Over the past decade, everything in recruiting has crept up earlier and earlier. Many teams have already loaded up on commitments, and if programs haven't offered blue-chip players by now, they are almost behind the eight-ball.
The annual "May evaluation period" will begin two weeks earlier this year, making it more of an April-May recruiting season. This is why the Badgers began spring football earlier than ever before (March 6).
The Badger coaching staff will begin its evaluation period next Monday, with the majority of the staff hitting the road for one week. The staff then has an event in Las Vegas for a week, followed by three straight weeks on the road, ending the week of May 19.
The Badgers will use their four weeks on the road to visit players nationwide, particularly in the areas they've targeted over recent years. One advantage is, with the early start date, the UW staff will have an opportunity to see many Texas and Florida prospects in action.
High schools in those states have spring football practices, similar to Division I college programs, and the UW staff will attend a series of practices and spring jamborees, with an opportunity to see recruits live.
With the shakeup on the UW staff during the offseason, responsibilities have shifted. Special Teams Coach Brian Murphy will take over for Paul Chryst recruiting the state of Wisconsin. Murphy, one of the hardest working recruiters on the staff, developed many close relationships in the state during his stint as the Badgers' recruiting coordinator. Instead of racking up frequent flyer miles with regular round trips to Florida, he will put some serious miles on his car, driving around the state of Wisconsin and the Chicago area.
New Defensive Backs Coach Ron Lee will take over the state of Florida, handling the entire state himself. He will also recruit the Atlanta area, where he already has extensive contacts.
First-year Tight Ends Coach Rob Ianello, also a former UW recruiting coordinator, will handle Houston, Tex. primarily, but will also take care of other select areas in Texas, including San Antonio and El Paso.
In a transition that began last year, the Badgers will no longer be recruiting the state of California. Offensive Coordinator Brian White will be focusing his attention solely on the state of New Jersey, and part of Pennsylvania, most likely the Philadelphia area.
The rest of the coaching staff responsibilities will largely remain the same.
Badger Nation will have regular reports throughout the evaluation period.
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