Hosting a slew of top Michigan high school defensive back targets over the weekend, the University of Wisconsin was hoping to make a big impression to produce its credibility in a state it hasn’t generated much recruiting success in.
Detroit Cass Tech safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell verified that the Badgers did just that.
“The visit was awesome, (and) I'd have to rate it a 10/10,” Kelly-Powell tells BadgerNation. “It was awesome getting down there to meet the staff. They've been recruiting me hard for a while, so it was great to meet the staff with my cousins.”
The cousins Kelly-Powell referred to are four-star 2017 cornerback Ambry Thomas (Detroit) and 2018 cornerback Reggie Pearson (River Ridge).
“We all loved it,” Kelly-Powell said. “It would more than awesome to play with those two in college … They treated me the same as my cousin Reggie (Pearson). He doesn't have a Wisconsin offer yet, and I'm one of their top priorities, but the whole staff treated us the same and that was really amazing. It feels good to be wanted, and I can tell they want me.”
Kelly-Powell and Thomas certainly have plenty of options. Both have over two dozen offers, with some of Kelly-Powell’s offers coming from Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State. While he admits Wolverines are the school that sticks out, Kelly-Powell said his visit to Madison has made the Badgers a factor in his recruitment.
"The campus is beautiful,” Kelly-Powell said. “The facilities are top notch, it's stunning how clean and organized they are. It translates to their game on the field and that's why they produce N.F.L. players every year, and good ones also. The staff is beyond helpful and very generous. They are personable and go out of their way to make their players better, and the players only backed that up when I talked to them.”
A four-star prospect by Scout.com, Kelly-Powell wants to take more visits before sitting down with his parents, coaches and inner circle to discuss his college options. Wisconsin will certainly be discussed.
“Biggest thing for me was how they treated all of the recruits, as well as the coaching staff's love for the University,” he said. “A lot of them are former players, and they came back to carry on the rich tradition that Wisconsin has.”