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July 2, 2014
Badger Watch 2: Quarterbacks
With summer camp complete and more commitments in place, Wisconsin has a better idea of what its 2015 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 2015 cycle.
Today, we reexamine the quarterbacks.
1. Last update: Badger Watch: Quarterbacks (4/21/14)
2. What's happened since April?
Nothing has changed for Wisconsin at the quarterback position. The only difference is that Kafentzis has now been committed to the Badgers for over a year and he visited again unofficially in June to help recruit for the staff.
The 6-foot-1, 194-pound prospect from Sandy (UT) Jordan was UW's first commitment in the 2015 class after he pledged to head coach Gary Andersen last June during the Badgers summer camp.
"Austin's biggest strength is his ability to compete," Kafentzis' high school coach, Eric Kjar, told BadgerBlitz.com. "He loves to compete he's a really competitive kid, which I think is huge at the quarterback position. They are instrumental in your success as an offense and a program, so that part is critical, and he does a great job of competing real well in practice, which turns into him competing really well in games.
"His work ethic is just incredible, too. He works his butt off and shows up every morning, does his conditioning, does his lifting and takes care of that side of it."
Kafentzis, who plans to enroll early at Wisconsin, is also pretty good at throwing the javelin and is a standout in the weight room.
3. What happens next?
Landing Kafentzis early in the process has allowed offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Andy Ludwig to hone in on the 2016 class. At this point, Wisconsin has extended five known offers at the position to Jarrett Guarantano, Seth Green, Dwayne Haskins Jr., Malik Henry and Brandon McIlwain. From that group, Green, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound prospect from Minnesota, is likely the most realistic option.
At camp last month, the staff also hosted two 2016 quarterbacks who performed well. In-state athlete Nathan Stanley, who already has an offer from Pittsburgh, showed off a strong arm and the ability to make plays with his feet, as did Steven Frank, a 6-foot-4, 218-pound junior-to-be from Illinois.
"Coach Ludwig said that I was pretty polished for how old I was," Frank told BadgerBlitz.com. "He likes my size and ability to throw the ball. He's going to watch my film one more time and get in touch with my coach. My school pretty much runs the same offense and Wisconsin does, so that works out pretty well.
"Coach Ludwig kind of talked about what they want at quarterback, someone who has a good arm but can also get out of the pocket. I think I can definitely do that with my athleticism."
Also keep an eye on Logan Byrd, Mikeal Washington, Jawon Pass and Kare' Lyles (father played for the Badgers), among others, in 2016.
4. Class Prediction:
Kafentzis will be the only scholarship quarterback Wisconsin signs in the 2015 class come February.