiting trail, where the Badgers are way ahead of their normal curve. UW already has four commits to the 2019 class and there is a ton of buzz around the potential for this class to be special.

Previous looks: Running Back |

Wisconsin also likely needs to make this class count because it won’t be a big one, with around 14-16 players likely to be in the class in total. UW currently has 75 players on the 2019 scholarship list as it would sit today.

As we transition to looking ahead, we’ll take a look at each position as it stands on the recruiting trail. After looking in to the offensive backfield last time around, we’ll start our defensive look in the backfield as well with a look at cornerback recruiting.

Commit(s):

None – Wisconsin has four players signed for the 2019 class, but none at cornerback just yet.

Recruiting Priorities:

As of this writing, the Badgers have thrown out 14 offers at the cornerback position and by my count should be in place to add just two players to the mix in the 2019 class. Wisconsin will roll in to the 2019 season having not graduated a single scholarship cornerback and they added three of them in the 2018 class alone. Look for the Badgers to try to even things out in terms of numbers with just a couple of commits at this position in 2019.

So, what names should be in the mix? Right now that is a hard question to answer, as cornerback is a notoriously slow position in terms of commits and process. However, the Badgers could have an inside track on a few names due to great relationships. That includes Jalen Alexander (Loganville, Ga.) Wynston Russell (Flossmoor, Ill.) and Mike Sainristil (Everett, Mass.).

All three are from schools that Wisconsin has had long-standing relationships with and all three schools have Badgers players or recent graduates amongst their ranks. Alexander has been a name to watch as the Badgers landed his opposite number in Donte Burton in the 2018 class, while Russell was a former teammate of current Badgers wide receiver Kendric Pryor and Sainristil is from the same school that produced backup cornerback Lubern Figaro.

Can those relationships help the Badgers win what could be interesting recruiting battles? These are the names that I would focus the most attention on as realistic options.

State of Recruiting:

If ever there was a way to test just how good a talent evaluator Jim Leonhard is as a coach, the 2018 season is just that. Wisconsin will replace both starting cornerbacks and have just one returning player with any real experience in the mix, and that is nickel back Donyte Carriere-Williams.

The good news is the Badgers have hit on two of the better cornerbacks in the 2018 class in Travian Blaylock (Humble, Texas) and Donte Burton (Loganville, Ga.) are both top 60 cornerbacks according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

One trend you have seen with the Badgers since Chryst came aboard is the emphasis on bigger cornerbacks in the program. Wisconsin has struggled to land them, but that hasn’t been for a lack of trying. In the 2019 class a full seven of the 14 offers already handed out are to players 6-foot or taller. Perhaps no player intrigues me more that Bobby Wolfe does, as his height (6-3) and film indicate a player who can be a difference maker in a conference that is seeing the passing game take priority as of late. However, landing the 3-star product is going to be tough as schools like LSU, Oregon and Texas A&M are in the mix here (A&M has yet to offer).

More than the past, this recruiting class will test the ability of Leonhard as a recruiter. Wisconsin has to be picky at this position in this class and his eye for talent will mean a lot. Luckily, the Badgers have had some really good cornerback play in the past few years and it’s helped open up some recruitments that may not have been their before.

Overall, it appears the Badgers are trending up in terms of the pure talent that will take a look at them, and that changes the game in a big way.

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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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Badgers Recruiting

Badgers get commitment from 2020 OLB Cole Dakovich

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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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Badgers Recruiting

In-state 2020 WR picks Badgers

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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.

Dike is also the fourth player to commit from in-state in the class, joining 4-star offensive linemen Trey Wedig and Jack Nelson as well as 3-star offensive lineman Ben Barten.

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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