Each month, Wisconsin beat reporter Jesse Temple will take a look at the Badgers’ recruiting to-do list here on Land of 10. This outlook focuses on three concerns for the program’s recruiting efforts in the weeks ahead. Today, we’ll look at what Wisconsin needs to accomplish in October.
Wisconsin secured its 19th commitment in the 2018 recruiting class as September ended. The Badgers will try to keep those positive vibes rolling into October as they evaluate and offer scholarships to 2019 prospects. This month represents a great opportunity to get those athletes on campus for in-person visits, which could sway them in their decisions down the road. Here’s more of what the Badgers will attempt to achieve this month:
Make good use of home game visits
There is no greater selling point for a program such as Wisconsin than to allow prospective recruits to enjoy the game-day experience. In many ways, it sells itself. Wisconsin has home games in October against Purdue (Oct. 14) and Maryland (Oct. 21). Those aren’t the high-level matchups that will create a frenzied atmosphere such as November home games against Iowa and Michigan. But they are important nonetheless.
Badgers coaches love to take advantage of the game-day opportunity to offer scholarships. In September, for example, in-state Class of 2019 players Da’Shaun Brown (Racine, Wis.) and Leo Chenal (Grantsburg, Wis.) were offered scholarships on their unofficial game-day visits. Chenal committed to Wisconsin the next day. Cornerback Donte Burton (Loganville, Ga.) already had a scholarship offer when he took his official visit for the Sept. 30 game against Northwestern. He was so enamored with the atmosphere that he committed the same night.
One player in the 2019 class who will visit Oct. 21 and is seeking a Wisconsin scholarship offer is defensive end Ruke Orhorhoro (River Rough, Mich.), who told me he had been “praying” for a Badgers offer. Orhorhoro is a high school teammate of 2018 Badgers commit Reggie Pearson Jr. But several other players in a similar position likely will take in one of Wisconsin’s two October home games.
Try to land another commitment in the 2019 class
It’s still early in the recruiting process for many juniors who have their own high school football seasons to worry about. But the Badgers could gain some momentum in the 2019 class if they’re able to secure a commitment or two in October. Leo Chenal became Wisconsin’s first commitment in the class in September, and Wisconsin continues to offer scholarships to prospects.
Wisconsin offered more than a dozen scholarships to juniors in September, including four offensive linemen, two cornerbacks, two quarterbacks and two defensive tackles. All of those prospects except Chenal and Da’Shaun Brown are out-of-state players. So the likelihood of them picking Wisconsin in October seems low unless they’re able to visit and instantly want to commit. Still, with offers out to more than 70 players, anything could happen this month.
Fend off potential late interest from other schools for 2018 prospects
Donte Burton’s commitment over the weekend boosted Wisconsin’s 2018 class back up to 19 players. In August, the Badgers lost safety Trent Ingalls (Mensaha, Wis.), who de-committed and no longer intends to play college football. It would appear that Burton’s addition could be the final piece to the recruiting puzzle.
As players continue to excel in their senior seasons, other programs could try to poach some of Wisconsin’s committed players. For example, Wisconsin represents running back Nakia Watson’s (Austin, Texas) only Power 5 scholarship offer. Watson has decimated opponents this season and could garner interest from other schools. He has routinely topped the 200-yard rushing mark. In his last game, he rushed for 104 yards despite the opponent stacking the box with eight or nine players, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Those types of performances tend to garner notice from big-time schools.
Wisconsin seems to be in good position with its committed players. But nothing is official until they sign on the dotted line.
The post Wisconsin football: 3 things Badgers need to accomplish in October on recruiting trail appeared first on Land of 10.
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