After nearly a decade of misses, Wisconsin signed a pair of highly touted prospects out the state of Georgia last season who could have an immediate impact on the program. Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen’s only assistant hire in 2014 signals that the Badgers are looking to have an even bigger presence in the state.
Hiring former Georgia tailback Thomas Brown, who also recruited the state in his one season as an assistant at Marshall, Wisconsin has ventured to all corners of the state to bring in aggressive, quick, athletic prospects who fit their vision. It’s still early in the recruiting cycle, but the Badgers have already seen some successes.
Mohamed Barry: The final commitment of Wisconsin’s high school camp haul, Barry plays with energy, emotion and fast. He has a nose for the football, plays aggressive and he really attacks the ball carrier. Wisconsin is losing five linebackers after this season, meaning the Badgers need to rebuild the depth at the position. By his own admission, Barry is a driven athlete who plays with a chip on his shoulder, the perfect kind of player for the Badgers.
Duke Shelley: While not the highest ranked player in the state that the Badgers are after, Shelley fits a need for Wisconsin at the cornerback position. He’s not the biggest kid at 5-10 and 170 pounds, but Shelley has very good speed and quickness. He visited Madison for UW’s high school summer camp, gave the visit a nine out of 10 and left saying he’s definitely high on Wisconsin.
The Next Big Thing
Daniel Fennell: Duke, Georgia, Michigan State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin have been recruiting him the hardest. While Fennell said he would like to play closer to home, the three-star prospects didn’t rule taking an official visit to Madison.
Badgers Miss Out
Marquel Harrell: Wisconsin said he built a really good relationship with Brown and really appreciated the Badgers’ offensive line tradition. Problem was Wisconsin was one of many big time SEC schools to offer the three-star offensive guard. He committed to Auburn in late April and continues to be heavily pursued by a lot of those SEC schools.
The following players with offers are committed elsewhere without Wisconsin being overly involved: Micah Abernathy, Andrew Butcher, Arrington Farrar, Zach Giella, Octavis Johnson, Quentez Johnson, Mikell Lands-Davis, Dexter Neal, Natrez Patrick and Marquise Price.
The Rest of the Offerees
Mon Denson: Denson says Arkansas, Georgia Southern, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin are talking to him the most. Running back coach Thomas Brown has been the lead recruiter for the Badgers, talking to Denson actively over social media.
Jeremy McDuffie (pictured above): McDuffie said Duke, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee are in his top five with Georgia Tech and Wisconsin battling it out for the last spot.
Tyrone Riley: Getting offered by the Badgers in April, Riley had penciled in a visit to Wisconsin in the future. He’s a talented two-sport athlete who has racked up some good offers as the summer went on, including Missouri.
Quarte Sapp: Planning on taking all five official visits, Sapp is currently debating about which schools to visit during the season.
Roquan Smith: Wisconsin offered in late February but the interest level has never really been there. Smith says he is still wide open, but appears to be looking at Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and UCLA the hardest.
Jayson Stanley: Auburn, Clemson and Georgia are still considered the front runners currently for Stanley, who could make his decision before the start of his season.
Russell Ude: Wisconsin made his recent top 10 list, but Ude hasn’t shown a lot of interest in the Badgers. With him getting worn down by the recruiting process and wanting to make a decision soon, that doesn’t spell good news for UW hoping to get his commitment.
D’Andre Walker: 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, Georgia and Tennessee are the ones sticking out.