Class of 2014: Defense

The ink is barely dry on national signing day for the 2013 class but it's time to start looking toward the 2014 class. Here's a list of Wisconsin's early prospects.

Defensive Line

Although the Badgers are bringing in two talented defensive ends, Wisconsin loses an eye-popping six seniors off the line after the 2013 season. Wisconsin will need to recruit some depth at the position for sure.


Conor Sheehy, 6-4, 260, Milwaukee Marquette

National Position Ranking: 14, Wisconsin Commit

- Sheehy's speed is a weapon, especially when you combine it with his 6-5, 265-pound frame. In one-on-one situations, his sheer upper-body strength is unmatched by his competitors. He's a talented individual who could play either at end of d-tackle in college depending on how he grows.

Billy Hirschfeld, 6-5, 268, Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead

National Position Ranking: NR, Wisconsin Offer

- Although he got his offer the same day Bielema left, Hirschfeld has already heard from defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a. Hirschfeld has a lot of raw intangibles and tools that will serve him well.

Malik McDowell, 6-6, 300, Detroit Loyola

National Position Ranking: 4, Wisconsin Offer

- Currently the top overall prospect in the Midwest, McDowell has offers from coast to coast. An extremely motivated, talented player.

Dylan Thompson, 6-5, 265, Lombard (IL) Montini Catholic

National Position Ranking: NR

- Having already visited Wisconsin, Thompson, who holds offers from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State, said he wants to visit Wisconsin again this spring.

Nile Sykes, 6-1, 220, Oak Park (IL) High

National Position Ranking: NR

- MVP of the Core 6 Winter Showcase, Sykes is a quick, strong, explosive player who could play end or linebacker. Although recruited by former coach Chris Ash, Sykes still likes Wisconsin following his visit there last fall and has high interest.


Craig Evans, 6-3, 310, Sun Prairie (Wis.) High

National Position Ranking: 16 Wisconsin Offer

- Previously committed to Wisconsin until the coaching change, Evans still has high interest in the Badgers program. Evans has the right tools and makeup to be a player at the college level, especially if he tones his body and plays with an aggressive style on every play.

Khairi Clark, 6-3, 300, Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna

National Position Ranking: 1 Wisconsin Offer

- Offered by the old staff, Clark is a very strong interior defensive lineman with great strength. He overpowers many on his level with pure strength, anticipates the snap well, fires quickly off the ball and does so many things. If UW gets him, people will bow to Andersen.

Bryan Mone, 6-4, 315, Salt Lake City Highland

National Position Ranking: 7 Wisconsin Offer

- Mone has the size, strength and athleticism to play on either line, but college coaches like him chasing the QB. Utah State offered him while Andersen was with the Aggies, and he followed suit when he got to UW.

Others to Watch:

Brandon Hines, 6-2, 265, Mequon (Wis.) Homestead

Sumner Houston, 6-3, 240, Concord (CA) De La Salle

Harrison Phillips, 6-4, 245, Omaha (NE) Millard West

Preston Woods, 6-3, 380, South St. Paul (MN) High


Wisconsin loses three linebackers following 2013, including Chris Borland.

Bryson Allen-Williams, 6-2, 213, Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove

National Position Ranking: 20, Wisconsin Offer

- Wisconsin offered Monday as the Badgers try to get a foothold in Georgia. Allen-Williams could play inside or outside linebacker on the next level and be used as a rush specialist in certain situations. He'll be hard to sneak away from virtually every top SEC school.

Clifton Garrett, 6-2, 215, Plainfield (IL) South

National Position Ranking: 3, Wisconsin Offer

- Fantastic straight ahead run defender, a big time hitter, and loves contact. He will take on blocks, shed, and make plays after absorbing contact. Great timing on the blitz, plays with very little hesitation and is constantly in attack mode.

Gary Hosey, 6-0, 230, Detroit Cass Tech

National Position Ranking: NR, Wisconsin Offer

- Not only is Hosey strong but he's a thick body, making it hard for unsuspecting offensive lineman to simply push him out of the way.

Nyles Morgan, 6-3, 220, Crete (IL) Monee

National Position Ranking: 3, Wisconsin Offer

- Holding 15 scholarship offers, Morgan plays with good intelligence and carries a punch with his strength.

Richard Yeargin, 6-4, 225, Fort Lauderdale (Fla) University School

National Position Ranking: NR, Wisconsin Offer

- Although over 10 scholarship offers, Yeargin has yet to hear from the new staff

Others to Watch:

Dante Booker, 6-3, 217, Akron (OH) St. Vincent

D.J. Calhoun, 6-1, 205, El Cerrito (Fla.) High

Austin Roberts, 6-3, 220, Rice Lake (Wis.) High

Matt Seitz, 6-2, 215, Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead)


Defensive backs were the focal point in the 2013 recruiting class, as the Badgers brought in four players that project at the position. Still, UW has earmarked some talented players. Troy Vincent Jr., 5-10, 175, Baltimore Gilman

National Position Ranking: 11, Wisconsin Offer

- The son of former Badgers defensive back Troy Vincent Sr., junior plays with the same intellect and traits that his father did: smart, athletic and aggressive at his position.

Alonzo Saxton, 5-11, 175, Columbus (OH) Bishop

National Position Ranking: 23, Wisconsin Offer

- Offered by the old staff, Saxton is an under-the-radar recruit that could skyrocket in popularity over the summer.

Kobie Walker, 6-4, 195, Olney (MD) Our Lady Good Counsel

National Position Ranking: 27, Wisconsin Offer

- Also offered by the old staff, Walker is a safety who understands the importance of attacking the ball rather than letting the play come to him.

Marcus Collins, 6-2, 175, Madison La Follette

National Position Ranking: 23, - Although he needs to improve keeping his feet on tackles, finish tackles and keeping a low center of gravity in coverage, Collins has good vision and solid with his play in the open field.

Others to Watch

Matt Morrissey, 6-3, 180, Lincolnshire (IL) Stevenson

Adarius Pickett, 5-11, 180, El Cerrito (CA) High

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