Breaking Down the UW Recruiting Class

An introduction to the Wisconsin Badgers' 2012 football recruiting class.

2012 Wisconsin football Signing Day

Badger Commits By State

California (1): Bart Houston

Illinois (1): Dan Voltz

Indiana (1): Jake Meador

Florida (2): Hugs Etienne, Reggie Love

New Jersey (1): D.J. Singleton

Pennsylvania (2): Arthur Goldberg, Reggie Mitchell

Washington (1): Walker Williams

Wisconsin (3): Vince Biegel, Vonte Jackson, Leo Musso.

Wisconsin's Preferred Walk-Ons Are: Trent Denlinger, DE, Cuba City (Wis.) HS; Alex Erickson, WR, Darlington (Wis.) HS; Matt Prell, TE, Kenosha Bradford (Wis.) HS; Jake Rademacher, LB, Kettle Moraine (Wis.) Lutheran; Jack Russell, K, Waunakee (Wis.) HS; Logan Schmidt, DE, Richland Center (Wis.) HS; Alex Walker, TE, Nicolet (Wis) HS.

Badger Commits By Projected Position

QB: Bart Houston

TB: Vonte Jackson

WR: Reggie Love

TE: None

T: Jake Meador

G: Dan Voltz, Walker Williams

C: None

DT: Arthur Goldberg

DE: None

LB: Vince Biegel

CB: Hugs Etienne, Reggie Mitchell

S: D.J. Singleton

PK/P: None

Ath: Leo Musso

On an unusually warm February afternoon, Bielema was more than happy to completely unveil his 12 new scholarship players.

Vince Biegel — Linebacker

Biegel is a 6-3, 225-pound four-star recruit from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. In his senior season at Lincoln High School, Biegel made 172 tackles, 21 sacks, three interceptions, five forced fumbles with three fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns. Biegel finished his high school career tallying 425 tackles, 27 sacks, 10 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles with five fumble recoveries and four touchdowns.

Hugs Etienne — Cornerback

The 5-11, 170-pound three-star recruit from Plantation, Fla. is one of three UW recruits to join the Badgers for spring camp. Etienne finished his high school career with 88 tackles, six interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

Etienne credited his decision to leave high school early to guidance from his brother.

"I talked to my older brother — he's my mentor — and he told me coming up early would take a lot of pressure off of my back coming in, in the fall when you've got school and football on your mind," Etienne said. "So coming up early, you get some of that stress off and you get going."

Arthur Goldberg — Defensive Tackle

Goldberg is another three-star recruit, hailing from Mount Lebanon, Pa. The 6-3, 270-pound tackle finished his high school career with 162 tackles, seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss. In his senior season he was named first-team all-state and all-conference, recording 63 tackles, three sacks and seven tackles for loss on the season.

Bart Houston — Quarterback

As one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in the country, Houston was a three-year starter in high school, losing only one game during that stretch. The 6-4, 215-pound Dublin, Calif. Native went 272-for-437 in his career for a 62.2 completion percentage. He threw for 5,178 yards and 46 touchdowns.

Vonte Jackson — Running Back

The 6-0, 190-pound running back out of Kenosha, Wis., Jackson missed almost all of his senior season after he tore his ACL in the first game of the season. Jackson, along with Etienne, will join the Badgers camp this spring.

Before being sidelined, Jackson rushed for 956 yards and 13 touchdowns his junior year, catching 14 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns along the way.

While Jackson joins a talented running back corps, running backs coach Thomas Hammock did assure him he'll have the chance to compete for any spot in the depth chart.

"He's real big on competition," Jackson said. "He doesn't want me to be behind Montee Ball, he wants me to be better than Montee Ball. … He told me before ‘I want you to tell James White that you're coming for his spot.'"

Reggie Love — Wide Receiver

Hailing from Boynton Beach, Fla., the 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver is a three-star recruit. As a senior he was named all-state, all-county and team MVP, recording 38 receptions for 876 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season.

Jake Meador — Offensive Line

The highly sought-after recruit is a three-star offensive lineman from Greenwood, Ind. The 6-6, 320-pound tackle was named Mr. Football for lineman in Indiana his senior year while also earning first-team all-state, all-conference and all-county accolades. Meador originally committed to Ole Miss, but settled on Wisconsin after a few months of communication with Bielema and eventually new offensive line coach Mike Markuson.

Reggie Mitchell — Cornerback

The two-star recruit from Pittsburgh, Pa., was also a quarterback in high school. The 6-0, 178-pound recruit was named first-team all-state defensive back as a senior, but also threw for over 800 yards, ran for 1,420 yards and 22 touchdowns in that season.

Leo Musso — Athlete

The 5-8, 189-pound Waunakee, Wis. native was a three time-state champion who rushes for 5,531 yards and 87 touchdowns in his career. As a senior and junior he was a unanimous first-team all-conference choice and was named first-team all-state. He also won the Elroy ‘Crazylegs' Hirsch Running Back of the Year Award after rushing for 2,398 yards and 39 yards his senior year.

D.J. Singleton — Safety

The 6-2, 195-pound four-star recruit is considered one of the top-20 safeties in the country. The Union, N.J. native posted 53 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbled and 12 tackles for loss during his senior season. He was also earned all-state, all-metro and all-county accolades after his performance his senior year.

Dan Voltz — Offensive Line

Voltz is a four-star recruit out of Barrington, Ill. The 6-4, 295-pound guard is the third and final new recruit to join the Badgers spring camp. As a senior he was earned all-state accolades.

Voltz actually spoke about trying to keep UW's recruiting class together.

"When I committed, I committed to the university, not necessarily the coaching staff," Voltz said. "I told a lot of guys why I committed and I think that had a lot of influence on a lot of guys. Obviously everyone makes their own decisions, we lost some guys, but we have a great recruiting class still."

Walker Williams — Offensive Line

Williams found his own way to Wisconsin. After seeing the Badgers play in the Rose Bowl last year, he sought out Wisconsin's program. The 6-7, 320-pound Tacoma, Wash. Native is a three-star recruit. The guard was a three-time all-state offensive lineman in high school and he earned all-league honors on both the offensive and defensive line as a senior and junior.

With these 12 recruits and the highly heralded preferred walk-ons, Bielema and co. worked hard to find those players that fit Wisconsin's family-oriented program.

"He didn't even talk about football that much when I first met him," Voltz said of his recruitment process with Markuson. "He told me that he's here for me, he's here for the players …. He's really all about family."

- Badger Herald's Kelly Erickson

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