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December 19, 2013
Badger Watch 3: Wide receivers
With the regular season over and just a few weeks left before Signing Day, Wisconsin has a better idea of what its 2014 recruiting class will look like. Over the next two weeks, BadgerBlitz.com will reanalyze UW's recruiting efforts with a position-by-position breakdown of targets to see how the Badgers will fill their 2014 class.
Today, we provide a final look at the wide receivers.
1. Last update: Badger Watch: Wide receivers (7/8/13)
2. What's happened since July?
The Badgers missed on their top target at the position when Jalen Brown committed to Oregon, but the staff has rebounded extremely well.
Three-star Chris Jones was the first to commit to Wisconsin, choosing the Badgers over in-state Maryland, among others. Jones will once again team up with four-star running back commit Taiwan Deal, as Wisconsin continues to build a pipeline into DeMatha Catholic High School.
Less than a month later, three-star ex-Georgia commit Krenwick Sanders decided pledge to the Badgers after being wowed on an official visit in September. Sanders, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, has had an extremely impressive season at Wayne County High School in Georgia, earning offensive player of the year honors.
"Let me tell you, there's not a better receiver down here than Krenwick Sanders," Wayne County High School head coach Jody Grooms told BadgerBlitz.com. "They don't come out of here with the highest rankings, but they're ready to compete when they get to college. Tre Jackson was about a two- or three-star out of high school but he's probably going to be a top 20 pick in the draft when he comes out of Florida State."
Vanguard (Florida) product Natrell Jamerson committed to Wisconsin shortly after an official visit in November. Unlike the other two, Jamerson projects more in the slot, occupying a similar role to the one Kenzel Doe currently owns. The two-star receiver chose Wisconsin over Florida International, UAB and Old Dominion, among others.
"He (Jamerson) said he really enjoyed the trip there and really liked everything," Jamerson's prep coach, Alex Castaneda, told BadgerBlitz.com. "He said the weight room was really nice and was right up there with Florida's. The facilities were all new and he said the people were great. I'm not surprised that he committed.
"He's a great kid who will have a lot of success there. Coach Chris Beatty is a great coach and he'll do great working under him."
Finally, Beatty was able land four-star Dareian Watkins after he decommitted from Northwestern. Watkins, an Ohio native, could have an immediate impact when he arrives on campus.
"Wisconsin has always been the right place since I visited my sophomore year," Watkins told BadgerBlitz.com. "Coach Beatty coming to Wisconsin was something unexpected and a huge blessing for me personally.
"The more I got to know coach (Gary) Andersen the more I knew I was meant to be a Badger. The fans and the atmosphere had me hooked from the 10th grade. Coach Beatty was very excited, but I don't think he ever doubted that I would play for him at Wisconsin."
3. What happens next?
The Badgers have clearly needed a major re-haul in their wide receiver corps, and it appears they are satisfied with the four listed above.
One exception could come from four-star receiver Jamil Kamara, who is deciding between Wisconsin, Pittsburgh and Virginia. Kamara has named Wisconsin his leader in the past, but recent visits to Pitt and Virginia have tightened up the race. He is set to announce Jan. 4 and many expect the Cavaliers to come out on top.
4. Class Prediction:
I think Kamara stays close to home at Virginia, and the Badgers stick with a very solid four-man class of Jones, Sanders, Watkins and Jamerson. Expect a very different look at wide receiver in 2014.