The Chart: 2013 Linebackers

Wisconsin's 2013 recruiting class was kicked off by an under-the-radar linebacker. Will the Badgers add a top-notch linebacker before it's said and done? Badger Nation examines the position.

MADISON - Take one look at the scholarship linebackers the Badgers trotted out during their annual spring game and it's evident that linebacker isn't a position of heavy need going forward.

Not including Chris Borland, who participated in a limited role, and the injured Mike Taylor, the Badgers used seven different scholarship linebackers between the two squads to show how deep and talented the middle of its defense is. Of those seven linebackers, five are redshirt sophomores or younger. When incoming freshman Vince Biegel enrolls in the summer, the Badgers appear set at the position for the foreseeable future.

That just goes to show how impressive the film and character is of Rochester (Ill.) linebacker Garret Dooley, who picked up a UW offer and committed all within three weeks in February and without the coaching staff ever viewing him in person.

"I think Wisconsin is definitely the perfect fit for me," Dooley told us. "Every school that I saw is unbelievable. There is nothing against any other school, but I just feel that Wisconsin, without a doubt, is the right fit. I didn't see any other school that could beat Wisconsin. Wisconsin football is my kind of football – hard-nosed, physical football. It's what I am accustomed to."

Dooley is a beast in the middle of the defense (147 tackles last year) and in the backfield (1,800 total yards and 31 total touchdowns) and should close out UW taking linebackers, right?

One would think so, but the Badgers still have three offers out to potential linebackers, one of whom is still being heavily recruited. In our Badger Nation series, here is who we view as Badgers targets (interest listed implies to the prospect's interest in Wisconsin).

Top of the List

Four-star MLB Tim Kimbrough (Warren Central, Indianapolis)

A hard-hitting 6-1, 225-pound linebacker from one of the best program's in the state, Kimbrough picked up his offer at the school's junior day in February.

"I loved it," he told Fox Sports about the visit. "We got to talk to some of the players and they talked about what the coaches are like and what the campus is like and I really liked the campus a lot."

Kimbrough has been on a lot of visits and has an impressive offer list that includes Iowa State, Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi State and Penn State. Ohio State is also in the mix for him. It'll be interesting to see if UW can or wants to take another linebacker in the class, but Kimbrough likely will take a closer look at Wisconsin if the Badgers want him to.

Status: Offered Scholarship – medium interest

The others

Buddy Brown (Williamstown HS, Williamstown, NJ)

Growing up watching Wisconsin because of former New Jersey running back Ron Dayne having such a vibrant career at UW, Brown was told stories by his dad of how impressive Dayne was and would watch tapes of the winning Rose Bowls. When the Badgers offered in January, it understandably had an impact.

"That offer means a lot because I grew up watching them," Brown told us. "They are a real fun team to watch because they are an old school team where they run the ball with aggression. That's why I think they are so good. They have a lot of fans around here, so it means a lot."

Maybe then, but not so much now. Brown told Fox Sports at the beginning of the month that one school is standing out.

"Rutgers is definitely the leader. That is the only school that stands out most, and I am comparing everyone else to them right now," said Brown. "I have a strong relationship with the coaching staff and players."

Brown has taken trips to West Virginia and Penn State and says he wants to see those two schools again along with Boston College, North Carolina, Kentucky, Central Florida and South Florida. No mention of Wisconsin.

Status: Offered Scholarship – low interest

Three-star end Stacy Thomas (Gulliver Prep, Miami, Fla.)

At the Nike Football Training Camp in Miami, it was easy to see why Thomas has grabbed offers from the likes of Florida, Florida State and LSU. According to Fox Sports' Geoff Vogt, Thomas, "has elite athleticism and is a play-maker on both sides of the ball. At 6-1 227 pounds, he clearly can play in space with his athletic tools."

Thomas is primarily a defensive end, but can grow into being a disruptive linebacker. He said he has a ‘good vibe' from the players, coaches and facilities at Florida and Florida State but hasn't mentioned Wisconsin much – if any – in interviews. After knowing very little about the Badgers before they offers, Thomas knows some now, but not enough to consider visiting UW anytime soon.

Status: Offered Scholarship – low interest

Note: The Badgers have offered four-star Maryland OLB Dorian O'Daniel (Maryland commit), and four-star Ohio OLB Michael McCray (Michigan commit) but there is no longer any interest.

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