National Signing Day: Wisconsin Badgers Do Not Need Top Class to Succeed


Wisconsin Badgers may not sign the highest-ranked class on National Signing Day, but what they have done with the players that fit their program has been impressive.

National Signing Day has come and gone, with many questions answered and valuable roster spots filled. A surprise to nobody, the Alabama Crimson Tide notched the top recruiting class of 2017. Ohio State was not far behind. As for the Wisconsin Badgers, they don’t have the five-star recruits like those two. But they have succeeded just fine by signing recruits that may have been passed over by those so-called big time programs.

Related Story: Wisconsin Badgers National Signing Day

Highlighted by four-star recruits Kayden Lyles and Danny Davis, this year’s Badgers class featured mainly three-star recruits and wound up 40th in the national rankings, seventh in the Big Ten according to Not too shabby considering they had small recruiting class this time around, signing 18 players.

And although those numbers may not jump out to the casual fan, it’s nothing new to the Wisconsin faithful. They haven’t seen the top classes come through Madison when you look at the star rating, but on what transfers on the field has been success.

Since 2006, not one recruiting class the Badgers have had reached higher than 32 in the national rankings and fifth in Big Ten rankings. From National Signing Day 2006 to National Signing Day 2016, the average rank nationally and in conference for Wisconsin has been 40.1 and 7.6, respectively. That includes the class of 2012 that ranked 65th in the country and last in the league despite having players like Dan Voltz and Vince Biegel, both four-star players, in that cycle.

Between Bret Bielema (2006-2012), Gary Andersen (2013-2014), and Paul Chryst (2015-present), Wisconsin accumulated a record of 109-38 overall, 63-26 in conference. They won the division three times, made four appearances in the Big Ten championship game (2-2), went to the Rose Bowl three-straight years, and won five bowl games including their last three in a row.

Next: Wisconsin Badgers Defensive Recruiting Breakdown

Would it be nice to see the Wisconsin Badgers near the top of recruiting rankings at the end of National Signing Day? Sure, it would be a nice boost to an already storied program. But what they have done with average recruiting rankings and getting the most out of the players that have signed on has been nothing short of impressive.