State of Recruiting: Texas

After vacating the state almost entirely for the last five years, Wisconsin is back in the state of Texas with a bang, securing multiple commitments from the state’s two richest prep areas. breaks down the latest in the Lone Star State in our "State of Recruiting" series.

Not only did Kerry Cooks leave a coaching vacancy in the Wisconsin defensive backfield when he left for Notre Dame after the 2009 season, he took the Badgers entire foothold in Texas.

Cooks has been the lead recruiter for defensive backs Marcus Cromartie, Shelton Johnson, Devin Smith and others, but those three named players played vital roles in Wisconsin’s secondary that helped the Badgers win multiple Big Ten championships. When he left, UW struggled so much in the state that the former staff abandoned the talent-rich state all together.

Enter Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen, who after a year getting his recruiting areas set decided to send coaches into the state to make an impact. The Badgers couldn’t have asked for a better homecoming, getting commitments from four prospects who all play a big time Texas high schools and who could generate some momentum down the road for Wisconsin in the state.


X’zavien Ausborne: One of two defensive backs from Dallas South Oak Cliff High School (a top school in the state) to commit to Wisconsin, Ausborne is described by his defensive coordinator for his ability to run, close, read reads, recognize run and pass, his closing ability and his tackling ability, not to mention his ability to get sideline to sideline. Is not rated as high because of the four-star and five-star talent in front of him, but Ausborne is a good raw prospect who will also run track and field in Madison.

Davon Crookshank

Davon Crookshank: The three-star tailback is said to be the perfect fit for Wisconsin’s offense with the way he runs and competes. He was a 1,000-yard rusher a season ago and has started to build his body weight to where he’s close to tipping the scales at over 200 pounds. He runs with a no-nonsense, attacking style trying to get downhill quickly and pick up yardage, perfect for the Badgers.

Chris Orr: Committing to Wisconsin on his unofficial visit to the campus in June, the outside linebacker (pictured above) comes from good bloodlines, as his father played in the NFL and his three older brothers played in college. Orr is a good young prospect and, with a little bit more experience and coaching, will transition well into UW’s 3-4 defense.

Takadrae Williams: The other Dallas South Oak Cliff defensive back to join the Badgers, Williams is a long lean prospect who has the ability to play either cornerback or safety at the college level. Also a track athlete, Williams brings that speed that the Badgers have been yearning for to upgrade their athleticism on the field.

Top Prospect

Dare Odeyingbo

Dare Odeyingbo: The Badgers love hybrid defensive end/outside linebackers for their 3-4 scheme and the three-star prospect from the Dallas Metroplex fits that description. Having built a good relationship with safeties coach Bill Busch, Odeyingbo is working on setting an official visit to Wisconsin. The Badgers join Iowa, Missouri and Vanderbilt as the school’s four favorite.

Badgers Miss Out

P.J. Mbanasor: A former TCU commit, Wisconsin offered in March and Mbanasor appeared really impressed with the Badgers, secondary coach Ben Strickland and the program. That changed once other schools came into the mix, including Oklahoma. The interest in UW waned from there and he committed to the Sooners in early June.

The following players with offers are committed elsewhere without Wisconsin being overly involved: Zach Abercrumbia, Bryce English, Darrell Miller, Richard Moore, Devine Ozigbo, Jordan Stevenson, Kevin Thomas and Jordan Tolbert.

The Rest of the Offerees

Darrion Daniels: Daniels will name his top ten and soon after the top five. His goal is to be committed by December. Daniels will likely stay in state and Baylor could be the school of choice.

Carlos Strickland: The four-star wide receiver hasn’t narrowed his list or committed to taking a visit to Wisconsin, but did acknowledge that the Badgers are bringing in some impressive quarterbacks who would be fun to play with.

J.W. Ketchum: He’s been recruited by some schools as a quarterback and a defensive back, but Ketchum has been pretty quiet on the recruiting front, as he’s been focused more on school and his football abilities than his recruitment.

Willie Smith: After teammates Ausborne and Williams committed to Wisconsin, Smith said he planned to commit as well. That announcement has not come yet, suggesting that UW is waiting to see what happens with others ahead of him before accepting his commitment.

Cameron Townsend: The four-star OLB hasn’t cut his list, but says his standout programs are Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon State and Nebraska. He plans to take officials to Oregon State, Oklahoma and make several visits to Texas.

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