Baby Badger: Hugs Etienne

Hugs Etienne
5’11”, 175 pounds
South Plantation High School
Plantation, Florida

247 Sports — N/A
Rivals — Three Stars, 44th best CB
Scout — Two Stars

Hugsanly “Hugs” Etienne became the first cornerback to commit to the Badgers 2012 class a week ago today. The Floridian recorded three interceptions and 35 tackles in his junior season and runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. Etienne joins a growing list of secondary commits from south Florida in recent years for Wisconsin, including current starters Aaron Henry and Antonio Fenelus. He will be a third-year starter in his senior high school season this fall and was recruited by co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Charlie Partridge.

The Badgers were Etienne’s first BCS offer Etienne when they offered in late May. He also received offers from West Virginia, Kansas, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Florida International and Florida Atlantic and was receiving interest from Florida State, LSU, Miami (FL), Rutgers, Maryland, Central Florida, Central Michigan, Mississippi, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky.

Etienne announced his decision to commit to Wisconsin on his Facebook page last Wednesday saying, “Just Commited to Wisconsin!! 1000 :)” He also has a Twitter page.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel spoke to Etienne shortly after he announced his commitment: “I did a lot of research on them, research on their engineering program,” said Etienne, who has not visited the Wisconsin campus yet. “He (Coach Partridge) told me he would like to see me at cornerback. He told me I have great coverage, great footwork.”

Etienne reportedly felt some pressure to commit early before the classes of his favorite programs started to fill upHe told 247 Sports that West Virginia was his second choice and that he’ll visit Madison “as soon as possible.”

Badger Nation Publisher Benjamin Worgull posted the following on the Badger Nation board after the committment:

When it’s all said and done, I think he’ll be a three-star player (yes, I know, it’s going to kill UW’s recruiting ranking), but he picked up two BCS offers in the past couple weeks and had a bunch of other big time schools like Miami starting to look closer at him.

He’s a raw player and does a lot of things OK to pretty good, but we said the same thing about Fenelus when he committed late in the process, as well. I think he has the chance to be a good player.

Etienne told Jamie Newberg of ESPN he’d “love to play early” at Wisconsin. He also gave a quick scouting report on himself: “I lock things down. My strengths are my speed, quickness and aggression. I also have very good footwork.”

Luke Stampini, the publisher of liked the addition for the Badgers: “Tip your caps to Wisconsin’s coaching staff. South Plantation’s Hugs Etienne is a heck of a pick up.” Barton Steele of 247 Sports agrees,saying Etienne “could be a major steal out of south Florida.” The cornerback is currently No. 17 on the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s list of the top 50 Class of 2012 football prospects from Brevard County.

Here are some highlights (Note: There’s a lot of NSFW language on the soundtrack):

Old Uncle C of Buckyville breaks down the video:

Hugs seems to fit the mold.  Right size for the spot and a good student. Couple things from the tape (with the usual small sample caveats):

– It looks like the classroom translates to the field. Quite a few combination coverages where he had zone assignment and needed to stick with it. And did. Also diagnosed run well and did a good job setting the edge quickly. Little things, but it shows he’s thinking.

– Competes for position and the ball. Had a few merry-go-rounds trying to find it, but ultimately did. Competitors usually take to coaching, which he will certainly get from Ash.

– Lots of plays in the package with very soft corners, reminiscent of some UW strategies. Did a nice job coming up and making the sure tackle. Nice to see a bit of system/philosophy fit in his background.

Looks like a pretty nice developmental CB prospect with a good head on his shoulders. Welcome to Badger Nation to Hugs and his family.

Etienne attended the Madden Football Academy this weekend and was listed as one of the top performers of day one by 247 Sports: “Just stick the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) South Plantation cornerback and Wisconsin commit out on an island and he’s happy with that. He likes getting into the receiver and being physical. He had several pass breakups and two athletic interceptions.”

Etienne might not be the only South Plantation student to travel north to Madison. According to Rivals, the Badgers might also be monitoring Etienne’s partner in the secondary, Chris Morley. Morley currently has offers from Florida Atlantic and  Western Michigan.

All in all, it looks like Etienne is a solid commitment for the Badgers with a lot of upside. The cornerback will likely be asked to put on some weight and will have to refine his raw skills, but he has plenty of time to address both issues before taking the field at Camp Randall. Welcome to the Badgers, Hugs!

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