Recruiting never stops in Badgers country, and we’re here to help put it all in perspective. Join us every Tuesday and Thursday night for a recap of Wisconsin recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes and a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Update on 4-star Badgers OL target Trevor Keegan
Tackle Trevor Keegan is the No. 1-ranked high school football player in Illinois for the 2019 recruiting class. As such, he has no shortage of scholarship opportunities. In total, Keegan holds 25 known scholarship offers, including one from Wisconsin, and the list continues to grow.
Wisconsin offered Keegan a scholarship on Sept. 18, and he visited campus to watch Wisconsin defeat Purdue 17-9 in October. At the time, he appeared to be trending in Wisconsin’s direction. In fact, Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports made a Crystal Ball forecast for Keegan in favor of the Badgers.
But over the past several months, more schools have recognized Keegan’s talent. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound prospect is a 247Sports composite 4-star player who ranks as the No. 16 tackle in the country. He has earned recent offers from Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Alabama. Keegan took unofficial visits to Georgia and Ohio State. And following the Ohio State visit on March 8, which netted Keegan a Buckeyes offer, Wiltfong flipped his Crystal Ball to Ohio State.
That doesn’t mean Wisconsin is out of the running, however. Land of 10 caught up with Rob Fontana, who is Keegan’s high school football coach at Crystal Lake South, to gauge where things stand with Keegan and Wisconsin.
“He’s shared a lot about it,” Fontana said of Wisconsin. “I want to say he was on campus a couple of times. I think he went up to a camp. He’s met up with all the coaches. He’s so open to everything. I know he’s got a notebook that him and his family kind of jot everything down on what they like, what they don’t like, what they’re looking for. He’s got a lot of things. He hasn’t ruled anybody out.
“But I know in the times that I’ve met with some of those coaches over there, too, they’ve got good things to say about him. He had a good rapport with those coaches in the times he was there. So I’d say they’re in the mix just like the majority.”
Trevor Keegan highlights
Wisconsin has the potential to put together one of its best offensive line classes in history. The Badgers already have commitments from tackles Logan Brown (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Joe Tippmann (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Brown is a 4-star player rated as the No. 7 tackle in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite, and quite likely will wind up as Wisconsin’s first 5-star player since tackle Josh Oglesby signed in 2007.
Other offered tackles in the mix for Wisconsin are Bryce Benhart (Lakeville, Minn.), Quinn Carroll (Minneapolis), John Olmstead (Metuchen, N.J.), Jonathan Allen (Dayton, Ohio) and Andrew Kristofic (Gibsonia, Pa.). Olmstead put Wisconsin on his list of top 10 finalists, and Carroll placed the Badgers in his top 6. But Keegan would represent a truly special addition to the class.
“I just think he’s so athletic for a big man,” Fontana said. “He’s probably the most flexible guy on our team. He moves really well, so he’s loose in his hips, and he can do a lot of things for us on the field that kind of separates him with where we can play him, what he can do, how far downfield he gets by being that flexible.”
Fontana said former Wisconsin outside linebackers coach Tim Tibesar had served as the lead recruiter on Keegan. But Tibesar left to become the defensive coordinator at Oregon State. Now, Badgers quarterbacks coach Jon Budmayr has taken over recruiting duties on Keegan. Budmayr played high school football in Illinois at Marion Central Catholic, which is located just 11 miles northwest of Crystal Lake South High.
When Tibesar spoke to Fontana and Keegan, he sold Wisconsin’s offensive line tradition. Since 2011, nine Badgers offensive linemen have become NFL draft picks.
“It’s something that Coach Tibesar brought up a lot when he was there,” Fontana said. “I want to say the reference was the past 10 seasons, there hasn’t been more offensive linemen that have been drafted than Wisconsin’s had. I think that was one of the stats that he said. I know Trevor is aware of all that stuff as well.”
Fontana said there has been no timetable established for Keegan to make a college decision, and he has not begun to whittle down his list to finalists. Iowa, Michigan and Penn State are among several schools that have stood out previously to Keegan.
“We’ve had those conversations,” Fontana said. “I’ve sat down with his family already, too. I think our first goal that we’ve set in place is I’m kind of hoping when the next recruiting cycle comes through that we can at least narrow the list down from every school to at least like half the schools so we have a baseline and I don’t have a million coaches coming in and out of the office every free period I have.
“I teach six hours a day. Most of January up until the NCAA dead period, I had a coach in my office every hour that I was open. Before school and then a bunch that always came in after school for our workouts. I enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m going to take this in stride. We don’t get players like Trevor very often.”
Badgers offer 5-star 2020 WR Julian Fleming
Wisconsin offered a scholarship on Wednesday to wide receiver Julian Fleming, a 6-3, 190-pound sophomore from Catawissa, Pa. Fleming already is rated by 247Sports as a 5-star prospect and the No. 1 receiver in the 2020 class.
Fleming has 14 scholarship offers, including Wisconsin, Penn State, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Pitt, Rutgers and West Virginia. Penn State is considered the leader for Fleming.
As a sophomore last season, Fleming caught 69 passes for 1,462 yards with 20 touchdowns. He caught 36 passes for 956 yards and 13 touchdowns in his freshman season.
Excited to receive an offer from the University of Wisconsin #14 pic.twitter.com/8xaQyADl14
— 🃏0J4🃏 (@julian_040) March 21, 2018
QB coach Jon Budmayr on Chase Wolf
Quarterback Chase Wolf is still a few months from arriving on Wisconsin’s campus as a member of the Badgers’ 2018 recruiting class. But when he does, Wisconsin’s coaching staff has high hopes for what Wolf can bring to the quarterback room.
“I think he’s an ultimate competitor,” Wisconsin quarterbacks coach Jon Budmayr told Land of 10. “He is. He’s a winner. He’s a competitor, and he’s got the skill set to play at this level, but he’s got so much that he brings to the table away from X’s and O’s.
“I think that presence that he’s going to provide in the huddle, on the field and in the locker room along with his skill set and ability to play is going to be a big deal when he gets here.”
Wolf will join a quarterback group that already features Alex Hornibrook, Jack Coan, Kare Lyles and Danny Vanden Boom. Walk-on Nate Carter (Waunakee, Wis.) also will join the program.
Wolf is a 3-star prospect who rates as the No. 39 pro-style quarterback in the country. He was a first-team All-Ohio player as a senior. Wolf also earned Greater Catholic League South Player of the Year honors, as well as Southwest District Player of the Year in his. He passed for 2,532 yards with 27 touchdowns as a senior for St. Xavier, which reached the state regional final.
Chase Wolf highlights