Max Siker/BadgerNation

Analyzing what Wisconsin is adding to its program with the commitment of Waukesha Catholic Memorial linebacker C.J. Goetz

Wisconsin added an important in-state piece to its 2018 recruiting class Monday with the commitment of Waukesha linebacker C.J. Goetz. What are the Badgers getting and how does this impact the program? We analyze

Committed Over: Waukesha (WI) Catholic Memorial linebacker C.J. Goetz committed to Wisconsin over offers from Bowling Green, New Mexico, North Dakota State and Northern Illinois. Iowa, Michigan State and several other Power Five conference schools were showing interest.

Rated: Goetz is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com

On Film: There is a lot to like about Goetz. First he is a very productive player from a good high school and has played in big games. What stands out about him on tape is his physicality and motor he plays with. He looks like he is running to the ball as fast as he can all the time. He also looks to punish whoever he hits. That's on defense, that's on special teams, that's on offense, wherever he is on the field. If he hits you, you'll know it.

He shows good straight-line speed. He can still improve his lateral agility. You don't see much coverage footage on his film, so that is a bit of an unknown. I think he is a kid who provides some options. He could stay inside, but really, I think his best position will be as an outside backer in the Wisconsin 3-4. There are some clips of him with his hand down rushing the passer or even rushing from a two-point, and he looks god and comfortable doing that. He has the frame and I can see him as a 6-foot-4, 240-pound edge rusher in the near future. – Scout.com national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu

Recruiting Story: Goetz was on Wisconsin’s radar dating back well before his camp performance last summer, but the work Goetz did during camp certainly showed off his versatility. He worked at inside linebacker for most of camp and then did a little at outside linebacker, showing he could handle both spots well.

“I really liked the camp,” Goetz said at the time. “I liked all the coaches. It was organized really well. I wanted to get to know the staff a little better, see the way they coached, the way they coaches and the competition around me.”

Due to the short proximity to Madison, Goetz attended a handful of games throughout the 2016 season and built good relationships with the coaching staff. So while his offers from Northern Illinois and Bowling Green meant a lot when they came in December, Goetz was hopeful that Wisconsin would eventually pull the trigger.

After visiting the school for a junior day and coming back for a basketball game Sunday, Wisconsin finally pulled the trigger on the offer. It took Goetz less than 24 hours to make a decision.

Recruiting Impact: Offering Goetz was significant for Wisconsin on multiple fronts. For starters it keeps a really talented linebacker in-state and adds to the depth at either linebacker position. Secondly it’s going to potentially start a wave of dominoes.

Like last year, the Badgers’ 2018 recruiting class is not going to get big, as only 13 scholarship seniors – three linebackers – are going to be graduating. By our unofficial calculations and barring attrition, the Badgers will only take around nine more players and have been aggressively recruiting cornerback, defensive line, wide receiver and running back. With Goetz’s commitment, UW is projected to have 14 scholarship linebackers on its roster in 2018. Can UW afford to take one or even two more? There will be some tough choices to be made.

Staying in-state, Wisconsin also offered Menomonie outside linebacker Mason Platter Sunday, hoping to extend the pipeline into the program that gave them linebacker Mason Stokke in 2016 and offensive lineman Alex Fenton last year. UW also extended an offer to Brookfield Central’s Reggie Jennings last spring but the raw prospect remains uncommitted, without other known offers and – it appears – not in a hurry to make a decision. Is he still coveted by the staff?

Looking out of state, the Badgers have developed good relationships with Lake Zurich (Ill.) prospect Jack Sanborn, Deerfield Beach (FL) coveted four-star Kenny Bastida and Macon (GA) Stratford Academy’s Tobe Umerah, who loved his UW visit in the fall and his good friends with current UW sophomore receiver Quintez Cephus. Sanborn appears the most likely of the three, as he spoke highly of his “electric” visit to Madison for the Ohio State game.

One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of talented prospects UW can add to its linebacker room.

Quote: “The feeling is amazing. It almost feels like an unreal dream.” - Goetz

Final Thought: The first time I saw Goetz was at the division 3 state title game in the fall. Goetz was everywhere for CMH in its 24-14 win over Green Bay Notre Dame, finishing the game with eight tackles, two sacks for minus-17 yards and two pass breakups. More importantly the Crusaders limited the defending state champions to only 110 rushing yards and 23.4 points below their season average. Finishing his junior season with over 100 tackles, you can tell by watching the all-state player that he had the “it” factor UW needs in its linebacker: toughness against the run, good tackling ability and passion. That game suggested it wasn’t a matter of it, but when was UW going to offer. We got the answer this weekend, which was the right move for the Badgers.


Badger Nation Top Stories