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December 24, 2013
Badger Watch 3: Linebackers
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 linebackers.
1. Last update: Badger Watch: Linebackers (7/14/13)
2. What's happened since July?
Wisconsin has been very selective in its linebacker offers in this class. And the staff was able to land arguably their top target at the boundary linebacker position in Rohan Blackwood. The three-star Brooksville, Fla., native committed soon after visiting Wisconsin in early September.
Blackwood, 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, is adept at rushing the passer and should occupy the role senior Brendan Kelly currently plays.
"Wisconsin has been all in on Rohan from the start," Nature Coast assistant coach Rob Kazmeir told BadgerBlitz.com. "Dave Aranda was at our spring game and then he hung out with coach (Gary) Andersen at a camp down in Miami.
"Rohan has been very high on Wisconsin lately. The trip to Madison sealed the deal."
While for a long time it looked like the Badgers were done at the position with Blackwood and in-stater Dominic Cizauskas, Wisconsin moved quickly and flipped three-star TJ Edwards, who had been committed to Western Michigan.
Edwards played primarily quarterback for his Lakes Community (IL) High School team but certainly hits like a linebacker. He should join Cizauskas in the middle of the Badgers' defense.
"Wisconsin likes me as an inside linebacker," said Edwards, who was recruited by Jeff Genyk. "Coach Genyk said he wants to get me up to 235 or 240 pounds for a good playing weight. I think my athletic ability is something that really stood out to them.
"He's (Genyk) awesome. He was very open with me from the start. He was very truthful and honest."
Edwards, 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, plans to take his official visit to Wisconsin on Jan 17.
3. What happens next?
It appears the Badgers are set at linebacker with Cizauskas, Blackwood and Edwards. Earlier in the fall, Wisconsin had extended select offers to JUCO linebackers (Richard Dorvilus and Errol Clarke) but with the number of spots in the class dwindling, the likelihood of bringing one on is small.
Michael Lazarus (Fresno State) and Jakob Johnson (Tennessee) were also targets this fall, while Tegray Scales and Raymon Minor remain uncommitted.
4. Class Prediction:
Wisconsin doesn't have anyone to man its field outside linebacker spot yet, but the Boundary, MAC, and Rover positions should be occupied by Blackwood, Cizauskas, and Edwards, respectively.