The Badgers are well ahead of the recruiting curve for what is shaping up to be a star studded 2012 recruiting class that only has a handful of targets remaining on board. The Badgers have eight verbal commitments in a class that sits with approximately five more spots currently.
In this series, Badgernation.com takes a look at the prospects on board, who is out there and who isn't out there. The criteria are the prospect must hold a verbal offer from Wisconsin or must be actively recruited and have an interest in the Badgers.
DB Huge Etienne, 5-10, 175, South Plantation (Fla.) High
Badgernation.com's take: One of the rules Bret Bielema gives to recruits is that in order to commit to his recruiting class, that player has got to come on campus and see it for himself, unless it's a special circumstance like Etienne. UW was the first BCS school to really start recruiting Etienne and other schools were coming on fast. So when the prospect with good talent, good grades and good character, UW accepted his commitment. Etienne hasn't planned a visit yet.
DB Reggie Mitchell, 6-0, 170, Shady Side (PA) Academy
Badgernation.com's take: Mitchell had early interest from Wisconsin when recruiting coach Joe Rudolph came to his school. Mitchell doesn't play in Pennsylvania's highest football division, so Rudolph and the other UW coaches wanted to see him compete first hand. Spending the summer working on speed training and agility, Mitchell's work paid off at UW's summer camp as he showed impeccable footwork. UW was Mitchell's first BCS offer and with the coaches telling him spots were limited, Mitchell, who loved UW's facilities, the coaches and the environment, committed less than 12 hours after getting the offer.
Who is out there:
Four-star S D.J. Singleton, 6-3, 195, St. Peters Prep (NJ) High
Badgernation.com's take: Arguably the top safety on Wisconsin's big board, the Badgers have made an impact recruiting Singleton. Getting him to come to their spring game, Singleton thoroughly enjoyed the visit and has put Wisconsin in his top five along with Miami, Michigan State, Rutgers and Tennessee. An extremely versatile, talented and athletic safety, Singleton said his decision could come at any time.
Three-star S Demetrious Cox, 6-1, 185, Jeannette (PA) High
Badgernation.com's take: A fluid, hard-working, aggressive athlete, Cox has been impressive on the circuit this summer, especially with his team's 7-on-7 performances and the Nike Elite Camp in Oregon. Cox has yet to narrow his list, although that time could be coming shortly, but he said that Wisconsin has been recruiting him really hard. Cox doesn't plan to commit until after taking some official visit during the season.
Three-star S Ruben Lile, 6-3, 200, Detroit Cass Tech (Mich.) High
Badgernation.com's take: Possessing great size and agility, Lile has the ability to play safety, cornerback or wide receiver with his frame. His ability and length has made some schools look at him on the offensive side of the ball, although Wisconsin seems him as an Aaron Henry type player. There is a chance Lile could announce his decision Aug.6, but he may push it off to take a closer look at more schools.
Three-star S Lucas Thompson, 6-2, 185, West Orange (Fla.) High
Badgernation.com's take: Described as a player that runs like a deer and hits like a truck, Thompson is still a very raw prospect, but plays as well as any Florida player. Possessing excellent ball skills and has the combined frame and toughness, Thompson would be a big get. Problem is that Miami has offered him, a school that is close to home and the perfect weather. It looks to be near impossible to get him out of South Beach.
Three-star CB Jevon Tyree, 5-11, 180, South Brunswick (NJ) High
Badgernation.com's take: Tyree didn't put up a lot of big numbers simply because quarterbacks never challenged him. When they did, it turned out well for Tyree, who had three picks in one game last year and continued his reputation as a shutdown corner. The Badgers are the only school West of Pennsylvania that Tyree is taking a genuine close look because of his close, personal relationship with the Wisconsin coaching staff. Wisconsin will have to really wow him to convince him that playing away from the East Coast isn't such a bad idea.
CB Dion Witty, 5-11, 175, Coral Springs (Fla.) High
Badgernation.com's take: It's unclear where things stand between UW and Witty at the moment, who offered and started recruiting him in the spring, but the Badgers appear to still be interested because Witty can play both cornerback and safety. Spending the summer working on footwork and anticipating the quarterback's throws and progressions, Witty might jump up the Badgers board if Wisconsin strikes out on some other prospects.
Who isn't out there:
The secondary is arguably the focal point of the 2012 recruiting class and Wisconsin went hard after a number of top prospects, but couldn't battle geography. Four-star Devan Bogard wanted to stay close to home and play at Ohio State, Riley Bullough wanted to follow the family tradition of playing at Michigan State and it was going to be hard to pull Devon Jacobs away from Rutgers and Larry Hope from Miami.
The Badgers are also trying to stay in the mix for four-star safety Elijah Shumate and four-star cornerback Yuri Wright from Don Bosco (NJ) High, but both have begun to narrowed their list and it doesn't look good for UW, which has probably already moved on.