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Wisconsin Football Makes Cut For 4-Star EDGE Rusher, Mordecai Impressing, More

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Sep 17, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; A Wisconsin Badgers cheerleader carries the Wisconsin flag during the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a busy couple of days for the Wisconsin football program, ladies and gents, but fear not because BadgerNotes can help get you back up to speed with a roundup of some important news you may have missed.

Wisconsin Badgers Make the Cut for 4-Star EDGE Rusher 

The Wisconsin football program has slowly but surely begun creating a small pipeline at St. Louis High School in Hawaii. A relationship that started with Nick Herbig and Trech Kekahuna could include another standout from their former high school if the Badgers play their cards right. 

This past week, four-star EDGE rusher Anelu Lafaele out of Honolulu, Hawaii, released a top seven list of Arizona State, Hawaii, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.  

According to 247Sports, Lafaele, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound pass rusher, is the No. 17 EDGE in the country and the No. 2 player in Hawaii. 

His ties to the previous coaching staff and connections to some of the players mentioned above certainly gave Wisconsin football a leg up. 

Still, Luke Fickell and OLB coach Matt Mitchell have done an excellent job of making him feel like a priority which is why Lafaele is taking an official visit to Madison in June. 

The Badgers are in the driver’s seat from everything I’ve heard referencing this specific recruitment.

Wisconsin Football May Have Struck Gold with Tanner Mordecai

Whether the expectations are fair or not, much of the Wisconsin football program’s success in year one of Luke Fickell’s tenure hinges on the one-year rental of SMU transfer quarterback Tanner Mordecai.

In two seasons starting at SMU, Mordecai threw for 7,152 yards, 72 touchdowns, 22 interceptions, and had a 66.4% completion percentage. He also added 302 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. 

Thankfully for Badgers fans, the early reports from spring practice have been glowing. The most common theme we’ve heard is that Mordecai established himself as QB1 from the jump, shows a command of the offense, and continues stacking consistently excellent performances. 

Accuracy and timing are essential in a system like Phil Longo’s, so if the pieces around him can come together, the 6-foot-3 signal-caller could be precisely what Wisconsin needs to get over the proverbial hump. 

Mordecai is the most impactful transfer portal addition at QB for the program since Russell Wilson in 2011. And the hope is that marriage will be mutually beneficial — helping Wisconsin win the Big Ten West and usher in a new era of Badgers football — while boosting Mordecai’s draft stock in Phil Longo’s offensive system.

Other Wisconsin Football News

After missing on four-star running back Jordan Marshall, the Wisconsin football program wasted no time getting three-star tailback Jaedon Matthews out of Scottsdale, Arizona, on campus for an unofficial visit this past weekend.

According to the 247Sports composite, Matthews is the No. 984 overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting class, the No. 79 RB in the country, and the No. 22 player in Arizona.

As a junior, Matthews carried the ball 92 times for 719 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also chipped in 27 catches for 218 yards receiving.

You can watch his HUDL film here.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound RB currently holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Colorado State, Duke, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Washington State, and Wisconsin.

Matthews reportedly has 4.4 40-yard dash speed and would make for an intriguing three-down talent in the Badgers backfield. Wisconsin is expecting to take two running backs in the 2024 recruiting class.


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Dillon Graff is a Substack Newsletter Best Selling Author and the Owner of BadgerNotes.com, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, B5Q, Saturday Blitz, and Fansided.

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