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June 23, 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 answers submitted for the fifth installment:
CC Manhattan: Safety has to undoubtedly be Wisconsin's thinnest position. With the two recent subtractions (Reggie Mitchell and Donnell Vercher) what kind of incoming numbers do you envision and how big of role do potential junior college kids have at this position?
Gorman: Despite the losses, I don't expect the number of incoming freshmen to change at the position. Recruiting with the mindset that freshmen are going to be playing immediately is dangerous, and I doubt the staff takes any more than one or two safeties in 2014.
Additionally, the coaches have probably known about the losses for a couple weeks now, yet no new known junior college offers have gone out, so I suspect they are more confident with the players they have at the position than the outside observers are. With T.J. Reynard and Sojourn Shelton potentially poised for snaps at cornerback next to penciled-in starter Peniel Jean, I could see Darius Hillary being moved back over to safety. Hillary has been learning both positions and that could be the smoothest transition. Michael Trotter, Isaiah Williams, Michael Caputo, Kyle Zuleger, Leo Musso and converted running back Jeffery Lewis are other options.
Sullybear: With the possibility of UW taking up to six offensive linemen in this class, who are some out-of-state and in-state kids who could earn offers? What offensive linemen with offers does UW have a chance with?
Gorman: In-state linemen Kory Kodanko (brother of Badgers walk-on Riki Kodanko) and Jacob Maxwell have committed to Iowa State and Northern Illinois, respectively, and could be candidates for a flip later down the line. The Badgers have also had at least some contact with Brookfield Central's Luke Rasmussen, Green Bay Southwest's Max Scharping and Osceloa's Thor Riemer.
In terms of out-of-state, the likeliest name is Brendan Brosnan, who will be on campus Monday. He has the tall but lean frame that T.J. Woods seems to prefer, and it would be surprising if he left without an offer.
"I'm just building a relationship with coach (Jeff) Genyk him and coach Woods," Brosnan told Rivals.com. "They didn't have a chance to see me work out this spring, so this will be a great opportunity to work out and show them what I can do and hopefully get an offer."
Another possibility is Frank Ragnow, who was shown interest early by Gary Andersen but has yet to receive an offer. Ragnow will likely have to come on campus to receive an offer, but it doesn't appear he has immediate plans to.
If I had to guess right now, I think the 2014 Wisconsin offensive line class will be comprised of Jaden Gault, George Panos, Michael Deiter, Jon Bezney and Brendan Brosnan.
Pezfez: 1. How many defensive linemen do you think Wisconsin will take -- better make room for Connor Humphreys?
2. It's slow on the wide receiver scene, both at targets and possibilities. (Trevon Lee needs to have UW in his top 5)?
3. Why are they going to take six offensive linemen? That leaves little or no room for 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 TEs, 2 WRs, or 2 safeties like they want.
Gorman: 1. I had guessed Wisconsin would take three defensive linemen early on in the process, but the staff obviously has three (or two-and-a-half) committed defensive linemen and they have continued to extend offers at the position. I think now they will take at least five, including potentially one more nose tackle as insurance for Craig Evans. Interestingly, outside of Ainuu Taua, who is under 300 pounds but sports a wide body, there is no one who would appear to be a natural fit at nose tackle who currently holds an offer. Is the staff more confident in Evans' commitment than most outsiders? We will soon find out.
2. The most likely out-of-state wide receiver is Chris Jones, who will soon be on campus with DeMatha (Maryland) teammate Taiwan Deal. The Badgers should be on commitment watch for Deal, but also potentially Jones as soon as they step on campus.
The Badgers also just made the top nine for Jalen Brown, their top target at the position. They'll continue to push for Brown and out of the rest of their offers, Kenric Young and Kadeem Goulbourne are the most likely backup plans. Trevon Lee and Emanuel Beal are other possibilities, but those are longer shots.
Finally there is Jamil Kamara, who has Wisconsin in his top seven. Don't expect the Badgers to make his next cut, as he has visited just about every school on his list besides Wisconsin, and has no immediate plans to come to Madison.
3. I don't think they necessarily are going to take six offensive linemen. If the rumors about Jake Meador are accurate and he is leaving the team, taking five offensive linemen in 2014 would leave the Badgers with 15, which is exactly the number Andersen has said he's wanted.