The Wisconsin Badgers are set to begin their football season in two and a half weeks. TWO AND A HALF WEEKS, PEOPLE. But the season that never truly ends, recruiting season, has been quite successful thus far. Wisconsin has secured 18 total recruits; landing them ranked at No. 22 on 247 Sports’ team recruiting rankings.
The Badgers’ 2015 recruiting class is currently fourth best in the Big Ten. They sit behind Penn State (6), Ohio State (15), and Michigan (19). Just after the Badgers are Michigan State (24) and Nebraska (28). Unquestionably, those are the six most marquee college football programs in the Big Ten. And the recruiting rankings reflect that. Bucky is comfortably in the middle of the “elite” mix of the Big Ten recruiting programs. That has to be a welcome sight to Badgers fans everywhere.
For quite some time Wisconsin has overachieved with less heralded recruiting classes, using its patented talent development system. A system that is no stranger to turning unknown recruits into All-Americans. But it seems to be a new era for the Gary Andersen-led Badgers; with more high-profile prospects checking out Madison.
Of the Badgers’ 18 recruits in the 2015 class, a few offensive players immediately jump out. Not surprisingly, these are players that will be used to dominate the trenches at Camp Randall. Offensive linemen Jon Dietzen, Sam Madden, and David Moorman were all heavily recruited all around the country. But all three decided to join “Lineman U.” That’s right, Wisconsin truly is a “Lineman U,” one of only a few schools in the nation that can claim that. The list of schools that offered one (or more) of these three players includes Miami, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Kansas. As well as Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois from the Big Ten.
As you can see, the future at offensive lineman at Wisconsin has never looked brighter.
But offensive lineman isn’t the only position that Badgers fans should be excited about with this class. The tight end position is shaping up greatly, too. Kyle Penniston chose Wisconsin over defending champions Florida State. As well as Oklahoma, Miami, Louisville, and Washington State. But Bucky also landed David Edwards; a talented tight end from Illinois. He boasts offers from Iowa, Illinois, Vanderbilt, and Iowa State.
Will these two players carry on Wisconsin’s longstanding success at the tight end position? I wouldn’t bet against them.
But if we’re talking about positions where the Badgers have had success in recent years we have to mention running back, right? Well fear not Bucky faithful, because Wisconsin has also secured quite the runner in this class, too. Davon Crookshank could be the next big-time Badgers running back. He has offers from Baylor, Colorado, Fresno State, Houston, and Kansas but chose Madison as his next home.
He will certainly get a chance to become a feature runner at Wisconsin. Which has been one of the premier positions in all of college football over the last 20 years.
The offensive talent in this class doesn’t end at the running back position though. This class also features a strong-armed, dual threat quarterback in Austin Kafentzis. It also features two exciting wide receivers — Brandyn Lee and Andrew James. Kafentzis has offers from BYU and Utah and he will look to battle D.J. Gillins as Wisconsin’s next starting quarterback. Lee and James are both known as speedy receivers that will be able to stretch the field. If you’re not excited for the future of Wisconsin football, on at least the offensive side of the ball, you’re simply not paying attention.
Hopefully Gary Andersen can add a few more players to this already impressive 2015 recruiting class. If he does, Wisconsin could find themselves contenders not only for the Big Ten championship but for the College Football Playoff for years to come.
Check back here at Badger of Honor for more Wisconsin Badgers football recruiting news and analysis throughout the year!