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Wisconsin Football Recruiting: Weekly Highlights

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Wisconsin football

The Wisconsin football program has been hitting the recruiting trail hard this week. Last weekend, the team announced its “Wisconsin Blitz,” putting up billboards highlighting the tradition of Wisconsin-born Badgers. That blitz has since continued in and beyond Wisconsin. Here are this week’s top recruiting highlights:

Will the Badgers Re-Land Jamel Howard?

Recruiting Jamel Howard, a former commit to Wisconsin, appears to be a top priority for head coach Luke Fickell. The three-star defensive tackle is still considering Wisconsin as the Badgers attempt to finish their 2023 recruiting class.

Howard, a 6’3″, 320-pound Illinois native, committed to Wisconsin in June. He re-opened his recruitment after the firing of Paul Chryst. Since then, Fickell and Howard have “been on the phone a lot,” according to Evan Flood of Badger247. 

Howard took an official visit to Wisconsin back in December. He has also visited Michigan and Illinois in the past month. Coming up, he will visit LSU this weekend and Ole Miss next weekend. Howard plans to announce his commitment on February 1st when the signing period re-opens.

Wisconsin Football Offers Two Four-Star Recruits From Pennsylvania

After last weekend’s Wisconsin Blitz, Wisconsin football took its recruiting train east. This week, the Badgers extended three scholarship offers to recruits out of prep-school powerhouse St. Joeseph’s in Philadelphia.

In the 2024 class, Wisconsin offered two wide receivers: Brandon Rehmann and David Washington Jr. 

According to Rivals, Rehmann, listed at 6’1″ and 180 pounds, is a three-star recruit. He holds 11 offers, including offers from fellow Big Ten schools Maryland, Michigan State, and Penn State. 

Continuing Wisconsin’s new trend of recruiting blue-chip wide receivers is Washington Jr. The four-star recruit has 13 offers, including Big Ten rivals Maryland, Penn State, and Rutgers. He is listed as 6’0″ and 180 pounds and has taken unofficial visits to Penn State and Rutgers.

The second offer to a four-star recruit comes in the 2025 class. Even before his junior season, Anthony Sacca has a slew of power five offers. The 6’4″ safety has 15 P5 offers. Among Big Ten schools, he has received an offer from Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers.

Two More Four-Star Recruits From New Jersey Receive Offers

Elsewhere in the eastern timezone, Wisconsin football extended scholarship offers to two four-star recruits in New Jersey. 

On offense, Wisconsin put themselves in the mix for Jaylan Hornsby. The 6’3″ class of 2024 wide receiver holds 14 scholarship offers, and his recruitment has heated up in the past couple of weeks. Hornsby has announced offers from Liberty, NC State, Oregon, and Wisconsin in the past two weeks. He also visited Illinois this week.

On defense, Wisconsin offered the #3 cornerback in the 2025 class. Cameron Miller is the 43rd-ranked recruit overall in his class, according to 247Sports. An impressive athlete, Miller plays both receiver and corner at Winslow Township High School. The 5’11”, 175-pound recruit holds 12 scholarship offers. This week alone, Miller announced offers from James Madison, Illinois, Liberty, Wisconsin, and Pitt. 


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Wisconsin Football: An Early Look at the 2024 Recruiting Class

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Wisconsin football completed its 2023 recruiting class just a few days ago. After putting together a top 40 class, UW has set its sights on 2024.

The Badgers have already secured multiple recruits for the 2024 cycle and are currently among the top choices for multiple recruits. Here’s an early look at Wisconsin’s 2024 recruiting class.

Mabrey Mettauer

Mettauer, a four-star QB, committed to UW on Christmas Eve, making him the first recruit of the 2024 class.

According to the 247Sports Composite, Mettauer is the No. 21 quarterback in his class and the No. 43 player in Texas.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound QB is a gunslinger through and through. In 2022, the Texas native threw for 2,621 yards and 32 touchdowns. Mettauer has excellent pocket presence and arm talent, making him a seamless fit for the air raid offense.

Mettauer is among the best in his class at quarterback, and he’ll have the opportunity to fight for the starting job in his first year on campus.

