Q: Any update on the OL recruits that will be visiting this month? Where do we sit with each?
A: From Brice Marich, who covers Wisconsin and Minnesota recruiting for Scout.com: Wisconsin has been in the market looking to add one last offensive lineman to its class and have their sights on hosting two linemen this month. First is Tacoma (WA) Fife senior offensive tackle Kaleb McGary, who has built a good relationship with the Badgers coaching staff and has scheduled to take an official visit to Madison on January 17th. This will be a big visit in terms of making a real move on the highly touted tackle, but it will be tough to pull him away from the West Coast.
Chanhassen (MN) four-star versatile offensive lineman Frank Ragnow has consistently mentioned Wisconsin as one of his top schools, but it is assumed Minnesota, Arkansas and Florida State are the three schools sticking out to him the most. The biggest hurdle will be trying to get an official visit from Ragnow, who hasn't visited UW since the first home football game this season. Right now I don't like Wisconsin's chances of landing either target.
Q: Are we going after any Penn State or Louisville recruits other than George Rushing?
A: From Allen Trieu, who covers the Midwest for Scout.com: Of the Penn State and Louisville commits I cover in the Midwest, the only one who had a Wisconsin offer beforehand was Lukayus McNeil. He may not end up at Louisville, but even if he didn't, I don't think he'd go to Wisconsin. He took an official to Oklahoma after his commitment to the Cardinals and if he doesn't stick, I think he'll be a Sooner.
From Worgull: I have looked up and down both team's 2014 recruiting class, the only one that would make any sense would by Troy Vincent Jr. He visited UW for the spring game but committed to the Nittany Lions in June. UW doesn't have a cornerback in this class so a phone call might be made, but I don't see any flips coming.
Q: Will Wisconsin go after another running back, like Tommy Mister or try to flip Chris James? Is there still interest from them in the Badgers?
A: From Trieu: With two backs in the class already, I'd imagine that the Badgers won't take another back unless it's a blue-chip type. I have not heard from either Mister or James that they have received any contact with Wisconsin recently.
Q: What are your thoughts on Austin Maly. Highly recruited TE who really looked athletic in high school and a future force at TE??? At 6-6 I thought he would eventually be a contributor at TE for us. Has he been hurt????
A: From Worgull: With three senior tight ends in front of him and a talented junior in Sam Arneson in the rotation, it's not a surprise that Maly hasn't played much early in his career. That's not a slight on him, just the talent in front of him. Maly battled some injuries which forced him to redshirt and needed to add some weight, but will be one of the prime candidates to see time in the fall. Don't label him as a bust yet.
Q: Status on whether the following two kids will be able to participate in spring ball? Chasen Andersen and Sam Raridon?
A: From Worgull: I haven't received an update on Andersen's health other than he won't be on scholarship this spring, but will have a chance to earn one down the road. According to a source, Raridon will be on campus this semester for workouts. That's more info than I've gotten on him in the past year.
Q: Where do you think Wisconsin fell short in getting Joe Mixon to come to the Badgers?
A: From Greg Biggins, who covers the West Coast for Scout.com: In the weeks leading up to his decision, all the talk around Mixon was he wanted to stay close to home and would pick UCLA or Cal. I was told by someone very close to his recruitment that Wisconsin was his favorite school outside the West, over Oklahoma. Something changed and I'm not sure what, somehow OU went from last in his top four to landing him. I don't buy it was the win over Alabama, no one makes a decision this big based on one game. It was a really weird recruitment overall.
Q: What's the latest on Daurice Fountain? He is a major sleeper in this class.
A: From Marich: Fountain has been an option to sneak in this class for awhile now and it is becoming more and more likely it could happen. Wisconsin was hoping to land highly touted Virginia native wide out Jamil Kamara, but he decided to stay home and play for the Cavaliers.
The Badgers are searching to add another wide receiver, a main reason why UW has targeted George Rushing and will host him on an official visit later this month. The Wisconsin coaching staff has watched Fountain numerous times this past season and have been impressed. The main hurdle I have heard with Fountain is his ACT score.
Fountain has been looking to schedule a meeting with Coach Andersen since returning from the bowl game to find out what his status is in terms of Wisconsin's recruiting plans. If a Wisconsin offer does come, he will almost certainly become a member in this recruiting class.
Q: Any realistic chance at a quality corner or two?
A: From Worgull: My opinion has changed dramatically on this question in the last 48 hours, as the Badgers had gone from one really good option to three. UW has been in good position for a number of weeks to flip Deiondre Porter – a three-star South Florida commit who is visiting Wisconsin officially at the end of the month. In that 48-hour span, four-star cornerback Chris Lammons de-committed from Florida and UW made an offer to Memphis (TN) Melrose athlete Cornelius Sturghill.
Despite what's out there, I don't view UW as the likely destination, especially considering he made his official visit to Wisconsin two months ago and he's going to be taking visits in the coming weeks to South Carolina and Florida State. UW has been non-stop active with him, so that is the silver lining, but it's usually hard for a program to stay relevant when the official visit happened so long ago (the Northwestern weekend is a prime example).
I like UW's chance with Sturghill. He spoke highly of UW and the Big Ten in his interview with us, even mentioning he might commit on his visit.
Q: Which committed recruits do you see getting some PT next year?
A: From Worgull: Kids that enroll early have a great chance to factor in to the equation early, as guys like Sojourn Shelton, Travis Frederick and others can attest. Therefore I think Austin Hudson could help in the secondary, D.J. Gillins might be able to bring an extra dimension to the offense and Jaden Gault could possibly crack the offensive line rotation.
Beyond that, Serge Trezy and Natrell Jamerson have a chance to impact the special teams because of their speed. I think the coaches also hope Trezy can help out on the back end. I expect one of the two tailbacks to possibly get some reps, as UW likes to play every season with three healthy backs. Kicker Rafael Gaglianone will be battling for the starting kicking job, while Krenwick Sanders and Dareian Watkins have a great chance to impact the receiving corps.
And with all the vacancies in Wisconsin's front seven, there's a great opportunity for young defensive ends to find a role. Entering their second recruiting class, Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen and his staff recruit players who can step in to fulfill an immediate need or add quality depth. With that having been said, we could see a number of true freshman in Andersen's first true recruiting class play immediately in his system.