2014 Class Snapshot: Wisconsin

Wisconsin's recruiting class, as usual, starts at home and the Badgers have benefited from a strong crop. However, head coach Gary Andersen and his staff have used their connections to bring in prospects from out West and down South. Here is a look at what is a strong early class in Madison.

Class Overview
Number of Commits: 11
Big Ten Rank:
5
National Rank:
36

Star of the Class
Monona Grove (Wisc.) offensive tackle Jaden Gault has the size (6'7, 275) and ability to be the next great Badger offensive lineman. He is from very close by and should also continue the tradition of Wisconsin's top linemen being from within state lines. He had offers from other Big Ten schools and the SEC but turned them down to stay at home.

Sleeper

Tampa Plant (Fla.) safety Austin Hudson is a two-star prospect currently, but had a good showing at the Badgers' camp and brings length and athleticism to the tble. He could be a surprise.

One That Got Away
The Badgers nearly ran the table with top in-state prospects, but Somerset High tight end Gaelin Elmore, despite several visits to Madison, chose Big Ten rival Minnesota.

Still on the Board
A recent offer to Detroit King defensive back-wide receiver Jalen Embry puts the Badgers right at the top for him, although they will have to battle Iowa for his commitment. JUCO cornerback Demarlon Morris (Mesa College) has a Badger offer and will look to visit Madison this Fall. Prospects on the board don't get much bigger than five-star running back Joe Mixon. The California native says he will take an official visit to Wisconsin. The Badgers also remain in the mix for another Golden State five-star, massive guard Damien Mama. Sparta (NJ) tight end Ryan Izzo will take an official visit to Madison along with Wayne County (Ga.) teammates Jeremy Patterson and Krenwick Sanders. Other top prospects looking to take officials to Madison include running back Qadree Ollison, four-star wide receiver Jalen Brown, cornerback Lubern Figaro, safety Andre Godfrey and four-star Houston cornerback John Plattenburg. Compton (Ca.) Dominguez defensive end Uriah Leiataua has Wisconsin high on his list and will visit Wisconsin in September.

Class Notes

The Badgers did well at home, scoring four in-state Scout 300 members. In addition to Gault, they landed Milwaukee Marquette's powerful, tough Conor Sheehy, who will play end in their 3-4. Sun Prarie's Craig Evans is an athletic nose prospect who visited other schools and earned an Alabama offer this summer but maintains his commitment to Wisconsin. Legacy guard George Panos was the first commit in the class and is big (6'5, 290) and technically sound as the son of former Badger great Joe Panos. His teammate Billy Hirschfeld chose the Badgers over Nebraska, Michigan State and others. At 6'5, 270-pounds, he can go inside or outside and is a good fit as a 3-4 end.

Those big bodies on the defensive line will help keep blockers off of Dominic Cizauskas. A fast, athletic middle linebacker from Mukwonago, he earned a Badger offer at camp and shows impressive ability to play sideline to sideline.

Joining Gault and Panos on the offensive line is Genoa (Ohio) guard Michael Deiter (6'4, 295), a blue collar kid who spurned offers from West Virginia, Illinois and Georgia Tech. He may even get a look at center in college.

Running behind him will be Dematha (Md.) tailback Taiwan Deal, a big (6'1, 225) back who can run between the tackles and fits the mold of past Wisconsin tailbacks. He will have a fullback prospect in front of him in Ula Tolutau who plays tailback in high school and is capable of carrying the ball and blocking. He will be on a mission trip and will likely not join the Badgers until 2016.

Finally, quarterback D.J. Gillins of Jacksonville (Fla.) Ribault gives the Badgers a dual threat option behind center. He is more passer than runner though, putting up big numbers as a sophomore. He tore his ACL as a junior, but is back and ready to regain the form that drew him so much early interest and offers from around the country as a sophomore.

Looking Ahead
The Badgers have gotten out and offered young prospects from across the country, continuing to target kids out West, in Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. Closer to home, they have offered Scout's top junior in the state of Wisconsin, Seymour High offensive tackle Jon Dietzen (6'5, 305), who came to camp and picked up an offer. The Badgers have also offered another Midwestern tackle, Jacksonville (Ill.) High's Gabe Megginson, who also camped.


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