Grant Stec

Stec, a top tight end in the class, was UW’s second commitment for 2024. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound tight end has the attributes to make an immediate impact when he heads to Madison in 2024.

According to the 247Sports Composite, Stec is the No. 10 tight end in the class and the No. 4 player in Illinois. He also ranks inside the top 200 players in the class. In 2022, Stec hauled 17 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns.

The Illinois native is a do-it-all tight end. His size makes him a tough matchup in run block situations, and his pass-catching ability is among the best at his position.

With Clay Cundiff and Hayden Rucci entering their senior seasons, Stec could be a contributor on day one. His talent makes him an option to take the reigns as a potential freshman starter in 2024.

Rob Booker

Booker, a Wisconsin native, is the third committed prospect for 2024.

According to the 247Sports Composite, Booker is the No. 23 tight end in the class and the No. 5 player in Wisconsin. In 2022, Booker hauled in 27 catches for 380 yards and six touchdowns. After his impressive year, he was given an All-State First Team selection.

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound tight end is a mismatch nightmare. Booker’s frame makes him a big-bodied player who can do damage in the red zone, and he’ll be a red zone threat at the next level.

Other notable prospects for Wisconsin football

Jordan Marshall

The Badgers landed in top running back Jordan Marshall’s top four choices. He took to Twitter to announce his remaining choices.

Marshall is the No. 12 running back in the class and the No. 4 player in Ohio, according to the 247Sports Composite. UW will have a tough recruitment battle with other Big Ten schools in the race, but the Badgers are a top choice for the dynamic tailback.

Kari Jackson

Wisconsin landed in four-star LB Kari Jackson’s top seven choices. Jackson announced his final seven schools on Twitter.

Jackson is the No. 21 linebacker in the class and the No. 7 player in Michigan, according to the 247Sports Composite. UW offered Jackson in the fall, and he recently visited campus on Junior Day.

 

Wisconsin football is just starting to put is 2024 recruiting class together, and they’ve already secured multiple four-star recruits. We will have to wait and see if they can bring in other top targets, but regardless, UW is shaping up to have an excellent class next year.


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Final Takeaways from Wisconsin Football’s 2023 Recruiting Class

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Wisconsin football has completed its 2023 recruiting class. With multiple four-star recruits and a long list of three-stars, UW has brought in some high-level talent.

After Luke Fickell took over as head coach, the Badgers added six recruits for the 2023 class. According to the 247Sports recruiting rankings, Wisconsin finished with the 37th-ranked recruiting class in the nation.

As the focus shifts to the 2024 class, here are some final takeaways from Wisconsin football’s 2023 recruiting class.

Secondary depth was a point of emphasis for Wisconsin football

Wisconsin added five defensive backs in the 2023 recruiting class. Due to the departures of Cedrick Dort II and Jay Shaw for the NFL Draft, the Badgers have retooled their secondary with some intriguing prospects.

Braedyn Moore and Amare Snowden, both four-star prospects, are just some notable additions to UW’s secondary. Defensive backs Jace Arnold, AJ Tisdell, Jonas Duclona, and Justin Taylor are heading to Madison under the new class, giving the Badgers a DB room full of young talent.

UW will have a revamped secondary as we head into 2023. Due to the youth in the room, these young prospects could make an immediate impact.

Wisconsin football added players with high upside on offense

While the recruiting class was loaded with defensive additions, Wisconsin added some offensive skill position players with high upside. Quarterback Cole LaCrue, tight end Tucker Ashcraft, wide receiver Trech Kekahuna, and running back Nate White are the four offensive additions in the class. Each player brings high upside to Wisconsin’s offense.

Due to the influx of quarterbacks, LaCrue may be buried in the depth chart. However, his upside as a dual-threat QB makes him an intriguing addition. Fickell has stated that he looks for quarterbacks who can sling it and use their legs, and LaCrue fits that mold to a tee.

Trech Kekahuna is a potential building block for the future of the receiver room. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound receiver has remarkable athleticism that makes him an excellent option for a slot receiver. He could also make his mark on special teams with his elusiveness and speed.

