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Wisconsin Football: Outlining Key Visitors for a Huge Recruiting Weekend

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Wisconsin Badgers Football

Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin football program is gearing up for a huge recruiting weekend on June 2nd. 

The Badgers have a history of success when it comes to recruiting in June, earning commitments from the likes of AJ Tisdell, Jace Arnold, Curt Neal, Tommy McIntosh, Cade Yacamelli, and many more.

Now, UW is set to host several key prospects that could solidify at least a top-20 recruiting class if they can work some magic. Here’s a look at the most intriguing uncommitted recruits heading to Madison this weekend.

Four-star RB Darrion Dupree

Wisconsin has heavily recruited the Chicagoland area over the last few cycles. One of the standout tailbacks from Chicago, Darrion Dupree, will visit Madison this weekend for his first official visit. 

With Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi likely on the way out following the season, securing a dynamic running back like Dupree should be a top priority in the cycle. As it stands, Wisconsin is seemingly leading the pack in the Chicago native’s recruitment. However, Dupree has a pair of Big Ten official visits lined up for Michigan and Illinois after he visits Madison. 

Luke Fickell and company can sell Dupree the potential for immediate playing time, which could be enough to secure the four-star prospect.

Four-star EDGE Anelu Lafaele

Wisconsin has turned East St. Louis High School in Hawai’i into somewhat of a pipeline school. They’ll host a standout from the school and one of the top players in Hawai’i, with Anelu Lafaele heading to Madison.

UW is in a recruiting battle with Arizona State and Washington for the four-star prospect. There hasn’t been any indication of a school that’s firmly in the lead, but UW has a real shot in Lafaele’s recruitment.

Lafaele is set to announce his commitment on July 1st, but he will take one last official visit to Washington before that. I’d keep an eye on this one, Badger fans.

Four-star EDGE Dominic Nichols

Another intriguing EDGE rusher will head to Madison on June 2nd in Dominic Nichols.

Wisconsin is locked in a recruiting battle with Penn State, Michigan, and Kentucky. With those juggernauts in the battle, it’s safe to say the Badgers are on the outside looking in. However, with some defensive line stalwarts departing following the 2023 season, the Wisconsin football staff can sell Nichols on immediate playing time.

Recruiting sites have Michigan as the favorite here, but Wisconsin can sneak back in this weekend.

Four-star OT Kevin Heywood

The Wisconsin football program missed out on a few top offensive line recruits in the 2024 cycle. That makes Kevin Heywood a big priority as he visits this weekend.

A premier prospect, Heywood holds offers from Alabama, Penn State, USC, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, and many more. After he visits Madison, the 6-foot-7, 290-pound OT has officials lined up with Kentucky, Auburn, and USC.

Penn State is the favorite here, and Wisconsin will need to give the royal treatment to stay in the running for the standout from Pennsylvania.

Four-star ATH I’Marion Stewart

The Wisconsin football program got a steal when they secured a commitment from Kyan Berry-Johnson. One of his close friends, I’Marion Stewart, will head to Madison this weekend.

The previous regime offered the four-star prospect, but there was little interest on Stewart’s end. However, Wisconsin got back into the running when Phil Longo and the air-raid offense came on board.

As it stands, Michigan is the favorite to land Stewart. However, Wisconsin has a fighting chance with his relationship with Berry-Johnson and the new staff’s role in his recruitment.

Final thoughts on a huge Wisconsin football recruiting weekend

The success of this recruiting weekend could be a building block for the future of the new regime. Wisconsin is firmly in the running for a few of the key prospects visiting this weekend, and landing one or multiple of them will all but secure a top-20 recruiting class in year one for Luke Fickell.

I will be following up with some of the prospects after their official visits, so stay tuned.


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Wisconsin Football Named a Recruiting Finalist for NFL Pro Bowler’s Son

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Wisconsin Badgers Football head coach Luke Fickell
Sep 16, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell prior to the game against the Georgia Southern Eagles at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin Badgers football team received some good news on the recruiting front Tuesday evening. The coveted Eugene Hilton Jr., a promising 2025 wide receiver hailing from Zionsville, Indiana, made a significant move by narrowing his list of potential schools to six, and the Badgers proudly found their place among them.

As Hilton Jr. looks ahead to his collegiate journey, he’ll weigh his options between a few notable programs. The final six schools in his consideration are Ole Miss, Kentucky, Missouri, Florida International University (FIU), Miami, and our very own University of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Football Recruiting Still in the Mix for Son of an NFL Pro Bowler

According to the industry-generated composite recruiting rankings, Eugene Hilton Jr. is the No. 393 player in the 2025 cycle, the No. 55 WR, and the No. 4 recruit to hail from Indiana.

Currently, Hilton is considered a three-star recruit and one of the top 2025 pass-catching prospects in the Midwest — and the Badgers would be happy to add him to a verbal commits list that already includes quarterback Landyn Locke and defensive back Remington Moss.

