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May 30, 2013

Sweet 16: May Edition

The Sweet 16 ranking is based on a combination of three factors: position need, interest in Wisconsin and talent level.

BadgerBlitz.com Sweet 16 | BadgerBlitz.com |

2013 Rank Pos Ht/Wt Schools
1 Joe Mixon
Oakley (CA) Freedom
RB 6-2/207 list

The reason behind the rating: Mixon makes his first appearance in the Sweet 16 at the top spot. The recently minted five-star back from California has Wisconsin in his top three along with Oklahoma and Georgia. That, however, was before a recent offer from Oregon, which came this week.
Also in the mix: Offers from: Oregon, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Georgia, UCLA, USC, Tennessee and Texas, among others.
The skinny: Mixon has now reached 50 scholarship offers and is one of the hottest prospects in the country. Wisconsin will likely be able to get him on campus for an official visit, which is a victory in itself. If the Badgers could secure a verbal commitment from Mixon, he would arguably be the top and most heralded recruit in the program's history.
2 D.J. Gillins
Jacksonville (FL) Ribault

The reason behind the rating: Gillins, who was offered Wednesday evening, is arguably Wisconsin's top target at quarterback with Kyle Allen and DeShone Kizer out of the picture. The offer puts Wisconsin is Gillins' top five along Boston College, Arizona, Louisville and Duke."
Offers from: Boston College, Arizona, Louisville, Wisconsin and Duke, among others
The skinny: Gillins is the dual-threat option offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig is looking for in this class. Coming off an ACL tear that limited his junior season, it will be interesting to see the numbers Gillins is able to put in 2012. "Wisconsin has a new staff and they're known for their offensive linemen, so I'd be very well protected. Their quarterback situation is great."
3 Gaelin Elmore
Somerset (WI)

The reason behind the rating: Elmore doesn't have a monster offer list but the in-state tight end is a huge target for Wisconsin in 2014. He's a perfect fit for the in-line end the Badgers want in the current class.
Offers from: Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa State and Indiana, among others
The skinny: After previously naming Nebraska his leader, Elmore now has Wisconsin and Iowa State in front. Look for the Badgers to eventually win this battle. "I'm narrowing down my interest levels in schools. I'm not against making my decision this summer."
4 Nicodem Pierre
Miami (FL) Coral Reef
QB 6-2/203

The reason behind the rating: Though he received an offer ahead of Gillins, Pierre's recruitment will likely drag on past his senior season, making Gillins a more immediate priority for Wisconsin.
Offers from: Duke, Louisville, Nebraska, Kansas State and Wake Forest, among others.
The skinny: Pierre is another athletic option at quarterback with the ability to hurt defenses with his arm and legs. As mentioned, he's going to take his time before trimming his list of schools. "Right now, all the schools are still in play. My interest is open to all schools. I'm going to wait until the end of my senior season to really key in on my top three or four schools."
5 Mike Gesicki
Manahawkin (N.J.) Southern Regional
TE 6-6/215 list

The reason behind the rating: Gesicki, who has seen his scholarship list explode this month, recently released a top four of Wisconsin, Penn State, Rutgers and Ohio State. After visiting in February, look for the New Jersey prospect to make a return trip either this summer or later in the year for an official visit.
Top 4: Ohio State, Wisconsin, Rutgers and Penn State
The skinny: Gesicki is the athletic H-back Wisconsin is looking for in this class. The staff faces tough competition with the three others schools Gesicki is also considering, but another solid visit could put the Badgers atop his list. "I definitely like the kind of offensive system that coach Ludwing, the offensive coordinator who is coming in, runs."
6 Taiwan Deal
Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha

The reason behind the rating: The bruising running back from Maryland has been in close contact with Thomas Hammock and is an ideal fit in Wisconsin's power-run attack.
Offers from: Boston College, Iowa, Michigan State, Tennessee, Purdue and Vanderbilt, among others
The skinny: Deal was on campus this spring for an unofficial and was already talking about a return visit just hours after he returned home."My visit to Wisconsin went really well, I enjoyed myself," Deal told BadgerBlitz.com. "I had a great time. It was a great experience and I look forward to going back."
7 L.J. Scott
Marion (OH) Marion Harding

The reason behind the rating: Like Deal, Scott likely fits the mold of the "big back" Wisconsin is looking for in 2014. His interest appears to be very high after visiting in April.
Offers from: Indiana, Kent State, Louisville, Minnesota, Michigan State and Wisconsin
The skinny: Scott didn't come out and say it, but it's very likely Wisconsin leads for his services early on. "It was awesome," Scott told BadgerBlitz.com of his visit. "The hospitality of the coaches and the entire Wisconsin organization was very comforting. A place me and my family can feel good about calling home for four years if I decide to choose them."
8 Tyler Burke
Coatesville (PA) Coatesville Area Senior

The reason behind the rating: Burke has Wisconsin in his top three along with Maryland and Rutgers and has been in steady contact with both Dave Aranda and Hammock. Look for Wisconsin to push to get him on campus this summer.
Top 3: Wisconsin, Maryland and Rutgers
The skinny: With the switch to a 3-4 defense, Burke would fill a big need at outside linebacker for the Badgers, who will likely graduate three starters at linebacker at the conclusion of the 2013 season. "Wisconsin, they came through the school two times and they really want me to visit, so I'll go out there, too."
9 Jon Bezny
Cincinnati (OH) Mariemont
6-5/272 list

