Committed Over: Chandler (AZ) Hamilton defensive tackle Garrett Rand committed to Wisconsin over other favorites Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington. He also had Power Five conference offers from several others. </p>
Rated: Rand is ranked a four-star prospect and the No.2 defensive tackle in the West, No.25 in the country and the No.274 overall prospect by Scout.com.
On Film: Rand bench presses over 500 pounds and that weight room strength transfers to the football field. He is almost nearly impossible to block one on one at the high school level. Rand uses his hands very well, often times engaging first and then using his strength to gain separation and make plays. Over the past year, Rand has improved his lateral quickness. In this game he did a good job of slanting and making plays. In this pass game, he pushes the pocket and is disruptive that way.
He does a good job of collapsing the pocket in the pass game, but adding some pass rush moved would make him a more complete defensive tackle. Rand is roughly 275 pounds right now and pretty thick, so i’m not sure if he can carry over 300 pounds.
Bottom line, Rand is one of the West Coast's finest defensive linemen, has the strength to hold up against bigger linemen at the next level and is a guy that can contribute early in his college career. – Arizona recruiting analyst Jason Jewell
Recruiting Impact: Massive. With Rand’s ability to shoot gaps and take up space, he’s an immediate impact player for Wisconsin.
Rand’s commitment is certainly a luxury for the Badgers, who probably felt pretty good about their depth at the nose tackle position before the season started. With Conor Sheehy only a sophomore, Jeremy Patterson a redshirt freshman and Olive Sagapolu a true freshman, UW adding a fourth defensive tackle in Amherst (WI) High’s Tyler Biadasz would have been plenty. But when a once-in-a-decade player at that position comes around, you certainly don’t turn him down.
With now four 2016 d-line prospects committed, Wisconsin is in greed mode, meaning the Badgers don’t need another prospect but certainly want Austria native Thomas Schaffer, who currently plays for Lake Forest Academy in Illinois. Schaffer is listed as an offensive lineman, but the Badgers want him as a defensive end in the 3-4 scheme. Schaffer has already announced UW would get an official visit from him, along with Oregon and Stanford, and viewed the Badgers very highly after visiting them in the spring.
Quotable: “It was a crazy experience. I loved it so much. The fans were into it. The Jump Around, singing Sweet Caroline … it’s one of the best visits I’ve had so far. I’m excited for my future.” – Rand on his official visit.
Final Thought: Notice that last line in the quote above. Rand said that Tuesday and how he said it essentially let the cat out of the bag. We knew it was coming but it felt like Rand would take all five of his visits to make sure of his decision. There was no need after seeing how Wisconsin fit him academically, athletically and socially. Pound for pound one of the strongest players on the West Coast, if not the country, Rand reminds me a lot of Beau Allen – minus the flowing blonde locks. He has the ability to play right away next season, adding flexibility, depth and talent to the line.
Just as important, UW has now struck gold in a state that produces scores of talented athletes. Seeing the state’s top quarterback (Kare Lyles), one of its best senior prospect (Rand) and a top junior prospect (Kayden Lyles) all go play college football at Wisconsin is a terrific sale’s pitch.