Now, if the name Hilton sounds a tad familiar to Wisconsin football fans, you’re spot on. This dynamic young talent happens to be the offspring of none other than former NFL pro-bowler T.Y. Hilton. During his illustrious NFL career, the elder Hilton made a name for himself with the Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys.

With the Badgers making the cut in Hilton Jr.’s selection process, it’s a testament to the allure and potential of Wisconsin football & its ability to attract new talent because of their air raid offense.

As the recruiting process unfolds, all eyes will be on Eugene Hilton Jr. as he evaluates his options. While the path to securing his commitment may be winding, one thing is clear: Wisconsin Badgers football is very much in the running for the talented young wideout.



Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

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Five-Star Specialist Erik Schmidt Talks Recent Wisconsin Football Visit

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Wisconsin Badgers Football left tackle Joe Thomas Hall of Fame
Photo: Courtesy of AMF Photos

The Wisconsin football program recently hosted several 2025 prospects during the Badgers win over Georgia Southern.

One of those prospects was Erik Schmidt, a touted kicker/punter out of Milwaukee. 

“I had a really good time,” Schmidt told BadgerNotes. “The atmosphere in Madison was great, and everybody was welcoming.”

Erik Schmidt Recaps Recent Wisconsin Football Visit

Per Kohl’s Kicking, Schmidt is a five-star specialist. The Marquette University High School standout is the No. 4 ranked kicker in the nation and the No. 1 punter. 

Wisconsin was the first school to extend an offer to Schmidt and remains his sole offer. However, he has been garnering some interest from other programs.

“Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State,” Schmidt said when asked what schools he’s hearing from at the moment. 

UW coaches Spencer Rymiszewski and Matt Mitchell have been Schmidt’s main points of contact following his scholarship offer. During his visit, he was able to catch up with the coaches and build relationships. 

“I’d say I have a close relationship with the staff. I talk to them multiple times a week.” Schmidt said. “We talked about how my football season is going.” 

It’s not just coaches who have been talking with Schmidt, however. Nathanial Vakos, the Wisconsin football program’s current placekicker, took some time to chat with Schmidt during his visit as well.

“I was able to talk with (Vakos) as well,” Schmidt told BadgerNotes. “We were just catching up because we were at a camp together this past summer.”

Wisconsin is reportedly near the top of Schmidt’s list, but he’s not in any rush to make a decision. He’s still looking to make his rounds and check out some other programs that have shown interest. 

“I’m going to visit Notre Dame and Michigan,” Schmidt said. “I’ll be back in Madison for the Ohio State game.”

That’s one of several standout prospects who will be in attendance for Wisconsin’s big primetime game against the Buckeyes. 

Luke Fickell and company are looking to have a scholarship kicker/punter in the 2025 class. If they are able to reel in one of the nation’s top kickers/punters, that will be a big win for the special teams group.

As it stands, Wisconsin football holds two commitments in the 2025 cycle from Remington Moss and Landyn Locke.


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Wisconsin Football: Badgers Expected to Land 2025 In-State Recruit

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Wisconsin Badgers football coaches Luke Fickell and Mike Tressel
Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell (left) greets Wisconsin Badgers defensive Coordinator Mike Tressel after Fickell spoke to the media during Wisconsin Badgers football media day at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023.

Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin Badgers Football program struggled to recruit America’s Dairyland in their first full cycle since taking over. That said, they’re hoping to change their fortunes in a deep group of 2025 in-state prospects.

Three-star linebacker Cooper Catalano from Germantown, Wisconsin, is arguably the top linebacker target on their board, and they have hosted him on several unofficial visits, most recently during the Badgers home game vs. Georgia Southern.

According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Catalano is ranked as the No. 470 player in the nation, the No. 43 linebacker, and the No. 6 player in Wisconsin. He currently holds offers from UW, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan State, and Minnesota.

His fit with Wisconsin football seems obvious, and after his latest trip to Madison, it appears that the recruiting insiders have a gut feeling about where he’ll call home.

Wisconsin Football is Trending for the In-State Linebacker 

Obviously, it’s still early in Cooper Catalano’s recruitment, but all signs point to the Wisconsin Badgers Football team keeping him home.

Badgers recruiting insiders Evan Flood of 247Sports and Jon McNamara of Rivals are in lockstep and have placed predictions for the 6-foot 200-pound linebacker to commit to Wisconsin.

As it stands, Wisconsin football has verbal commitments from quarterback Landyn Locke and defensive back Remington Moss, so it would be even sweeter to add an in-state product into the mix this early.

The Badgers coaching staff has injected some life into the program on the recruiting trail, and plenty of players want a seat at the table before the spots fill up.



Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers football news, notes, opinion, and analysis. Follow this link and use promo code: BADGERNOTES for 25% off your next True Classic order.

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