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June 13, 2014

Chance for a special weekend in Madison

Wisconsin received three commitments last year in the month of June during camp season from Austin Hudson and Michael Deiter - both of whom were on campus - and Taiwan Deal, who made the call from Maryland.

This year, the staff has amped up the intensity with a decorated list of uncommitted visitors, current commits and hopeful campers all expected to be in Madison throughout the weekend.

The following is a breakdown of what could be a huge recruiting weekend for the Badgers.

Commits on campus to recruit

Gary Andersen and his coaching staff will have five other recruiters on campus this weekend to help promote the University of Wisconsin.

In-staters David Pfaff and Jon Dietzen will make the drive to campus while Austin Kafentzis and Kyle Penniston are flying in for unofficial visits. Kafentzis, a three-star quarterback, committed to the Badgers at UW's camp last June while Penniston, a four-star tight end, camped in Madison at the same time and eventually earned a scholarship later in the process.

Finally, three-star lineman David Moorman will be part of a big Michigan contingent heading to Wisconsin. The 6-foot-5, 291-pound prospect has made it very clear he's looking to add more athletes from his home state to the Badgers' roster.

Michigan invades Wisconsin

Moorman and the rest of Wisconsin's commits will have four huge targets from the Wolverine State on campus this weekend in Mike Weber, Joshua Alabi, Brian Cole and Thiyo Lukusa.

Weber, a four-star running back, is arguably UW's top target at the position. He has the Badgers in his top group along with Michigan State and Ohio State, with Michigan, among others, still in the picture.

Alabi, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle, would be a huge get for Jeff Genyk, though Tennessee and Michigan State will be make it very tough for the Badgers. The same crowd of schools is also heavily involved with Cole, who will get his first look at Wisconsin.

Lukuska, one of the top 2016 linemen in the Midwest, has Wisconsin in his top group along with the Spartans and Wolverines. It's early, but getting the 6-foot-5, 300-pound prospect out of Michigan will be difficult.

The campers

Wisconsin's camp has traditionally produced a handful of commitments and there's no reason to think the 2014 version will be any different. The offensive line and linebacker groups, in particular, will be under close evaluation by the coaching staff.

Note: This list does not include every camper expected to be on campus Sunday


Wisconsin's quarterback for the 2015 class, Utah's Austin Kafentzis, will be on campus this weekend. He's the only prospect at the position the Badgers are looking to sign, which will likely make it more of a learning experience for in-state signal caller James Morgan.

UW is still wide open in 2016, however, and it will be a good chance for Mikeal Washington to work in front of coordinator Andy Ludwig. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound sophomore does not yet have any offers but possesses the dual-threat qualities Andersen covets.

Running backs

Thomas Brown is in the mix for a handful of top national targets -- Mike Weber being near or at the top of his list. But he'll also get a chance to evaluate junior Markell Jones, who is making another visit to Madison. Madison East's Jamari Manuel is also expected to be in attendance.

In the 2016 class, Toren Young is making a push for the top in-state prospect not named Ben Bredeson. The Monona Grove standout has already visited Wisconsin unofficially and performed very well in May at the Rivals Camp Series in Chicago.

In the same class, Matt Falcon is expected to compete at camp. The Michigan standout has early offers from Cincinnati and Ohio State.


There's not a huge need at wide receiver after signing five in the 2014 class, so it will be difficult for C.J. Johnson, Josh Sromovsky, Chase Scharnek and Corde O'Neal to leave with an offer, especially with Brandyn Lee, who already holds a scholarship, on campus.

Johnson and O'Neal are both high on Wisconsin's list while Sromovsky, an in-state standout from Oregon, vaulted to three-star status after his Rivals Camp Series performance in May. Scharnek is still looking for his first offer.

At the tight end position, Western Michigan commit Darion King will camp in hopes of earning an offer. At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, King has limited football experience but possesses excellent size and athleticism. Junior Richard Burney will also be on campus. His father played at Wisconsin in the late 1970s.

Offensive linemen

If you had to pick just one position group to watch Sunday, your time would be well spent with the offensive linemen. Position coach T.J. Woods will have a number of intriguing prospects to work with and there's a good chance a scholarship or two could be thrown out.

