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March 20, 2013Follow @Jon_Gorman
In a new feature from BadgerBlitz.com, staff writer Jon Gorman will be answering questions from readers in his mailbag feature.
The following are the questions and answered submitted for the first installment:
Headizzle: Who are some players in our recent recruiting focus areas (Ohio and Illinois primarily) that the old staff had interest in that no longer seems to have carried over to this new staff?
Gorman: The new staff in general is putting less emphasis on the Midwest. With Dave Aranda, T.J. Woods and Bill Busch getting acclimated with Ohio, Illinois and Michigan, there have been some players whose recruitments have fallen by the wayside. Thaddeus Snodgrass and Clifton Garrett, in particular, are two guys who had Wisconsin in their top five at one point but likely no longer do due to a lack of contact.
There are also some guys in the South Florida area, as well, who are almost certainly not going to become Badgers. Khairi Clark and K.C. McDermott are long shots without ex-defensive line coach Charlie Partridge.
Jay in Toronto: Have there been any surprises, good or bad, recruiting for UW as opposed to past experiences?
Gorman: I'm not sure I would call it a surprise, since the staff said it early on, but the amount of offers in Arizona and Georgia are a little eye-opening. Those are two states where Wisconsin has not traditionally offered players in the past, never mind getting some of them on campus. It will be interesting to see what Busch, Ben Strickland and the rest of the staff will be able to do in those areas.
Badgewatcher: Who are the recruits that you believe that Wisconsin has the greatest or even the most realistic chance to land?
Gorman: Other than the in-state recruits, I think they have an excellent chance at linemen Brian Allen (if they want him) and Jamarco Jones. Jaden Gault and George Panos have been recruiting both of them on Twitter quite a bit. Allen obviously just visited, and Jones said that he plans on visiting again soon. Two other guys I would keep an eye on are Chris Beatty targets Christian Byrum and Daejuan Funderburk.
ChiefPT: From the recruits perspective, compare and contrast this staff versus Bret Bielema's approach, points of emphasis etc. Did BB use more social media to contact them, less social media? How are the "sales pitches" given to recruits to come to Wisconsin different from each staff?
Gorman: I think the sales pitches stay pretty constant: "We live in a great city, have great fans, and play in Rose Bowls." As far as social media, Chad Kauha'aha'a, Thomas Hammock and Strickland have been pretty active on Twitter, while Busch and Beatty use Facebook to talk to a lot of the kids. Outside of Partridge, I'm not sure the old staff was as adept at social media.
1. Which kids, with offers from the old staff, are still being recruited be the new staff?
2. With the new OC and DC, what changes in types of recruits will we see?
3. Who are the next kids to get offers in the 2014 class?
1. Dareian Watkins is a big name the old staff was in talks with and the new staff has shown renewed interest in. On top of him, Jamarco Jones remains a major target for the new staff.
2. The big one on offense is more mobility in quarterbacks. This has been talked about a lot now, but it looks like Andy Ludwig prefers a quarterback who can make plays with their feet when a play breaks down.
On defense they're putting a higher emphasis on size/speed combo than the last staff. Playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 requires a special kind of athlete, and there aren't too many guys on the current roster who can do it. Andrew Williams has been told that he's the number one overall player on the Badgers' board, and he likely would slot right into that position.
Changes at corner will also be likely. The 3-4 requires defensive backs who can play on an island. Getting quick but undersized guys and steadily putting weight on them worked fine in the zone schemes Chris Ash liked to run, but it might not be the answer anymore.
3. It's almost impossible to say since they're giving out offers all over the country. I think some likely candidates are Frank Ragnow and in-staters Dominic Cizauskas, Austin Roberts and Rickey Neal.
Rkstreff: Who do you think we'll land as the running back or running backs in this class?
Gorman: Had you asked me before the coaching change, I would have said Gerald Owens. Now I'm not so sure. Hammock has offered quite a few running backs, and it's tough to tell which one he has put a higher emphasis on. Christian McCaffrey, a four-star back from Colorado, recently had some positive things to say about Wisconsin.
In order to submit your questions, please email Gorman at email@example.com or contact him on Twitter at @Jon_Gorman