The Final Verdict

With Wisconsin's 2012 recruiting appearing to be complete, National Scouting Director Scott Kennedy, National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu, Midwest Recruiting Reporter Beth Long and Badger Nation Recruiting Analyst Jordan Goetzke offer their views and insights as to the gems of the class.

The most talented player right now in the class is who and why?

Kennedy: It would be hard to pick against quarterback Bart Houston. He's got good size, toughness and a plus arm. There's going to be a pretty good learning curve with him because of the offense he played in during high school, but he learned how to be a winner at De La Salle, and he's obviously a team first guy or he would have gone to a school that showcased his arm.

Trieu: Most talented is different than the best player, so I'm actually going to go with Vince Biegel. He's not the highest rated of the bunch, but I think he's one of the most gifted kids athletically for his size and also in regards to his understanding of the game. Vonte Jackson might be the most athletic kid, but with his injury, I hesitate to put him here.

Long: I think the most talented player in the class is probably Barrington (Ill.) OL Dan Voltz -- and perhaps the most impressive thing about his recruitment is how early Wisconsin landed Voltz. As soon as he picked the Badgers, he was done. He never wavered in his commitment after committing in March, and there is something to be said for that these days. Voltz is listed at 6-4, and 290 pounds which is a great size coming out of high school, rated as a four-star on Scout and, I believe, a very talented OL.

Goetzke: Vince Biegel – Biegel is the top ranked player in the state of Wisconsin for good reason. He is always around the football making plays from sideline to sideline. At 6-3, 205 pounds, Biegel should eventually have the size to play linebacker in the Big Ten, and also possess good speed. This combination could make him a special linebacker for Wisconsin. He has solid tackling technique and is always around the football.

Who is the biggest 'get' or 'steal' for Wisconsin and why?

Kennedy: I hate to harp on the same guy, but I don't know too many people would expect Wisconsin to go into California and pull one of the top quarterbacks in the country away from Pac-12 territory. Any way you slice it, that's an impressive pull.

Trieu: Bart Houston was the biggest get. Grabbing a four-star quarterback from California with the offer list he has was impressive.

Long: Bart Houston. Looking at the Scout.com expert's evaluation of Houston, it seems like he has all the tools to become a big time college QB. Wisconsin seemed to have grabbed his attention and held it from the beginning of the recruiting game. Recently, the Scout West experts ranked Houston the second-best QB prospect coming out of the west this year, and I think he will live up to the expectations.

Goetzke: Bart Houston – Wisconsin hasn't been able to recruit a top-notch quarterback for years. The Badgers finally broke that trend in 2012. Houston, the No.7 QB in the country, was named to the Elite 11 during his senior season, and lost only once during his three years as a starter. He is also from a state, California, which Wisconsin rarely recruits, making his commitment to Wisconsin that much more surprising.

Who is the biggest sleeper in this class and why?

Kennedy: How about offensive lineman Walker Williams out of Washington? I've learned to disregard a lot of my own evaluations when dealing with Wisconsin. They develop players and especially lineman as well as anyone in the country. I might also answer Leo Musso. A running back in Wisconsin? The Badgers have had pretty good success at that position, and they'll have better info on a player in their own state than anyone.

Trieu: Leo Musso. I don't think many expected him to get an offer, but he did and he took it and these are the kinds of kids that play and work like they have something to prove.

Long: I think this has got to be D.J. Singleton -- kids an athlete. He is a four star on Scout, so I guess he doesn't really 100 percent count as a sleeper prospect. But when I met him in Phoenix for the Semper Fi All-American game, I couldn't help but be impressed. On top of all the athleticism that he has, hes a great kid -- and that's who you want on your team.

Goetzke: Walker Williams – At 6-7 and 321 pounds, Williams has the size to play at the next level, but doesn't have a lot of experience playing against elite competition. While some thought Williams could be a tackle in college, I think he is best served as an interior lineman for the Badgers with his good run blocking and improving agility. While Williams may be big physically, he also has a huge personality and should provide leadership on future Badger teams.

Who is talented enough to play as a true freshman and why?

Kennedy: I like linebacker Vince Biegel at linebacker. He'll need to keep growing, but he's got a great frame and has good speed. Depending on if they need him or not, Vonte Jackson could see some carries as well, but the running back spot is in good hands right now.

Trieu: Biegel and Houston have opportunities in front of them. If Jackson comes all the way back right away, then I think he can contribute potentially as a return man.

Long: There are several players in my opinion that are talented enough to play as freshmen, mostly at the skill positions -- but the one that I think Badgers fans my would be excited to see, even if it is not on a regular basis, is Bart Houston. If Houston comes in and learns the offense quickly, I could see him seeing some time as a freshman.

Goetzke: D.J. Singleton – Wisconsin has a need at safety and Singleton could fill the void. As one of the best players in New Jersey, Singleton had offers from many of the best programs in the country. Aaron Henry leaves the program and Singleton could fill in nicely. He has the quickness to react in the passing game, but also has the size to hold-up in the running game. He put that combination on display during the Semper-Fidelis All-Star Game in Phoenix last month.

Who is the prospect that Wisconsin will absolutely love five years from now and why?

Kennedy: 6-3, 180-pound safety D.J. Singleton can redshirt and play at 220 pounds when he's a fourth year junior. A big defensive back like him patrolling the defensive backfield always becomes a fan favorite.

Trieu: I think it's Bart Houston. He has a chance to be the guy that leads this team to a couple of conference titles.

Long: I think Dan Voltz is going to be one of those players that Wisconsin will absolutely love on and off the field in five years. He clearly loves Wisconsin, and I only expect that outspoken love to grow over the years. On the field, I have a feeling that Houston is going to be one that fans love -- because he will be leading the Badgers to plenty of wins in between now and then.

Goetzke: Bart Houston – Wisconsin hadn't had a true playmaker at quarterback for years until Russell Wilson graced Madison with his presence in 2011. Now the Badgers land one of the top quarterbacks in the country. Houston impressed with his efficiency and leadership ability in high school, and that should transition to college. He showed in high school that he was comfortable playing in a run first offense, and Wisconsin should be a similar situation for the four-star quarterback.


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