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May 14, 2013

Badger Watch: Running backs

With spring football over, recruiting takes center stage for Wisconsin's coaching staff. Over the next two weeks, BadgerBlitz.com will analyze UW's recruiting efforts with a position-by-position breakdown of targets to see how the Badgers will fill their 2014 recruiting class.

Today, we continue our series at running back.

1. How many will Wisconsin take?

James White is set to graduate at the conclusion of the 2013 season, and the Badgers would like to replace him with one larger back and one smaller back. The status of Vonte Jackson is still up in the air as well after two serious knee injuries.

2. Who has Wisconsin landed so far?

No one, although they have received visits from Taiwan Deal and L.J. Scott.

3. Who's off the board?

Christian McCaffrey had Wisconsin in his top 10 before he committed to his father's alma mater, Stanford. Treyvon Paulk, Jeff Jones and Nick Wilson, meanwhile, had offers but have since committed to Tennessee, Minnesota and Arizona, respectively.

4. Which recruits does Wisconsin have the best shot at landing?

The Badgers sit well with both Deal and Scott, and if they wanted both I think they could get both. That seems unlikely, however, as they would both fit the "big back" mold the staff is looking for. Another option is three-star back Aeris Williams, who also has offers from Mississippi and Mississippi State, but was originally from Wisconsin (Racine).

None of the smaller, speed backs offered so far seem like realistic candidates for the Badgers. Ray Lawry and Robert Martin could be candidates for an offer if the Badgers decide to extend more at the position.

5. Any long shots out there?

The good news for the Badgers when it comes to Joe Mixon's recruitment is that he has said Wisconsin is one of three teams standing out to him. The bad news, however, is that the other two programs are Georgia and Oklahoma, which are two of only a few schools that can boast the kind of running back success Wisconsin has had over the years. But if there is an elite running back who is going to join the Badgers this year, it's going to be Mixon, who is looking to visit Madison before his senior season.

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