Badger Nation's Wide Receivers

With plenty of youth currently in Wisconsin's wide receiver core, the Badger coaches are looking to add plenty of talented youth in the Class of 2009 in hopes of building their depth for the future.

2009 high school wide receivers that Wisconsin has shown legitimate interest in

Anthony Aker (one star)

6-foot-2, 198 pounds, 4.5 40-yard time

Rochester CTC JUCO – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The name Anthony Aker is one that Wisconsin recruiting gurus should remember. A talented prospect out of Milwaukee's Bradley Tech H.S., Aker committed to and signed with the Badgers for the Class of 2006. However, it was later discovered that Aker never took Algebra One and was not able to academically qualify.

Forced to go another route, Aker went to Division Two Minnesota-Mankato, where he tore his hamstring and redshirted. He then transferred to Fort Scott Community College (Kansas) but missed playing football in the Midwest. Transferring to Rochester for his sophomore year, Aker had 70 catches for 1,362 yards and 15 touchdowns.

On the recruiting front, Division One programs have started picking up interest in Aker again. In addition to Wisconsin resuming its interest in the Milwaukee prospect, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ole Miss, TCU and Vanderbilt have all shown interest.

Aker is expected to graduate in December and he'll have two years of eligibility remaining.

Status: No Scholarship – Medium Interest

Kraig Appleton (four star)

6-foot-3, 190 pounds, 4.4 40-yard time

East St. Louis Senior H.S. – East St. Louis, Illinois

Ranked the ninth-best wide receiver in the nation, East St Louis' Kraig Appleton is the highest-rated pass catcher the Badgers are after. Appleton's junior numbers included 42 completed passes, 900+ receiving yards, 21 yards per catch average and seven touchdowns.

Holding offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas State, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State, Purdue, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin, Appleton is planning to visit Oregon, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin to find out more about the schools.

Originally listing his top five as Illinois, Ohio State, LSU, Florida and Missouri, Appleton stated recently (May 1) that his top five schools are LSU, Ohio State, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. Appleton continues to be highly interested in Wisconsin even though the two schools haven't talked as much as he would like.

While his production and his athleticism has shown he's ready for the college game, Appleton is going to wait until after his senior season to commit to a school in hopes of getting more schools to chose from, meaning there's plenty of time for Wisconsin to get more involved in the derby.

Status: Offered Scholarship – Medium to Low Interest

Jordan Cotton (three star)

6-foot-1, 175 pounds, 4.5 40-yard time

Mount Pleasant H.S. – Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Swaying top recruits away from the state of Iowa has not been common practice for Wisconsin in recent years. However, with Waukee's Zach Davison committed to Wisconsin over Iowa last year, it is a possible that the recruiting winds have shifted into Wisconsin's favor?

Wisconsin will find out if its luck has change with a couple of Iowa pass catchers, the first being Jordan Cotton.

Played tailback his junior season, Cotton finishing with 1,472 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns but has the athleticism to play the wide receiver position, which is where he would most likely play in college. Cotton benches 255 pounds but only squats 275 pounds, an issue that Cotton is working on improving in the off season.

Cotton holds offers from Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Purdue and Wisconsin but, according to Scout's Allen Wallace, solidly favors Iowa over all his other offers, which comes at no surprise. Living just 45 minutes away from the Iowa campus, Cotton's father, Marshall, played for the Hawkeyes, Iowa was Jordan's boyhood favorite and they were the first school to offer him.

If he doesn't end up in Iowa, it would be a shock and a huge blow to the Hawkeyes.

Status: Offered Scholarship – Low Interest

Keenan Davis (four stars)

6-foot-3, 195 pounds, 4.5 40-yard time

George Washington H.S. – Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Much like his buddy Jordan Cotton, Keenan Davis has been hotly recruited by Iowa, Wisconsin and plenty of other teams in the Midwest. One of the elite receivers in the Midwest (ranked 13th by Scout), Davis has a complete package, bringing solid moves after the catch, great body control and gets himself in a good position to pull down the tough passes.

More importantly, his numbers continue to improve. After catching 36 passes for 585 yards and eight touchdowns his sophomore year, Davis caught 81 passes for roughly 1,160 yards and 12 scores last season.

Currently holding offers from Arizona State, Cincinnati, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, Davis has only been to one junior day (Iowa) but unlike Cotton, Davis lists no favorites as of the beginning of May, which bodes well for school's outside the state of Iowa.

Status: Offered Scholarship – Medium Interest

James Jackson (four stars)

5-foot-11, 175 pounds, 4.31 40-yard time

Grand Ledge H.S. – Grand Ledge, Michigan

Being a vital part of his high school offense in his first three years, Jackson has amassed over 1,000 all purpose yards playing quarterback, running back and wide receiver, not to mention recording two interceptions from his cornerback spot on defense.

Possessing top acceleration and speed, Jackson showed that he can outrun any defender during his junior year and is near impossible to corral in the open field. With those attributes, it is no surprise that Jackson was impressive in the track scene as well, winning the state title in the 100m dash as a sophomore.

According to Michigan recruiter Allen Trieu, Jackson shows toughness and willingness to block and go into traffic. He can make the tough grabs and creates separation but needs to become more consistent catching the ball and improve his route running.

Jackson was offered by Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Tennessee, UCLA and Wisconsin but ended up selecting Ohio State because of his relationship with Jim Tressel but more importantly, wanted to go to a school that had a great quarterback so he can be a playmaker in the offense. Time will tell if that quarterback is Terrell Pryor.

Status: Offered Scholarship – Ohio State Verbal

Duwyce Wilson (four stars)

6-foot-4, 185 pounds

Columbus East H.S. – Columbus, Indiana

The fourth four-star recruit that Wisconsin has extended a scholarship offer to, Duwyce Wilson is certainly worthy of his rating, as well as being ranked the 26th-best wide out in the nation.

Last season, Wilson caught 48 passes for 961 yards and 12 touchdowns for Columbus East, leading the Olympians to an 11-2 record and a birth in the regional final. Losing to Evansville Reitz 61-60, Wilson caught seven passes for 214 yards and four touchdowns.

Wisconsin was the first to offer Wilson, extending an offer at the end of March. Since then, Wilson has picked up offers from Cincinnati, Indiana and Iowa, as well as taking visits to Kentucky and Purdue and participating in the New Level 7-on-7 Passing Camp.

Rumor has it that Wilson wants to stay close to home to be with his parents but Wisconsin continues to be involved with his recruitment.

Status: Offered Scholarship – Medium Interest

Scout Football Top Stories