Big Men on Wisconsin's Campus

Including committed quarterback D.J. Gillins, Wisconsin is hosting six important official visitors for its Big Ten opener against Purdue. BadgerNation breaks down the uncommitted players coming to campus.

Phoenix Mountain Point receiver Jalen Brown
Overall Ranking: 49
Position Ranking: 7

The Skinny: Simply put, Brown is a talented player. His stats don't do him justice because of all the talent on his high school team and because he rarely plays a full game because of blowouts, but Brown still manages to lead his team in catches and receiving yards. He's number one on a lot of people's recruiting boards for wide receiver, including Wisconsin's.

Brown has already taken official visits to Oregon State and Oregon, will head to Vanderbilt next month and likely head to Arizona. Brown keeps things very close to the vest and doesn't do a lot of interviews, but it's believed the Ducks are the favorite after last week's official. That makes this week's visit very important to the Badgers.

Everrett (MA) cornerback Lubern Figaro
Overall Ranking: NR
Position Ranking: 44

The Skinny: Figaro has went from sleeper to one of the top shutdown corners on the East Coast. The long and rangy 6-1, 180-pound defender has great ball skills. He has described his game as a "playmaker" and it was very apparent in his junior season as he had 37 tackles, including five sacks and had three interceptions.

One thing that stands out is how good he is coming off the edge with a blitz and disrupting the backfield. He just seems to have a nose for the ball and is always around the play. When the ball is thrown away from him like most of the time, he is still running down the wide receiver on the opposite side of the field.

The only knock on him that I mainly see is that he is very good in run support and sometimes too good. He charges in when it looks like a running play, so a bootleg or play action would probably be effective against him. He needs to stay patient.

Figaro has a top five of Wisconsin, Michigan State, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and Boston College. After officially visiting Wisconsin this weekend, he will be taking his official visit to Michigan State on November 2nd. The Badgers got his close friend and teammate in last year's class in Jakarrie Washington. He has mentioned that is a big feather in the cap for Wisconsin, but he isn't planning on announcing anytime soon and is still setting up other visits. This visit will be huge to show what Madison has to offer and letting him see that game day atmosphere.

Buford (GA) cornerback Zavior Hoxie
Overall Ranking: NR
Position Ranking:

The Skinny: Wisconsin was Hoxie's top school after he left Madison for a June unofficial visit, but Wake Forest made up a lot of ground in the weeks after and was thought to be his leader. That makes Hoxie's official visit this weekend important to the Badgers, who are still trying to see a payoff from all the time spent recruiting the state of Georgia.

Hoxie is an athletic player who has been offered by the Demon Deacons as a tailback and Wisconsin as a two-way player, although the Badgers see him more as a cornerback. He's not the highest cornerback on UW's recruiting board, but is still an aggressive, hard-nosed player who can add an element to the program.

Niles (IL) Notre Dame College Prep tailback Chris James
Overall Ranking: 244
Position Ranking: 22

The Skinny: James rushed for 2,089 yards and 30 touchdowns as a junior, but can do more than just carry the rock. He displayed this summer at the NTFC Chicago that he could catch the ball and has good route running ability along with good hands. At 5-10, 207-pounds, he is a thicker back and can give out the punishment. He is just a freak athlete with his vertical and running a 4.4 forty time at his size.

There is not to complain about James' game, but if I were to critique one thing would be my question on how many carries he could take going through the tackles and not always bouncing it outside. He has a habit by if he does not see a hole right away of taking it outside, which is fine in high school, but that linebackers at the next level will contain him and not let that happen.

The Badgers are doing an amazing job on the recruiting trail especially running back recruiting. James has a tentative top two of Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. He is taking an unofficial visit to Wisconsin this weekend and will be making a return trip to Madison for an official visit. It has also been mentioned by our Allen Trieu that he might even be favoring the Badgers now.

Compton (CA) Dominguez defensive end Uriah Leiataua
Overall Ranking: NR
Position Ranking: 69

The Skinny: Leiataua is a high motor type of player. He is very relentless towards getting to the ball and plays the game very hard. His intensity and passion is very evident in his film and he seems to always be making plays. Lastly, he has a 4.18 GPA, so he is a very smart young man and has good head on his shoulders.

Biggest concern against him in my opinion has to be his tackling form. In many of his tackles you see in his film, he is wrapping up the ball carrier high and then throwing them to the ground. He needs to work on being a more sounds tackler and technique along with coaching should take care of that.

Leiataua has expressed high interest in the Badgers before they even offered. While I don't think he will commit during his trip, he has told me that there is always that possibility. He loves how Coach Andersen and Coach Kauha'aha'a understand the Mormon way and have no problem with him doing his mission. Wisconsin's main competition for him is Washington State, but I got a feeling this visit will put the Badgers firmly as his leader.

Fort Lauderdale (Fl) St. Thomas Aquinas tailback Madre London
Overall Ranking: NR
Position Ranking: 45

The Skinny: Defending state champions St. Thomas Aquinas has one of the top running backs in the nation in London. At 6-1, 200 pounds, London is a complete back by being able to run and catch the ball. He earns his yards and will break arm tackles if you do not wrap up on him. The competition he goes against in games and practices is great. The coaching he has received as well is top notch. Most running backs cannot catch the ball, but London can do that and more. He has excellent hands and good vision when it comes to him running the ball.

It seems like a lot of the damage London does is not from running the ball, but through a slant, screen pass or from a quick pass. Is he someone that can handle a lot of carries and take a lot of hits through the trenches? That will be something to watch in his senior season.

London has a top five in Wisconsin, Virginia, Nebraska, Illinois and Michigan State. He already officially visited Nebraska. His next two scheduled visits are Illinois on October 4th and Michigan State on October 12th. Nebraska looks to be the early favorite with Michigan State closely trailing behind, but anything can happen once you get them on campus.

Note: Sun Prairie (WI) defensive tackle Craig Evans and Jacksonville (IL) junior offensive lineman Gabe Megginson are also expected on campus.

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