Commitment Impact: Nick Thomas

The ninth commitment in Wisconsin's 2015 class, Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy middle linebacker Nick Thomas is a good, solid prospect that fills an immediate need for the Badgers. BadgerNation breaks down the impact.

Committed Over: Nick Thomas committed to Wisconsin over offers from Hawaii and Nevada and interest from Duke, Kansas, Miami and Syracuse.

Rated: Thomas is not currently ranked by, but is projected to be a three-star prospect after the summer ranking update.

On Film: "I would think he will need a redshirt season. Good, long frame but needs to add bulk and get stronger. I think he could emerge as an every down linebacker that can play the run and pass equally well. Good speed but not great speed. He plays with good instincts, awareness and anticipation. Thomas is a good downhill player, tough and has good fundamentals. He's physical, can take on blockers and find the ball. This is a good, solid prospect for the Badgers." – Florida Recruiting Analyst Jamie Newberg

Recruiting Impact: With Wisconsin losing a staggering five scholarship linebackers after this season (Sherard Cadogan, Josh Harrison, Derek Landisch, Marcus Trotter and Michael Trotter) and with the uncertain status of committed linebacker Dominic Cizauskas because of a second-degree sexual assault charge, linebacker has become a critical recruiting area in this class. The Badgers have offered around two dozen outside linebacker prospects, but less than a dozen middle linebackers.

UW certainly needs more backers in this class, particularly in the middle position where Landisch and Marcus Trotter play. Virginia Beach (VA) Ocean Lakes four-star Jahvoni Simmons is the top target and says he will visit Madison, but Bedford (OH) High three-star Marquise Copeland and Salt Lake City East's Christian Folau (a Stanford commit) would be great additions as well.

Quotable: "I am pretty confident that my best football is ahead of me. I am nowhere near what my potential is. I feel at a school like Wisconsin I can reach my potential." – Thomas

Final Thought: While maybe he isn't the fastest linebacker in the world, Thomas is a tough football player who took it upon himself to improve his game when he moved from Kansas to IMG Academy in Brandenton, Florida. He's making a similar smart move by enrolling at Wisconsin next spring to participate in drills, a move that might earn him some playing time come the start of 2015.

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