Recruit Roundup: Andrew James Is Staying Put Despite Chris Beatty Recruitment


With all this talk of players leaving in a hurry, it should be noted that the fasted recruit for the Wisconsin Badgers, Andrew James, isn’t going anywhere but Madison.

To recap those of you who may have forgotten about Andrew James, it’s OK. The plain-named wide receiver from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is one of Chris Beatty’s guys and was only the third commit for 2015.

Also, Andrew James is fast. Like Tavon Austin or Patrick Peterson fast. He ran a 4.34 40-yard dash, which would place him on a level higher than our famed WRs Jared Abbrederis, Nick Toon and Lee Evans. Whether that translates to D1 game speed is something we’re all going to want to find out when he joins the team.

Andrew James also has familiarity with current Badgers wide receiver George Rushing, who is also from Fort Lauderdale.

All of these facts make a great case for why Andrew James should stay put, but let’s not beat around the bush. There are a few reasons we all should be surprised that he hasn’t been persuaded to look somewhere else. Chief among those reasons is Beatty’s efforts to sway the batch of recruits he signed for the Badgers onto his new locale of the University of Virginia.

Cornerback T.J. Griffin already de-committed, and linebacker Dominic Sheppard might follow suit, but neither were like the receivers Beatty was hired to coach at Wisconsin.

James wasn’t offered by any other Power 5 team. Shocking. One look at the tape makes it obvious that he can run, but can also field the ball in the open space on special teams, look it in on screens before running, and at 5-foot-10 he’s not afraid to lower his shoulder.

Outside of Wisconsin, Cincinnati, South Florida and Appalachian State were the biggest schools to offer. (Yes, I consider App State a big school. Three-time back-to-back FCS champion in last nine years.) Nine other lower-tiered schools offered, so it’s no wonder Wisconsin stood out.

The quarterback situation is still a jumbled mess, but hopefully that will work itself out once Austin Kafentzis joins the team. It used to be unheard of, unless you were Hall of Fame material like Ron Dayne, to start at Wisconsin and be relied upon as a true freshman.

This year we may need all 2015 commits in some form to contend with the other West teams that saw the Ohio State … thing. They’re all aiming their sights at the target on our backs. But at least we still have the “bullet.”

Next: Badgers Add Punter Connor Allen