Four-star Sam Madden is the headliner and he could leave Madison on Wisconsin's commit list if everything goes well this weekend. Behind him, in-state tackle Vince Hughes has a huge opportunity in front of him. The Franklin standout is up to double-digit offers and would likely jump on a UW scholarship if it's presented to him.

Other in-state linemen include Ian Dretzka, Nathan Veloz, Jordan Steckler, Ian Dretzka and Nolan Kern. Adam Holtorf, who has visited a handful of times, will also make the trip from Nebraska. He's listed as a defensive tackle but the Badgers project him at offensive tackle.

In the 2016 class, out-of-state prospects Jake Heinrich (Iowa) and Sam Schlueter (Minnesota) will get a chance to perform for Woods.

Defensive linemen

In-state prospects Marcus Kelly and Andrew Ruzek are two to watch at the end position. Kelly is still searching for his first offer while Ruzek has great size at 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds.


Linebacker will definitely be another strong group to pay close attention to. Nick Thomas committed on Thursday, but the staff is still looking for more athletes to add to the position.

Wisconsin standouts Alec Ingold, Dyson Chmura and Jake Whalen are all high on the staff's recruiting board. Ingold, who ran a 4.61 at Iowa State's camp last week, could play either safety or outside backer, while Whalen projects inside. Chmura plays on both sides of the ball in high school but the Badgers like him on the outside as well.

Justin Tranquill and Noah Lazaro headline the group of junior out-of-state backers. Tranquill's older brother, Drue Tranquill, is headed to Notre Dame while Lazaro, from Nebraska, has offers from Army and Ohio and could be a sleeper heading into the weekend.

In 2016, don't be surprised if Ethan Tucky leaves with an offer in hand. The 6-foot-2, 213-pound sophomore from Ohio has early scholarships from Boston College, Eastern Michigan and Toledo, with interest coming from the majority of the Big Ten.

Defensive backs

Wisconsin picked up two cornerbacks last Friday from Texas -- X'zavien Ausborne and Takadrae Williams -- so Antonio Shenault will likely have to blow the staff away in order to earn an offer.

Jaxon Brown, a projected safety, is making the trip from Eau Claire. He has scholarships from South Dakota State and Fordham.

June 13 campers

In-state sophomores Luke Roberts, Bryce Monti and Alvin Burris will all compete Friday evening.

*High School Individual Skills Camp - Friday night under the lights - June 13
*Specialist Camp - June 13
*7 on 7 Passing Camp - June 14
*Football Elite Individual Camp - June 15
*Football Youth Camp - June 16-17

Impressive group of uncommitted visitors

Brandyn Lee, a 6-foot, 168-pound wide receiver from California

Wisconsin is Lee's best offer at this point with Fresno State, Nevada and Washington State also on his scholarship list. It definitely wouldn't be surprising to see him pop for the Badgers while on campus.

Mohamed Barry, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound safety from Georgia

I get the feeling Barry has Wisconsin atop his list after the visit but leaves without committing. He wants to visit Syracuse and may make a few more trips before a projected summer commitment.

Kyler Manu, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound outside linebacker from Idaho

It would take a special visit to get Manu to flip from Boise State. This unofficial visit, however, will likely make Wisconsin a serious contender for his services. Still a ways down the road, but Manu will likely be back on campus this fall for an official visit.

Duke Shelley, a 5-foot-9, 155-pound cornerback from Georgia

Things could go either way for Shelley. He's definitely a take for the staff and they will do everything they can to land his verbal while on campus. The Badgers do have some leverage with two commits already in hand at the position.

Chris Orr, a 6-foot, 207-pound linebacker from Texas

As mentioned, Thomas is already in the fold at middle linebacker but Wisconsin needs some more bodies at the position. Orr wants to earn an offer from Arkansas, but a good visit could lead to a commitment.

David Edwards, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound tight end from Illinois

Edwards is ready to choose from Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. This will be his last visit to Madison before his decision. Right now, it appears the Illini are in the lead but Wisconsin is definitely a strong contender.

Marquise Copeland, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end from Ohio

Copeland told me his plan was to visit Madison this weekend, so the trip is not 100 percent solid. Definitely not someone on the "commitment watch" list, but it will be a good opportunity for the staff to build a relationship with the three-star prospect.

Wisconsin NEWS


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