2015 Focus: Outside Linebackers

BadgerNation breaks down which outside linebackers Wisconsin is looking at in the 2015 class, and where the Badgers stand with them.

With a lot of Wisconsin offers out for the 2015 class, we examine which positions the Badgers need to concentrate on in the next recruiting cycle.

We focus next on the outside linebackers. Barring attrition and transfers in the next year this is what the class would look like when the 2015 class would come in.

Seniors: Joe Schobert

Juniors: Vince Biegel, Leon Jacobs

Sophomores: None

Freshman: None

Just like the middle linebackers, it's hard to know exactly what linebackers are going to be where after defensive coordinator Dave Aranda restructured the defense. Even so, Aranda has made it a point to add more speed on the edges to generate more pressure. It's a reason why the Badgers have unofficially offered 32 Scout.com outside linebackers. So who is still out there for the Badgers in 2015?


Top Targets

Offers: Top eight of Arizona State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah and Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Masina has been on campus previously and the Badgers coaching staff has been out multiple times to see Masina this spring. He plans to cut his list down to five this month, which will be his official visits. UW has a good chance to make that list, especially since they've been recruiting him hard for almost a year.

Offers: Arkansas, Boston College, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Offered by defensive backs coach Ben Strickland, McKee (pictured) says he is very interested in Wisconsin because of the fit with UW's 3-4 defense. Having never visited Wisconsin, he says he wants to visit this summer. McKee is from the same high school as sophomore receiver Rob Wheelwright.

Offers: Bowling Green, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, NC State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Appearing to be down to Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin, Thompson visited UW in April and could visit next week during UW's high school summer camp. Michigan State might have the slight edge.

Offers: Alabama, Boston College, Clemson, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Miami (Fl), Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Bowen's recruitment exploded like no others in the spring, and his offer list is impressive. He has not made it to many campuses yet, but that could change in the summer. For Bowen, his choice could come down to whether he wants to leave home or not. Rutgers lists him as a high priority target, but UW tailback coach Thomas Brown has done a good job building a relationship with him.

  • Three-Star Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas Chris Hart
Offers: Boston College, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Miami (Fl), Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, South Florida, Syracuse, UAB, Western Michigan, Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Seeing a NFL opportunity if he committed to Wisconsin, Hart is interested in the Badgers because a lot of his former teammates have come to Madison and played well enough to make it to the professional level. He plans to make his decision after his visits.

Offers: Committed to Boise State. Offers from Utah, Utah State, Washington and Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Admitting he committed a little too early, Manu is touring campuses of interested schools this summer and will be at Wisconsin this weekend. Manu loves the defense and the coaching staff and, most importantly, doesn't believe that the distance will be a big factor.

Offers: Nevada, North Texas and Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: A recent offer by Wisconsin, Orr will be visiting the Badgers this weekend. Although he said he plans on visiting Arkansas and Missouri in the coming weeks, he didn't rule out possibly committing on or following the visit.

Offers: Barry has a top four of North Carolina state, South Florida, Syracuse and Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Barry will be on campus Monday and told us there is a chance he could commit if Wisconsin's visit with his mom blows him away. He still plans to visit Syracuse the following week and will likely decide soon after.

  • Eastern Arizona Community College Tim Cook
Offers: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Iowa State, Louisville, Memphis, North Texas, UAB, Utah, Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: It all depends what side of the ball Cook wants to play on, as he's being recruited as both a linebacker and as a tailback. He plans to take unofficial visits to Arkansas, Kentucky and Louisville and an official visit to California, but other visits could be in line.


Long Shots

Offers: Arizona State, Boise State, California, Florida State, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisville, Miami (Fl), Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Purdue, Stanford, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Utah, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

UW's Chances: Wisconsin was one of the first offers for Gustin, but the problem was that tons more schools figured out how good of a player he was. Gustin intends to take his time with his decision and possibly get in all five official visits before making a decision, which will come after several other unofficial visits in the summer to schools such as Ohio State, UCLA, Florida State and Notre Dame among others.

Offers: Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, NC State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oregon, Purdue, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Western Michigan, Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Planning to take most of his visits this summer, Bilal said Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas A&M were among some of the schools he was considering.

  • Four-Star Fairburn (GA) Langston Hughes D'Andre Walker
Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville, LSU, Miami (Fl), Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oregon, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, Texas, USC, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Walker was an early offer from running back coach Thomas Brown and while Walker hasn't cut his list yet, it appears he'll play somewhere in the SEC. Auburn and Georgia appear to be the two front runners.

Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville, LSU, Miami (Fl), Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oregon, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, Texas, USC, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Wisconsin's offer caught Sheppard off guard in late March and he talked about possibly visiting Madison this summer. That doesn't appear like it's going to happen now, as Sheppard is planning trips to Notre Dame, Ohio State, LSU, Texas A&M, Florida, Florida State, South Carolina and many others, but not UW. He says no schools are currently standing out and he will narrow his list after the summer, but it doesn't appear UW will be on it.

Offers: Boston College, Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, Wake Forest, Wisconsin.

UW's Chances: Brightwell has already taken an in-depth visit to Rutgers and mentioned he wants to take trips to Michigan State, North Carolina and Virginia in the coming months. It's unknown at this time where Wisconsin stands.


Other Offers

Four-Star Cleveland Benedictine Jerome Baker spoke passionately about wanting to visit Wisconsin after getting offered in January, especially since it was an offer he wanted, but Baker never really gave the Badgers much of a look. It'll be a Florida, Ohio State and Tennessee battle.

Four-star Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei Ben Humphreys is a teammate of current tight end commit Kyle Penniston, but Humphreys is giving off the impression that he will stay on the West Coast when he announces his summer decision. Cal, Stanford or Washington all rank high.

Three-star Cedar Hill (TX) Richard Moore says Baylor, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and TCU are recruiting him the hardest. It appears like a decision could come shortly.

Alpharette (GA) Milton Quarte Sapp is currently favoring Miami, Nebraska and Tennessee, but said recently he's waiting for offers from Auburn, Florida and LSU.

Four-Star Missouri City (TX) Ridge Point Cameron Townsend hasn't cut his list, but says his standout programs are Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon State and Nebraska.


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