Badger of Honor has you covered with the latest Wisconsin Football recruiting news.
Taurean Carter commits to Arkansas
As expected, 2019 defensive end Taurean Carter (Mansfield, TX) announced his commitment to Arkansas last night over fellow finalists Wisconsin and Michigan State. He had other scholarship offers from Colorado, Florida, Houston, Indiana, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, and SMU, among others.
Arkansas had been the favorite in this recruitment well before Wisconsin extended an offer back in August. While it is impressive that the Badgers were able to make Carter’s Top 3-especially over in-state powers Texas, Texas Tech, and TCU-despite entering the game very late, they never had much of a shot here.
The clearest indicator that Carter would not be putting a Wisconsin hat on was the fact that he never visited Madison. 9 times out of 10, a player is not going to give his pledge to a program when he has never even stepped foot on campus, and most coaches would not want them to do so anyway. In contrast, Carter visited Fayetteville on multiple occasions throughout his recruitment.
Arkansas also had a commitment from one of his teammates at Mansfield Legacy, defensive tackle Enoch Jackson, working in their favor. Another teammate, safety Jalen Catalon, could very well end up a Razorback as well.
If Wisconsin is going to add another player on the defensive line to this class, it will most likely be either 4-star tackle Rodas Johnson (Columbus, OH) or a player who has not yet been offered. Look for the staff to kick the tires on some new targets over the next week or two.
Wisconsin offers 2021 offensive tackle Riley Mahlman
The staff dipped back into the 2021 class on Sunday and became the first program to offer Lakeville South (Lakeville, MN) offensive tackle Riley Mahlman.
Mahlman has not yet been assigned a ranking, but 247Sports has only ranked 101 players in the class of 2021 so far.
I love the move by Wisconsin to get involved in this recruitment early, as Mahlman is a very intriguing prospect who I believe is going to blow up at some point. He already has gigantic size at 6’8, and as a sophomore in high school, it’s possible he could grow even more. He is only 250 pounds at the moment, but I am already envisioning the monster this kid could become after some time in Wisconsin’s strength program.
While the prototypical offensive tackle frame is obviously great, that isn’t even the most exciting thing about Mahlman in my opinion. What I am most enticed by is his basketball background.
He hoops at an elite level on the AAU circuit with D1 Minnesota, alongside Wisconsin Basketball recruiting targets Dawson Garcia and Ben Carlson, I might add. Skills necessary to excel on the court, such as nimble footwork, agility, body coordination, explosiveness, and balance all translate well to success on the gridiron, especially on the offensive line.
It’s a great thing Wisconsin threw its hat in the ring early because it will not be long before other programs catch word of Mahlman. With his size and athletic background, I have a feeling his recruitment is going to explode, and that Wisconsin is going to have to fend off the big boys for this one.
That being said, the Badgers should remain a top contender as this recruitment drags on. They have shown the ability to beat out anyone for elite offensive line recruits because of the program’s track record of development at the position, and will always be the one school with the ability to remind Mahlman that they were the first to take a flier on him. It also does not hurt that Madison is relatively close to home.
Mahlman is now the fourth offensive tackle and sixth overall player in the 2021 class to receive an offer from Wisconsin.