Committed Over: Owings Mills (MD) McDonogh safety Eric Burrell committed to Wisconsin over favorites Boston College, Duke, Nebraska and Syracuse. He also had Power Five conference offers from Arizona, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia and West Virginia, among others.
Rated: Burrell is ranked a three-star prospect and the No.3 safety in the East and the No.29 safety in the country by Scout.com.
On Film: When I first saw Eric Burrell play, he caught my eye as a receiver. He's developed at safety and has good ball skills. He will play physical and is comfortable coming up and run support.
He will need to get stronger and thicker in the upper body but he is aggressive playing against a run. He knows how to shed blocks and keep his head in the backfield and also locate the ball carrier in traffic. He is a good tackle who knows to go low and usually wraps up and can tackle in space.
Burrell has the speed to play free safety and get to the sidelines to cover. He does not do a lot of one-on-one covering but he has an ability to change directions and stay with the receiver. He will need to get a little quicker following receivers in and out of breaks in man coverage.
I think Burrell is at his best when he's playing downhill in the running game. He is not afraid to fill the hole and make a hit. He blitzes off the edge sometimes, but he needs to do a better job of getting to the quarterback on such plays.
Overall, I like Burrell a lot. He is a high three-star prospect and once he gets his strength can be a valuable player in Wisconsin's defense of backfield. – National Recruiting Analyst Brian Dohn.
Recruiting Impact: Wisconsin is now 80 percent of the way to its goal of locking in five defensive back prospects in 2015. After moving Lubern Figaro and Caleb Kinlaw to cornerback, UW will likely shoot for another safety prospect and would love to get to 100 percent with Gibsonton (FL) East Bay three-star prospect K.J. Sails.
Sails took an official visit to the Badgers Sept.26 and announced that Wisconsin was in his top three. Cincinnati and Iowa also made the cut. He took the official visit with fellow Florida safety Carlos Becker. Becker has more official visits lined up between now and signing day.
In terms of cornerback targets, nobody is really jumping off the page from players still keen on UW. Baylen Buchanan, Terrell Burgess, Lorenzo Burns and Hussein Howe are all on the radar but are more blips on the radar.
Quotable: “It was a beautiful place. I liked all the coaches; I liked all the player; I like the academic support they have there. That’s what I really wanted in a school. I appreciate what they have to give me and felt it was a great place … I waited a couple of days, let everything calm down and then do it.” - Burrell
Final Thought: The only thing that went wrong on Burrell’s official visit to Wisconsin the beginning of October was that the Badgers lost to Iowa. It was the main reason why Burrell was comfortable canceling his final three official visits. Watching Burrell play, he looks like a true football player who takes pride in tackling. It was essential for UW to add defensive backs with losing so many seniors after this season. To get the top player on their board is a huge score for a staff that’s putting together a tremendous recruiting class.