Committed Over: Green Bay (WI) Bay Port offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen committed to Wisconsin over offers from Florida Atlantic, Illinois State, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Montana State, Nebraska, North Dakota State and Northern Illinois.
Rated: Van Lanen is currently a four-star prospect and rated the No.1 offensive tackle in Wisconsin, No.5 in the Midwest and No.16 in the county by Scout.com. He’s also ranked the No.181 overall prospect.
On Film: I love Cole's game. One of the first thing I look for in offensive linemen is how easy they can move and bend, and he's a great athlete with good flexibility and quickness. Then, he's mean on the field. He puts guys in the dirt and plays to and through the whistle. I think he'll be very good for Wisconsin. I'd be surprised if he didn't develop into an All-Conference kind of guy for them. – National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu
Recruiting Impact: Even though Wisconsin lost out on the Ben Bredeson sweepstakes, which was to be expected, the Badgers got two talented Midwest offensive linemen in an eight day stretch. But with the Badgers looking to take at least one more lineman, who is next?I would put strong odds right now on Lake Forest (IL) three-star tackle Thomas Schaffer, who is originally from Europe but has good size at 6-7. Wisconsin is one of four schools recruiting him the hardest, along with Kentucky, Oregon and Stanford, and he has only visited Madison of the four. He returns to the states in August and plans to take some officials before deciding. West Point (MS) HS four-star OT Scott Lashley recently named Wisconsin in his top 10, but the Badgers are nowhere near close to be considered his favorite. Baltimore Gilman four-star offensive tackle Devery Hamilton is planning on making his decision at the end of the month and says Wisconsin is fourth behind Stanford, Michigan and Maryland. UW likely won’t get him either.
Quotable: “I know they have a huge run game on offense and obviously I love to run block. For me run blocking is fun because you get to go down the field and just hit somebody. Wisconsin is a hard hitting team. To be on the Badgers offensive line is an awesome feeling because I get to do that for one of the best programs in the country. It’s going to be really fun and I’m excited.” – Van Lanen
Final Thought: People were concerned when Bredeson decided to become the first offensive lineman with a Wisconsin offer to leave the state since likely the George H.W. Bush administration. Three days later, it proved to be an abnormality rather than the new norm. Wisconsin’s brand still resonates well with top-tier linemen, which is evident by Van Lanen’s insistence that the Badgers were really the only school for him all along.