Commitment Impact: D.J. Gillins

The 11th commitment of the 2014 recruiting class, Jacksonville (FL) Jean Ribault quarterback D.J. Gillins is an elite-level prospect who, when healthy, is the dual-threat quarterback the new Wisconsin coaching staff desires. Badger Nation looks at Gillins' impact.

Committed Over: D.J. Gillins picked Wisconsin over his final four of Arizona, Boston College, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt. He also had BCS offers from North Carolina and West Virginia. Gillins originally committed to Texas Tech in November 2012, but de-committed the following spring after Tommy Tuberville left for Cincinnati.

Rated: Gillins is currently ranked a three-star prospect and the No.58 quarterback in the country by Fox Sports Next.

On Film: As a sophomore, Gillins threw for 2,667 yards while completing 191 of 331 attempts. He also threw 31 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions; all incredible numbers for a young quarterback. It would have been interesting to see where his recruitment and his skills would be if he didn't tear his ACL early in his junior season.

Gillins has the ability to extend plays with his legs and has the physical tools to be an effective passer and runner in the Big Ten. If Wisconsin wants a quarterback who will keep defenses off balanced and open up the playbook, Gillins is the guy.

Recruiting Impact: Wisconsin lost out on some options with Kyle Allen and DeShone Kizer, but also had some other good ones with Nicodem Pierre and Elite 11 quarterback MVP Sean White (who postponed his visit Monday and gave the impression that a Wisconsin offer would make the Badgers his favorite). That has some outside the program thinking that taking a commitment from a player coming off an ACL tear has some risk to it.

But offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig didn't make this offer blind, offering Gillins after watching him work out at his new high school during the summer. If there were any concerns whether Gillins (who ran some track this spring) could still play, Ludwig wouldn't have offered.

There's no question that, when healthy, Gillins is the type of dual-threat quarterback that Gary Andersen and Ludwig are looking to incorporate into the Wisconsin's quarterback spot.

Even bigger than getting a quarterback commit is maintaining a presence in the talent-rich state of Florida. Wisconsin last two commits have come from the state, continuing to build the brand and relationships started by Bret Bielema and Charlie Partridge. While Tampa Plant Senior safety Austin Hudson was far under the radar, Gillins is a high profile get from the state considering his offers, status, abilities and high potential. One could potentially say in a few years that Gillins is the biggest get out of the state of Florida since James White in 2010.

Quotable: "All the coaches were really cool guys, but they told me straight forward they are not the best recruiters and from day one they always kept honest. That's why I liked the Wisconsin coaching staff. It is going to be interesting when I get up to Wisconsin, I am going to have a lot of fun and I will be very, very excited."

Final Thought: Wisconsin took a lot of heat for how they mishandled the commitment of Sturgis (MI) High quarterback Chance Stewart (going a long time without talking to him after the transition, eventually talking to him and suggesting he should look elsewhere), so getting a solid quarterback upgrade was likely needed for good public relations. If Gillins returns to the player he was two years ago, this is a much better fit for the Badgers long term.

Sophomore Highlights

Badger Nation Top Stories