Nate White, hailing from Milwaukee as the lone in-state recruit, will look to carry the tradition of great Wisconsin running backs. White has elusiveness that makes him a threat in the open field. He’s not a power runner, but his speed and athleticism make him an excellent future option.

Tucker Ashcraft joins UW with arguably the most upside. He’s considered a late bloomer, but he’s come into his own as a blocker. Ashcraft’s pass-catching ability needs to develop, but his fundamentals make his upside intriguing for the Badgers.

Fickell is an incredible salesman

Luke Fickell is putting together something special in Madison, and players are taking notice of that.

After the coaching shakeups in the offseason, questions loomed on what would be next for Wisconsin. UW commits recruited by the former staff re-opened their recruitment to search for a new home. However, Fickell was able to pull some exciting prospects back.

The biggest surprise of the recruiting cycle was wide receiver Trech Kekahuna flipping to Wisconsin from Arizona on early signing day. But Fickell kept going, as he was able to bring back defensive lineman Jamel Howard just a few days ago.

The new staff was able to lure in some former UW commits to put the cherry on top of a solid recruiting class. There is something special brewing in Madison under the new regime.

Wisconsin football will now shift its attention to 2024. If this current class indicates what’s to come, the Badgers are in good hands under Luke Fickell.


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Wisconsin Football: Breaking Down the Badgers Newest DL Commit

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Wisconsin Football - Jamel Howard
Photo: Courtesy of Jamel Howard's Instagram

Madison, Wis. — On national signing day, Luke Fickell and his coaching staff received some news from Jamel Howard they’ve been desperately waiting to hear since he became the head coach of the Wisconsin football program. 

Howard, a three-star nose tackle out of Chicago, Illinois, who was previously committed to UW and trending towards the Michigan Wolverines, announced in front of friends and family that he was (re)committing to the University of Wisconsin and joining the 2023 class.

The three-star nose tackle chose Wisconsin over offers from Illinois, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Iowa State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, and several others.

According to the 247Sports composite rankings, with Howard’s addition, Wisconsin football has the No. 58 recruiting class in the country and the No. 12 rated class in the Big Ten.

However, UW’s average recruiting score of 87.32 was the fifth highest in the conference, trailing only Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, and Ohio State.

What is Wisconsin Football Getting With Jamel Howard?

Jamel Howard’s fit with the Wisconsin football program isn’t worth speculating about — he’s coming in to play nose tackle at the next level. 

The 6-foot-3, 320-pound defensive lineman finished his senior season with 53 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble, according to MaxPreps.

One thing that stands out with Howard, besides his size, is his strength; his ability to win with leverage and still show explosion. 

Some nose tackles are “leaners” who do nothing but occupy space and eat up blocks. Rest assured, Wisconsin football isn’t getting that from Howard. 

The three-star prospect moves well, is a good hand fighter, can occupy gaps, disrupt, and has upside as a pass-rusher who occasionally gets after the quarterback. 

Final Thoughts: 

Jamel Howard is a big recruiting win for Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football program. Although UW had inroads with Howard, it was an entirely different recruiting battle for his services the second time around. 

When he initially committed, Wisconsin was his best offer by far. Still, after programs evaluated him during his senior season, some big fish started circling, namely LSU, Michigan, Ole Miss, and Miami. All of which got him on campus for official visits. 

Coach Fickell and the new defensive line coach Greg Scruggs who most recently was an assistant with the Jets, stayed relentless in their pursuit and refused to be outworked. 

“The coaching staff was just very reassuring to me about what they needed me to come there and do,” Howard told Allen Trieu of 247Sports. “They said I was the guy they wanted. They kept saying that and making me feel that.”

Beating out an offer list featuring some heavy hitters is a victory in and of itself, but it also signals that Wisconsin football is getting ready to take the next step as a program on the recruiting trail.

Howard will provide some much-needed depth on the interior defensive line. With Keeanu Benton off to the NFL, Wisconsin football has only Gio Paez, Curt Neal, and Ben Barten returning at the position.


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