The reason behind the rating: After an unofficial visit this week, Wisconsin is now very much a player in Bezney's recruitment. "Oh yes, Wisconsin is definitely in the top group," Bezney told BadgerBlitz.com.
Offers from: Boston College, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Louisville, Wake Forest and Cincinnati, among others
The skinny: Bezney, who carries a 4.83 GPA and has already scored a 34 on the ACT, will be looking for a strong academic school, so Wisconsin will have some strong competition with Vanderbilt, among other schools. The Ohio native would fill a big need in this class with the ability to play either guard or tackle at the next level.
10 Dvonta Derricott
Garden City (KS) Garden City C.C.
LB 6-1/230 list

The reason behind the rating: Derricott, a junior college linebacker, recently placed Wisconsin in his top five. He could provide immediate help to a unit that will be hit hard by graduation at the conclusion of the upcoming season. West Virginia, South Florida, Kansas and Iowa are also in play.
Top 5: Wisconsin, West Virginia, South Florida, Kansas and Iowa
The skinny: Wisconsin will be able to preach early playing time to Derricott, who will have two years of eligibility remaining at whatever college he selects. "Wisconsin, I'm going to visit in the fall, too. I don't know when yet, but I'm setting up a visit date. That's a winning program and a program I'm going to consider for sure."
11 Tyler Powell
Midlothian (VA) Cosby
DE 6-5/252

The reason behind the rating: Though he carries a two-star ranking, Powell has seen a number of scholarships come his way this spring and summer. Wisconsin jumped on him early and look for the Virginia standout to make his way to Madison either this summer or fall.
Offers from: Boston College, Michigan State, Syracuse, Purdue, West Virginia and Indiana, among others
The skinny: Powell, who is being recruited by Chris Beatty, is versatile enough to play a few spots on the defensive line. "I'm really looking for a community atmosphere. Where the whole school feels close and you can go around and feel like family. And I want a really good degree so I can come out in the workforce and have a leg up."
12 Darius West
Lima (OH) Lima Central Catholic
5-11/196 list

The reason behind the rating: West, who appeared to be a Kentucky lock, recently pushed back his college decision. That benefits Wisconsin, which will now try and get him on campus this summer. West's top four includes the two mentioned schools, along with Louisville and Michigan State.
Top 4: Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State and Wisconsin
The skinny: Kentucky is still believed to be the favorite but look for West to make it to Wisconsin before he announces. "Bret Bielema was recruiting me real hard before he left, but once he left it took awhile for me to get in contact with them (UW). When they first contacted me is when they offered."
13 Michael Deiter
Genoa (OH) Genoa Area

The reason behind the rating: Dieter, who visited for the spring game, appeared close to committing to Wisconsin but has since backed away from making a quick decision. "Maybe not as soon as I thought," Deiter told BadgerBlitz.com when asked about a decision. "I don't know who my leader is right now."
Top 3: Wisconsin, West Virginia and Nebraksa
The skinny: Wisconsin may very well be waiting on Bezney's decison before moving forward with Deiter. Regardless, the Badgers are still in his top three along wit West Virginia and Nebraska. "I've always been a Wisconsin fan growing up so it was cool."
14 Mike Edwards
Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods
S 5-11/182 list

The reason behind the rating: Another prospect who has Wisconsin in his top group, Edwards has UW in his top six along with Louisville, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, West Virginia and Nebraska. And like West, Kentucky could lead for his services.
Top 6: Louisville, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Nebraska
The skinny: The Badgers offered earlier this month but still managed to crack Edwards' top group. "Wisconsin is another school where I think I can fit in perfect with their defense. I talk to coach Bill Busch and trying to build a good connection."
15 Thomas Wilson
Buford (GA)
5-10/176 list

The reason behind the rating: Of the numerous prospects from Georgia who now hold offers from Wisconsin, Wilson is one of the most realistic options on the staffs' radar. Wilson has talked about visiting Madison this summer.
Offers from: Arizona, Duke, Illinois, Georgia Tech, Missouri, Tennessee and UCF, among others
The skinny: Wisconsin is clearly looking to make some connections in Georgia and landing Wilson, from powerhouse Buford High School, would be huge for the Badgers moving forward. "I think Wisconsin's tradition and their consistent winning stands out to me the most right now. Wisconsin, West Virginia, Georgia Tech, East Carolina and Missouri are the schools I plan on visiting this summer, as of right now."
16 Troy Vincent
Baltimore (MD) Gilman School

The reason behind the rating: Nevermind that his father, Troy Vincent Sr., was a standout for the Badgers under Barry Alvarez. Wisconsin needs a big-time cornerback and the youngest Vincent is just that. Staying close to home, however, could factor into his decision.
Offers from: Arizona State, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan, North Carolina, Maryland and Georgia Tech, among others
The skinny: Vincent is clearly a top target for Wisconsin in this class for a number of reasons. The Badgers will always have a special place in his family's history, but Gary Andersen will have to topple some of the top programs in the country to win Vincent's services. Penn State is believed to be the leader with Maryland, Georgia Tech and North Carolina also in the mix.

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