National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu: The biggest thing is that they went through a coaching change and the class didn't fall apart. The new staff did a great job of keeping everyone together and it's also a testament to the kids for sticking to their word. The class is a classic Wisconsin class. It's not flashy, but there's talent at running back and in the trenches, and as usual, there are a lot of Midwestern kids and in-state kids that make up the group.
Midwest Recruiting Analyst Beth Long: My overall impression of Wisconsin's recruiting class is a very positive one. I think they have done a good job of keeping talent in the Midwest, but also grabbing a few key pieces from outside of the area. Wisconsin is getting back to its roots and really focusing on keeping talent in-state and that is really showing with the class of 2013 highlighted by players like Austin Ramesh, Chikwe Obasih and T.J. Watt.
Badger Nation Recruiting Analyst Brice Marich: The Midwest was once again a big factor to Wisconsin. However, with Gary Andersen under the helm, there seems to be a change in the wind and that has resulted in some more West Coast commitments. Not a lot of high ranked guys, but a very solid class. I could easily see most of this class playing major minutes down the road.
Badger Nation Publisher Benjamin Worgull: The work Gary Andersen did in keeping 16 of the 19 verbal commitments Bret Bielema received is commendable. This roster doesn't overwhelm anybody with star power, but an average 3.0 star ranking per recruit is very good. I give this class a solid B because it addressed immediate issues while building depth for the future. I also liked the fact that Andersen secured seven in-state players. In the Class of 2012, Wisconsin only had three commits from the state.
2, Who was the biggest recruiting snag in the class?
Trieu: Corey Clement. Just in time for Montee Ball's departure, the Badgers get a four-star back. I know they have good backfield talent coming back even without Ball, but I really like Clement's game.
Long: Wisconsin needs impact wide receivers, so getting Wheelwright away from Michigan and out of Ohio was big. Wisconsin has Abberderis and not much else at the position. The Badgers need viable receiving threats and Wheelwright is that player.
Marich: In my opinion, the biggest snag in this class was Glassboro (NJ.) running back Corey Clement. Clement had many big time offers and was at one time committed to Pittsburgh. He has taken visits to schools like Ohio State, Nebraska and Notre Dame, but still couldn't deny his love for Wisconsin. A highly touted player like Clement to leave the East Coast for Wisconsin was a steal in my opinion and Gary Andersen has done a fan static job in holding on to his commitment through all the turmoil.
Worgull: Clement and Wheelwright are my second and third best players in the class, respectively, but I think the big snag was keeping Alec James at home. Andersen talked about wrapping his arms around the state of Wisconsin in terms of recruiting, and he enforced that saying by keeping James. The Brookfield East star is dynamic in so many ways. He's fast, tough and skilled. He'll be a perfect fit in Wisconsin's 3-4 defensive scheme.
3, Who was the biggest recruiting miss in the class?
Trieu: Darius Latham's de-commitment was big. He's a highly regarded guy with a high ceiling at a key position. You can never have enough big D-Tackles. The kicker too is that they're going to a 3-4 and I think he would have fit very well as an end in that system.
Long: The biggest miss in this class would be losing Darius Latham. Had the Badgers been able to keep Latham this class would have been even more stacked, and they would have solidified a top prospect outside of Wisconsin.
Marich: I would have to go with Plantation (FL.) running back Alex Collins. Collins is a five star prospect with offers from mostly every big time school, but narrowed it down after de-committing from Miami. Wisconsin was one of the schools to make the cut, but after the coaching change happened, the Badgers' chances didn't look so sunny. What probably hurts the most is having Collins decide for Arkansas, where former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema landed. At least Wisconsin didn't put all its eggs in one basket.
Worgull: Wisconsin needs safeties and defensive back help, so the Badgers losing out on four-star safety Tyler Foreman was a crushing blow. Keeping Foreman would have been tough after Bielema left, but Wisconsin was doing a good job keeping him committed until, supposedly, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda told Foreman that he could grow into a linebacker. Wanting to play safety throughout college, Foreman took that as the final straw, eventually committing to UCLA.
4, Who is the most talented player in the class (regardless of star ranking)?
Trieu: I'll go Rob Wheelwright, I really like his athleticism.
Long: Okay, admittedly I am a little biased but I really think that Garrett Dooley has the potential to be a big time linebacker in Wisconsin's system. He's already got the size and seems ready to contribute early. He's up there with the most talented in this class if you ask me.
Marich: The most talented player in the class for me is Brookfield (Wis.) defensive end Chikwe Obasih. Obasih plays some good competition around his area in Wisconsin, but it is nothing like some of the bigger schools in Texas, California or Florida. There were many questions when Obasih went to the opening in Oregon, but he delivered. His burst and speed off the edge created problems all day in the camp setting, but also translated to his play his senior season. This could be a name you remember down the line.
Worgull: While Alec James is my top player in the class Clement is my pick as the most talented. The New Jersey high school rushing records he shattered are hard to ignore. Clement has the ability to turn a two-yard gain into a seven-yard gain, and does so many things well on the football field. At a school like Wisconsin where running the ball sets up so many other things, Clement's abilities should help the Badgers' attack.
5, Who is the most underrated player in the class?
Trieu: Leon Jacobs. Long, athletic guy who can run and will fit the system.
Long: Most underrated player in this class is Troy Fumagalli, a tight end from Waubonsie Valley. I've seen Troy play a couple times, and he really has the size and athleticism to make a big impact by the time this class graduates.
Marich: The most underrated player in this class is Aurora (IL.) tight end Troy Fumagalli. He spurted on the scene late and then came a Wisconsin offer. He committed back in September, but had schools pushing hard all the way up until signing day. Syracuse, Minnesota and NC State all offered recently, but Fumagalli stood firm on his commitment. Right now, he is the No. 66 best tight end in the nation by Scout.com, but many schools don't feel that way with offers still rolling in and neither do I.
Worgull: Nobody knew anything about Jakarrie Washington until he committed to Wisconsin but the more tape we watched the more we talked to coaches in the area, the more we got excited about the potential he possesses. He plays on both sides of the ball, so he should get better as he focuses on one position. You can teach techniques. You can't teach speed.
6, Who is the player that is most college ready to compete?
Trieu: Clement. He's physically put together and running back is one of the positions where it's easier to step in and play a role. I also think Tanner McEvoy, because he's a JUCO guy, will compete.
Long: I think that Corey Clement may be one of the first new Badgers to see playing time, because he looks physically ready to go and will fit in well in the Badgers offense.
Marich: I think the player is Wisconsin's highest-rated commit in Columbus (OH.) wide receiver Rob Wheelwright. Wheelwright is the No. 28 best wide out in the nation and is a four-star commit, according to Scout.com. Wisconsin needs some more playmakers on the outside and Wheelwright can give them that instant spark. He could be a very good end zone target with his great hands and his ability to jump high, but also attack the ball in air. I don't see him redshirting, but contributing as soon as possible.
Worgull: I wouldn't be surprised if Clement, Wheelwright or Matt Hubley (on special teams) sees the field at points next season, but the player that's the readiest to play is Donnell Vercher because he's already played two years at a lower college level. Aranda likes Vercher's ‘ball-hawking' ability after finishing with eight interceptions. Wisconsin needs help in the secondary immediately, and Vercher has the ability to help fill the void.
Wisconsin's 2013 class (in order they committed)