Riley-Ducker is buddies with Wisconsin basketball-commit, Chucky Hepburn. We all know Chucky was trying to get him to come to Wisconsin to play football for the Badgers. Riley-Ducker has even been seen wearing Wisconsin apparel. Now that by no means he was absolutely going to come to Wisconsin, but we also didn’t necessarily see him wearing other schools’ colors all that often.
He has been to Madison multiple times but he was locked in for his official visit to Madison to check out the Wisconsin football team on June 17.
It really felt like he was going to be a prospect who would commit to Wisconsin during or shortly after his official visit. Granted, I’m sure there were plenty of chances he could have committed already, but maybe he just wanted to wait until he went on all of his visits.
On Monday, Riley-Ducker tweeted about some big news coming up. We tweeted some eye emoji’s on the news, expecting something positive for Wisconsin. What we got back wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for.
Chucky Hepburn replied to Riley-Ducker’s tweet with a sad face emoji as well. As soon as I saw that, I knew things weren’t going the way I had hoped.
Instead, Riley-Ducker announced that he would be taking an official visit to Illinois on that weekend, instead of Wisconsin.
I don’t think it’s necessarily public knowledge what happened between the Badgers and the tight end prospect, but it sounds like this from Wisconsin’s end of things, not Riley-Ducker.
I’m not sure why the Badgers would be moving on from Riley-Ducker. The only two reasons I can think of are either they found a prospect they like that will fit with the offense better, or they decided that their tight end room is just too full.
If they decided to go with someone else, I’d have to imagine it would be one of two prospects. They’ve been trying to flip Boston College-commit Jeremiah Franklin, and it sounds like if he were to flip, Wisconsin would have the best chance to land him.
Otherwise, a local player from Waunakee watched his recruitment blow up this spring. Andrew Keller is a 6-6 tight end who has earned offers from teams like Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan St., Iowa St., West Virginia, and Virginia Tech. He has seen his recruitment take off.
Maybe Wisconsin wanted him to walk onto the Wisconsin football team but now might have to bow out of the race for Riley-Ducker due to the lack of space on the team.
My other thought is that the Badgers just don’t have room to take a tight end right now, which wouldn’t make a ton of sense with how hard they were recruiting him. But if you think about it, after this season, they will still have a lot of bodies in the tight end room.
Franklin, Eschenbach, Cundiff, Rucci, Large, and Pugh will all be on the team in 2022 when Jake Ferguson leaves after this season.
Regardless of the reason, it’s too bad that things between Riley-Ducker and the Wisconsin football team took a negative turn.