Wisconsin Football will have Rutgers linebacker commit Mohamed Toure on campus this weekend.
Flipping season is in full swing for the 2019 recruiting class, and Wisconsin has already gotten in on the fun by reeling in a commitment from former Kansas tight end pledge Clay Cundiff after hosting him on an official visit for the weekend of the Nebraska game.
The staff could potentially pull it off again this week, as Rutgers linebacker commit Mohamed Toure (Pleasantville, NJ) will be on campus to take in what will hopefully be a Wisconsin beatdown of Illinois on Saturday.
After losing out to Oregon for Jared Casey, and with the recently offered JD Bertrand most likely heading elsewhere, Wisconsin is hoping that Toure can be that third linebacker it has been seeking to join Leo Chenal and Spencer Lytle in this class.
According to the 247Sports composite rankings, Toure is a 3-star prospect and currently sits as the No. 48 inside linebacker and No. 994 overall player in the 2019 class. He has been committed to Rutgers since the end of August, choosing the Scarlet Knights over fellow finalists Maryland, Boston College, and Temple. He has other offers from UConn, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, UCF, Virginia, and Wake Forest, among others.
While I’m optimistic about Wisconsin chances to ultimately land Toure, I do not believe this will be as much of a layup as flipping Cundiff was a few weeks ago.
Toure’s ties to Rutgers appear to be very strong. First, the Scarlet Knights offer an opportunity to play close to home, as the campus in Piscataway is just two hours away from his hometown of Pleasantville. Head Coach Chris Ash’s sales pitch centered on being a key part of the rebuild of the Rutgers program has also resonated strongly, as Toure had this to say after announcing his commitment:
I have the best opportunity at Rutgers. I can further my education there, become a better football player and help build the program. I am used to building programs. I helped Coach [Chris] Sacco build Pleasantville. Now, I want to help Coach Ash build Rutgers. I chose Rutgers because they were honest with me. They were loyal and it felt like family.”
I know that is just a short excerpt, but it’s clear there’s a strong relationship that Wisconsin must overcome here.
That bond is only made more resilient by Toure’s family connection to Rutgers. His cousin, Kemoko Turay, was a star defensive end for Ash and the Scarlet Knights before being drafted in second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.
That being said, I do think that it is more likely than not that Toure ends up a Badger. While his connections with Rutgers are deep and will be challenging to overcome, I have full confidence in the Wisconsin’s staff’s ability to do just that. Toure mentioned in his comments following his commitment that the Scarlet Knights made him feel like family, but few programs in college football have a more family-oriented culture than Wisconsin, and I think that will become clear to him and his camp this weekend.
Wisconsin offers a tight-knit culture, a proud linebacker tradition, and the chance to compete for championships, a strong sales pitch to Toure that has already proven intriguing enough to get him on campus despite the hurdle his relationship with Rutgers presents. I think Paul Chryst and company will seal the deal this weekend and make Toure the likely final addition to Wisconsin’s 2019 class sooner rather than later.