Despite a pair of de-commitments last week, the Wisconsin football program has seen some early recruiting success under Luke Fickell.
UW currently holds 14 commits in the 2024 cycle, good for the No. 23 class in the country, according to 247Sports. Still, some questions remain on what positions need to be filled.
Will Wisconsin take three running backs? Can UW bolster its defensive line depth? How will Wisconsin fill in the cornerback depth chart following Vernon Woodward’s de-commitment? Here are my predictions on how Wisconsin will fill its remaining needs in the 2024 cycle.
Will the Wisconsin Football Program Take Three Running Backs?
Wisconsin picked up its first tailback commitment with three-star RB Gideon Ituka coming on board. Still, UW is firmly in the running for a pair of four-star running back prospects.
Darrion Dupree, UW’s No. 1 running back target from the jump, is the most likely to commit. The four-star prospect out of Illinois has taken official visits to Illinois and Missouri, but multiple recruiting services still predict Wisconsin to land the dynamic tailback.
Dilin Jones is the other prospect still on Wisconsin’s board. UW is in the running alongside Florida State and Maryland for the four-star tailback. The top-15 RB was scheduled to visit Florida State last weekend, but it’s believed that he did not make the trip. If that is the case, Wisconsin is in a prime position for the four-star tailback.
With Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi entering their final year as Badgers, Wisconsin is expected to take at least two running backs in the cycle. Dupree is the most likely to commit, but if Dilin Jones also wants to come on board, I don’t see Fickell and company turning him away.
Prediction: Darrion Dupree
Who Can Fill in the Cornerback Depth?
The depth at the cornerback position still needs to be bolstered in the 2024 cycle, and Wisconsin is in the running for several top targets.
Omillio Agard is the most likely to commit at this point. The four-star prospect has a decision date lined up for July 1st and has Clemson and Wisconsin as his final schools. All signs point to Wisconsin securing a commitment from the standout out of Pennsylvania.
Lloyd Irvin III is another cornerback prospect to keep an eye on. The three-star CB announced he will be committing on July 1st, and his final three include Wisconsin, Maryland, and West Virginia. Maryland is trending towards landing the three-star prospect, but UW will be the school to watch to steal a commitment from the hometown Terrapins.
Prediction: Omillio Agard
Wisconsin Football Needs to Add Some Defensive Line Prospects
Defensive line recruiting has been lackluster thus far in the 2024 cycle, with only one current commit in Hank Weber. The depth behind Wisconsin’s starters on the defensive front is shaky, and UW is reportedly looking to bring in at least three defensive linemen in the cycle.
Wisconsin is the team to beat in Anelu Lafaele’s recruitment. The standout from Hawaii has wrapped up his official visits and will announce his commitment on July 12th. I feel very confident about Wisconsin’s chances here.
The other defensive line prospect to keep an eye on is Dominic Kirks. The four-star prospect out of Ohio took official visits to Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, and Washington recently, and he will announce his commitment on June 30th.
Prediction: Anelu Lafaele
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Five-Star Specialist Erik Schmidt Talks Recent Wisconsin Football Visit
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.
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Wisconsin Football: Badgers Expected to Land 2025 In-State Recruit
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.
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In-State EDGE Nicholas McCullough Recaps Wisconsin Football Visit
Fresh off of a win over top-ranked Mukwonago, Muskego High School standout Nicholas McCullough made a stop at Camp Randall to take in the Wisconsin Badgers football program’s victory over Georgia Southern, where the
“Great visit overall,” McCullough told BadgerNotes. “The atmosphere was amazing per usual. It was great to see coach Scruggs in action.”
Nicholas McCullough Recaps Recent Wisconsin Football Visit
During his visit, McCullough spent some time building his relationships with the coaching staff. He’s been in touch with a pair of UW coaches thus far as they continue to monitor the Muskego native.
“I have a good relationship with the staff. Coach Spalding is an awesome dude, and it’s always good to see him. Coach Scruggs is an amazing coach, and we keep in touch whenever we can.” McCullough explained. “I saw them pregame and just talked about how my season is going so far.”
The Muskego standout has had an impressive season thus far. The undefeated Warriors just took down Mukwonago and have wins over other programs such as Verona, Oak Creek, and Waukesha West.
His film speaks for itself, as he’s put together quite a highlight reel through five games.
Not only is McCullough a standout on the field, but he’s an excellent student. According to his Twitter bio, McCullough currently holds a 4.0 GPA. Some schools are taking notice of his excellent academics, including some Ivy League universities.
“Duke and Ivy League (schools) such as Princeton, Penn, Columbia, and Dartmouth,” McCullough said when asked what other schools he’s hearing from.
McCullough hasn’t picked up an offer from the Badgers yet, but he is planning on another Wisconsin football visit, among some other stops.
“I’m currently working out the details for Ivy League visits. I do plan on coming back to Madison,” McCullough explained.
McCullough has a long way to go in his recruitment, but he was impressed by Wisconsin. At the end of our talk, the junior linebacker discussed what the most important thing will be when he’s choosing a school.
“Definitely the level of education. Wisconsin does a great job of having the best of both worlds. Great football team and a great education.”
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