Badger of Honor has you covered with the latest Wisconsin Football recruiting news.
Jared Casey commits to Oregon
Wisconsin had 4-star linebacker Jared Casey (Louisville, KY) on campus for an official visit last weekend to take in the Nebraska game, hoping that the electric atmosphere and some bonding time with commits such as Graham Mertz, Hayden Rucci, and Spencer Lytle would be enough to make the Badgers the leader in his recruitment ahead of his decision this week.
While the Wisconsin staff deserves credit for making a good run at Casey despite offering him very late in the process, his visit to Madison just didn’t move the needle enough for the Badgers. He announced his commitment to Oregon yesterday evening, choosing the Ducks over fellow finalists Kentucky and Louisville, in addition to Wisconsin.
While disappointing, the decision is not a shocking one. Head coach Mario Cristobal and Oregon had been involved with Casey for quite a while and all along have made it clear that he was a priority target. It was always going to be a steep climb for Wisconsin to overcome that solid relationship. As Tanner mentioned in his piece in anticipation of Casey’s visit to Madison, Cristobal is one of the best recruiters in college football and the smart money was on him to close this recruitment out.
Wisconsin offers 2019 linebacker JD Bertrand
The staff would still like to add another linebacker to the 2019 class to join Spencer Lytle and Leo Chenal, so after missing on Casey, Wisconsin will be setting its sights on some new targets.
One of those targets will be 4-star JD Bertrand out of Roswell, GA, who decommitted from Georgia last Friday and has reopened his recruitment. Wisconsin wasted little time in throwing a hat in the ring here and extended an offer on Tuesday.
Per the 247Sports composite rankings, Bertrand is the No. 16 outside linebacker and No. 311 overall player nationally in the 2019 class. Prior to backing off of his pledge to Georgia, his offer list included Georgia Tech, Iowa State, LSU, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest. Since his decommitment last week, Florida, TCU, and Florida State have also extended offers. Bertrand will be visiting Notre Dame this weekend, and odds are the Irish will offer as well.
As with all outside linebacker recruits, the Wisconsin staff will be selling him a pitch centered on his fit in the Badgers’ 3-4 defense and the program’s track record of developing talent at the position. I’m just not sure that will be enough to get Bertrand on board, considering the other schools that are and will become involved.
That being said, I was pretty skeptical of Wisconsin’s chances to pull Lytle away from one of college football’s alpha dogs in Clemson, but the staff proved me wrong. Here’s to hoping they can get Bertrand on campus and perhaps do so again.
Wisconsin offers 2020 athlete Sam Adams
Wisconsin also dipped back into the class of 2020 ranks and offered athlete Sam Adams (Sammamish, WA) yesterday. The staff has been active at Adams’ school, Eastside Catholic, recently, offering his teammate, tight end D.J. Rogers, last week Tuesday.
Adams is listed as a running back by the recruiting services, but according to 247Sports’ Evan Flood, Wisconsin is recruiting him as an athlete. He suits up both ways for Eastside Catholic, playing cornerback on defense.
Adams, a 3-star prospect, ranks as the No. 28 running back and No. 340 overall player in 2020. His offer list is already filled with high-profile offers from the likes of Nebraska, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, and Tennessee, among others.
As with Adam’s teammate Rogers, it’s difficult to envision Wisconsin coming out on top here. There’s the distance factor, not to mention an offer list that is only going to get increasingly daunting moving forward. Texas A&M is one of the schools trending for him right now and could be the biggest hurdle considering Adams’ family connection there: his father, a former Pro Bowl defensive tackle in the NFL, played for the Aggies.
That being said, perhaps there’s a chance the staff can effectively sell him on the chance to run through the massive holes that are sure to be created by Wisconsin’s three behemoth offensive line commits in the 2020 class in Trey Wedig, Jack Nelson, and Dylan Barrett, not to mention 2019 commits Logan Brown and Joe Tippmann.