Four-star tailback Antonio Williams (New London, N.C.) holds the unofficial title as the University of Wisconsin’s most aggressive recruiter in the 2016 class. Fort Lauderdale (FL) High linebacker Dallas Jeanty is hoping to take that title away from him.
On his unofficial visit last week, Jeanty encountered a number of prospects the Badgers were after – three-star safety, and now commit, Patrick Johnson and receiver Demari Simpkins to name two. But no player drew more of Jeanty’s attention than Chandler (AZ) Hamilton defensive tackle Garrett Rand.
One of the most recruited players on the West Coast, Rand has been quiet on his recruitment but Jeanty didn’t hesitate to state that the Badgers are now in the driver’s seat.
“He told me after the visit was over that Wisconsin is his number one,” Jeanty told BadgerNation. “We went through all the facilities and talked about academic. He really loved the academics. His mom is from Wisconsin, which really helps a lot. He said every other place he visited, and he’s visited a lot of schools, Wisconsin blew them all out of the water. He told me he thinks Wisconsin is the best fit for him to showcase his abilities.”
“I told him no other school can offer him a combination of what he’s looking for like Wisconsin can,” said Jeanty. “They just won’t. Everyone thinks he’s going to Arizona State or Stanford, and that’s all well and good, but they just don’t have the fan support like Wisconsin. I may have been bashing other schools, but I had to do what I had to do because Garrett is a hell of a player and we’d love to have him.”
Wisconsin has already secured Amherst (WI) High defensive tackle Tyler Biadasz but Rand – rated a four-star prospect, the No.25 defensive tackle in the country and No.272 overall prospect by Scout.com – is too good to pass up.
“My hope is I impacted Garrett,” said Jeanty. “I was working him like a dog, saying ‘I need you man.’ I told him Wisconsin doesn’t have the reputation of bringing in four and five star recruits, but if you look at this class, that’s starting to change.”
While the Badgers have been active over the last month reeling in commitment, Jeanty isn’t expecting Rand to make his decision in the near future.
“The thing about Garrett is he’s not going to be a player who will commit next week,” said Jeanty. “He definitely is enjoying the recruiting process. He’s going to take all five of his visits. If I was a betting man, I’d say there’s a 65 percent chance we get him. I really genuinely believe he’ll commit to Wisconsin before it’s all said and done. I honestly think the best place for him is Wisconsin.”