It was a successful weekend for Wisconsin Football on the recruiting trail, as the Badgers earned pledges from two promising linebackers in the 2019 class.
As the icing on the cake after a much-needed victory over Rutgers that has Wisconsin bowl eligible for the 17th straight season, Badger fans received more good news in the form of commitments from a couple of exciting linebacker prospects in Maema Njongmeta (Lincolnshire, IL) and Skyler Meyers (Blue Springs, MO).
Njongmeta was just offered by Wisconsin last Tuesday and, as predicted, wasted little time in jumping on the opportunity. He took an unofficial visit to Madison over the weekend and became the 14th member of Wisconsin’s 2019 recruiting class with his commitment Saturday evening.
A 3-star prospect according to the 247Sports composite rankings, Njongmeta committed to Wisconsin over other offers from Iowa State, Army, Bowling Green, Navy, Northern Illinois, Toledo, and several Ivy League programs, among others. He has also been receiving interest from other Power 5 programs such as Michigan State, Iowa, and Stanford.
Njongmeta is the type of classic late-bloomer that the Wisconsin staff has done so well at identifying over the years. He just had a monster senior season, recording a ridiculous 131 tackles to go along with 23 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He is listed as an outside linebacker by the recruiting services, but with his skill set and 6’1 height, may be better suited for the inside.
Big fan of this addition for Wisconsin. Njongmeta is a heat-seeking missile at linebacker who makes plays all over the field with excellent speed that, when closing in on the ball-carrier, results in some explosive hits. The Badgers have had some ultra-productive linebackers over the last few seasons and based on his film and high school production, I have a feeling we will be looking at a similar player a couple years from now.
Meyers is another example of a late-blooming player who has balled out in his senior season and, as a result, seen his recruitment pick up steam. He came into his official visit over the weekend without an offer from Wisconsin but received one by the time his trip was over, his first from a Power 5 program. As with Njongmeta, Meyers quickly seized the opportunity to become a Badger and committed on Sunday.
Meyers will likely play outside linebacker for the Badgers. At 6’3 and 200 pounds, he has the length Wisconsin likes to have on the outside, though he will need to put on a considerable amount of weight before he is ready to contribute in the Big Ten. He should be a great fit there, as he shows promising quickness rushing off the edge for his high school team to go along with a relentless motor.
I’m excited to see what Meyers can develop into after his first couple of seasons in the program. Like Njongmeta, he may not be the top-ranked prospect that most college football fans are always clamoring for, but as I have said before and will say again, Paul Chryst and his staff have earned my trust completely when it comes to developing these under the radar recruits, especially at linebacker. At this point, I fully expect to see both players assume key roles on Wisconsin’s defense at some juncture down the line.
Wisconsin also picked up an in-state preferred walk-on commitment on Saturday from Hamilton (Sussex, WI) running back/linebacker Jackson Kollath. Kollath had scholarship offers from Valparaiso of the FCS and Division II programs Augustana, Bemidji State, Minnesota-Duluth, and Nebraska-Kearney.