What the Local Experts Think

Badger Nation Publisher Benjamin Worgull and Badger Nation Recruiting Analyst Jordan Goetzke offer their views and insights as to the gems of Wisconsin's 2010 recruiting class.

The most talented player right now in the class is who and why?

James White, RB Fort Lauderdale, FL

While White was a backup on his own high school team, St. Thomas Aquinas, he is a very polished running back. White saw the majority of the carries this season after Giovanni Bernard went down with an injury. Playing for the number one high school team in the country for most of the season has allowed White to get great coaching and he will be ready for the next level.

White can catch the ball out of the backfield and is also a great runner, both inside the tackles and when he breaks it to the outside. White has great vision and displays the ability to cut back against the grain for big yardage. He has a good burst through the hole and is listed with sub 4.5 40 yard dash.

He finished his senior season with 1,145 yards and 15 touchdowns along with over 200 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns. He showed that he could be a feature back, but is versatile enough to be the change of pace back, and also a receiving threat.

White could see playing time his freshman season with the Badgers as a change of pace back with receiving ability, and back up to both Montee Ball and John Clay.

Who is the biggest 'get' or 'steal' for Wisconsin and why?

Beau Allen, DT Minnetonka, MN

While White's selection of the Badgers over Clemson, NC State, and Iowa was a great get for the Badgers, Allen was more of a need-based verbal. The talented defensive tackle from the state of Minnesota was a player that the Badgers desperately needed to get. He was also highly coveted by many high-profile programs around the country.

The Badgers lose four defensive tackles to graduation this season and there will be a big hole to fill on the defensive line. The 6-foot 3, near-300 pound Allen will help to close that gap, and could possibly challenge for playing time as a freshman.

Allen has a great motor and doesn't ever give up on the ball. He showed a mean streak that allows for him to be successful both against the run as well as against the pass. This was the first true highly rated defensive tackle that the Badgers have been able to get in some time and fills a huge need for Wisconsin.

Who is the biggest sleeper in this class and why?

Cameron Ontko, LB/S Cuyahoga Falls, OH

When people look at Cameron Ontko they might see a 5-foot 11, 210-pound player that seems undersized for a linebacker. While he may be smaller than many linebacker prospects, Ontko makes up for it with extreme athleticism.

When Ontko verballed it reminded fans of freshman sensation Chris Borland, also an undersized linebacker prospect from the state of Ohio. Just like Boland, Ontko went to camp and earned his offer with a great performance in front of the coaches and in the end, all he wanted to do was be a Wisconsin Badger.

There could be a lot of noise heard from Ontko next season as he may see early time on special teams just like Borland. Ontko runs a 4.4 40 yard dash, which he displayed at both the Ohio State and Wisconsin camps. He had an offer from Georgia Tech to play running back. That offer tells you the kind of athletic ability that the Badgers see in Ontko and why he can be a huge sleeper for the Badgers in the class of 2010.

Who is the prospect that Wisconsin will absolutely love five years from now and why?

Frank Tamakloe, SS/LB Olney, MD

Many people think that Cody Byers will be loved by Wisconsin fans, much like Borland, and I can see that as well. Other popular names are White and Allen. However, I wanted to step outside the box a little bit and I went with Frank Tamakloe.

Wisconsin has struggled to find good scholarship safety prospects and has relied on walk-on safeties in the past. Tamakloe has all the qualities that could make him one of the best safeties the Badgers have recruited in a long time. He is a tall, rangy safety that, if he adds enough weight to his frame, could be a weapon on the defensive side of the ball. With added weight he could blitz with the speed of a safety, but the size of a smaller linebacker. He would be more of a strong safety prospect with added weight and size.

Tamakloe is a great tackler in run support and can hit hard. He also makes plays when the ball is in the air, but does need to show a little improvement.

Wisconsin fans fall in love with safeties who are solid tacklers and don't get beat over the top like Leonhard or Doering, and that is what Tamakloe could be, and why fans will love him. Hopefully he can bond with the new defensive backs coach when he is brought in.

Badger Nation Publisher Benjamin Worgull

The most talented player right now in the class is who and why?

It's hard to pick a side of Manasseh Garner that isn't likable. One could pick the offensive side, where the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Garner had 50 receptions for 702 yards and 10 touchdowns as a tight end and slot receiver. The other option is the defensive side, where Garner recorded 84 tackles, six sacks and three interceptions as a linebacker.

If there's one thing Wisconsin fans need to know about Garner is that he is a work horse. Garner wasn't thrilled with his 40-yard dash, so he spent the summer of his junior year improving it. When he came to Scout.com's Pittsburgh combine, he shaved three tenths off his time. He's going to be a great H-back for Wisconsin.

Who is the biggest 'get' or 'steal' for Wisconsin and why?

Everybody has said Beau Allen is the biggest get for this class and I tend to agree, especially when Wisconsin lost four defensive tackles on its depth chart from last season's team. Allen will be able to come in and compete right away but in the long term, it's got to be Maryland offensive tackle Robby Havenstein.

Havenstein had a ton of suitors after him, including Maryland, Penn State, Wake Forest and Virginia, but he ended up choosing the Badgers. For the school that is predicated on running the football to have success, Havenstein will shore up one side of the line for his tenure. Havenstein has it all – size, strength, talent and helped his school run for over 4,000 yards and a combined 47 touchdowns from its two main tailbacks.

Who is the biggest sleeper in this class and why?

Offensive Coordinator Paul Chryst wasn't satisfied with having only one big wide receiver in his class, so he sent Joe Rudolph and DelVaughn Alexander on the road to find someone to fit the billing. What they found was Boardman High (Youngstown, Ohio) receiver Chase Hammond.

Hammond's film shows a big kid that used his frame to make the play. He runs solid routes and uses his hands, not his body to make the catch. While his speed isn't blazing, Hammond above average speed, but compensate makes up for it by being elusive and has a knack for breaking tackles after the catch.

Who is the prospect that Wisconsin will absolutely love five years from now and why?

Capping off one of the best seasons in Hilltoppers history, ending his senior season with 129 tackles, five interceptions and two forced fumbles, with a state championships, Michael Trotter was all over the field in the state championship game. He was solid in pass coverage, he was quick to the ball, he delivered a striking hit and one could tell he has the pulse of his teammates. What made it ever more impressive was he told me after the game that he can play a lot better, an exciting sign for Wisconsin fans.

Trotter has an infectious personality, always laughing and loving life. His passion on the field is going to have a lot of Wisconsin fans cheering for him.


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