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June 2, 2014
In-state live evaluation recruiting wrap
It was an extremely busy live evaluation period (April 15 through May 31) for in-state prospects in Wisconsin's 2015 class.
After the dust settled on Sunday, 21 known juniors now hold an offer to play college football. From that group, five - Jon Dietzen (Wisconsin), David Pfaff (Wisconsin), Darion King (Western Michigan), Robby Pavletich (Eastern Michigan) and Andrew Poenitsch (Ball State) - have made a verbal commitment.
The following is a quick recruiting recap from the month of May for standouts from the Badger State:
Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen received some good news on the first Saturday night of May when Dietzen, a 6-foot-5, 334-pound lineman from Seymour, committed to the Badgers. The three-star standout, who made his commitment public at the Rivals Camp Series in Chicago the following day, chose UW over offers from Michigan State, Nebraska and Miami, among other schools.
Later in the month (May 21), Pfaff, a defensive lineman from Homestead, pledged to the Badgers on the same night he received a scholarship.
The 6-foot-1, 243-pound junior chose Wisconsin over offers from Illinois State, Iowa State, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, South Dakota State, Syracuse, Wake Forest and Western Michigan.
"Today (Tuesday) around 7:45 I got the opportunity to live out one of my dreams, a dream that I have had since November of 2007," Pfaff, who registered 35 tackles, including 12 for loss, and six sacks as a junior, communicated through social media. "I stepped into Camp Randall and fell in love with it.
"Today I was offered a full-ride scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and committed. I can't explain my emotions right now."
Five to watch at Wisconsin's camp on June 15
The Badgers will host an "elite" camp on June 15 with prospects from across the country expected in attendance. A handful of in-state athletes will make the trip to Madison with five in particular fighting for an offer from Wisconsin.
1) Offensive lineman Vince Hughes from Franklin recently hit double-digit scholarships. Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Central Michigan and New Mexico, among others, are already on his list, with Wisconsin, Iowa State and Michigan State all showing strong interest.
At 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds, Hughes is an athletic tackle with a great frame to add more weight. If he performs well, Wisconsin could extend an offer in hopes of adding Hughes to its offensive line class that already includes Dietzen and Michigan's David Moorman. His teammate at Franklin, fellow lineman Bryan Beck, picked up an offer from Montana State last week.
2) Athlete Alec Ingold currently holds scholarships from Air Force, Central Michigan, Illinois State, Miami (Ohio), North Dakota State and Northern Illinois. Wisconsin and Iowa State have been showing strong interest to Ingold, who has a preference to play quarterback at the next level, the position he currently plays at Bay Port. The Badgers are highly interested but project the two-star prospect on the defensive side of the ball in college - either safety or outside linebacker.
3) Linebacker Jake Whalen from Wausau West has two offers from Air Force and South Dakota State but could see that list expand in June. With linebacker a big position of emphasis for the Badgers, Whalen is worth keeping an eye on.
4) Linebacker Dyson Chmura, the younger brother of Michigan State tight end, Dylan Chmura, could be on the cusp of more high-major offers. His teammate at Waukesha West, Marcus Kelly, is also someone who could earn a Division 1 scholarship this summer.
5) It's a bit surprising that offensive lineman Nathan Veloz does not yet hold an offer, but that should change this month after a busy camp schedule. The Oak Creek standout performed very well at the Rivals Camp Series in Chicago and is a thick interior lineman who can move well at 6-foot-4 and 331 pounds.
"Veloz is a brawler on the inside at guard who did a good job most of the day moving his feet, staying in front of his opponent and fighting until the end of the rep. He also took more reps than most of the offensive linemen and never seemed to fatigue. A pure inside guy, he could be a road grader in the run game and a wide body to deal with in pass protection. He's hungry, he's mean and he's a high-effort kid."
Odds and Ends
After a strong performance at the Rivals Camp Series in Chicago, offensive lineman Jordan Steckler picked up offers from Montana State, North Dakota and Air Force. He's on the radar of a number of high-major schools, including Wisconsin and Minnesota.
"After the first half of the offensive line/defensive line one-on-one session, an argument could be made that there was not a more dominant offensive lineman than the 6-foot-5, 296-pound Steckler. He faded some down the stretch, but still posted an outstanding day. Steckler worked exclusively on the interior and has good length, bulk, strength and feet for the offensive guard or center positions."
Arguably one of the best athletes in the state, Zack Baun picked up offer No. 1 from South Dakota State last week. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound junior helped Brown Deer to a Division 3 state title in basketball this winter and will compete at state this weekend for track in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, high jump and 4x200 meter relay team
Veloz's teammate at Oak Creek, cornerback Elijah Strong, received an offer from Air Force. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Rivals camper has taken a number of visits this winter and spring
Jaxon Brown, a projected safety from Eau Claire Regis, now has scholarship offers from Fordham and South Dakota State
No offers to report just yet, but Oregon's Josh Sromovsky is now a three-star prospect after performing very well at the Rivals Camp Series in Chicago.
"The surprise of the camp was the underdog lover's choice for wide receiver MVP at the camp. He came in with zero fanfare and is leaving at the very least a MAC-level career. Sromovsky ran good routes, was able to get deep consistently and showed excellent ball skills. He can't approach Miles Boykin when it comes to size and natural ability, but some could argue he had a better day overall. It was close and he made a name for himself."
Demaris Purifoy, a projected running back from Wauwatosa West, has offers from Illinois State, North Dakota and North Dakota State
2016 class expected to be strong
Everyone is well aware of Arrowhead offensive lineman Ben Bredeson, who holds an offer from Wisconsin and is in early discussion for five-star status amongst the Rivals.com staff.
But a handful of other prospects figure to garner high-major offers, with Menomonie quarterback Nathan Stanley receiving his first from Pittsburgh last week.
Monona Grove running back Toren Young, who ran behind UW freshman lineman Jaden Gault last fall, is garnering serious interest from Wisconsin. Young, along with Greendale linebacker Tristian Pipp, performed very well in Chicago.
"The entire contingent from the state of Wisconsin showed out really well on Sunday, and Pipp was a good example. The Milwaukee-area recruit has not garnered a lot of recruiting attention yet, but at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds he plays with great length and went head-to-head with the top running backs and tight ends at the camp, coming away with several pass break-ups."
"The 5-foot-11, 206-pound Young is a thickly-built, bull of a running back who looks like he should have no problem pounding the football between the tackles. Sunday's camp also showed us he has some good skills out in space as well. He made one of the most impressive catches of the day when he elevated for a ball thrown high and behind him and came down with it even after landing on his back."
Finally, Jason Weah, Johnny Duranso, Bryce Monti, Alvin Burris, Luke Roberts, Colin Sabel, Jerad Swan, Jaret Curtis and Shannon Nunnery are already on the radar for a handful of Division 1 schools.