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July 3, 2014

Badger Watch 2: Running backs





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 running backs | QUARTERBACKS |

1. Last update: Badger Watch: Running backs (4/22/14)

2. What's happened since April?

It's hasn't been a terribly active spring for Wisconsin and its running back targets. Arguably the biggest piece of news was Mike Weber making it back to campus after visiting unofficially in late March. The four-star prospect from Michigan could very well be Thomas Brown's top target at the position, but Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Miami, among others, will make it very difficult for the Badgers to land his services. With two unofficial visits under his belt, however, Weber does have legit interest in Wisconsin heading into the fall.

The Badgers also found themselves in the top group for both Ty'Son Williams and Devine Ozigbo. Williams, a three-star standout from South Carolina, has UW, Notre Dame, Clemson and the in-state Gamecocks atop his list.

"I want to visit all of my final four schools but I don't have them scheduled yet," Williams told BadgerBlitz.com. "The biggest factor to me will be having established relationship with the coaches. Right now they are all even.

"I really like how Wisconsin uses their running backs. That's what sticks out to me about Wisconsin."

Ozigbo, a three-star back from Texas, has the Badgers in his top eight but could be ready to make a decision before he visits Madison. Iowa looks to be the favorite at this point in his recruitment.

In other news at the position, long-time Wisconsin target Jordan Scarlett decommitted from Florida Atlantic but the four-star standout is focused on Miami, Ohio State, Florida State and South Carolina moving forward.

Finally, T.J. Simmons (UCLA), Mikell Lands-Davis (Georgia Tech) and Alex Anderson (West Virginia) all committed to other schools since the last update. All three had offers from Wisconsin. Cedar Hill (Tex.) tailback Aca'Cedric Ware also listed a top six of USC, Iowa, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame and Arizona State.

3. What happens next?

Wisconsin's huge recruiting run in June addressed a number of positions but the staff is still looking for their first running back in a class that is expected to have two scholarships tailbacks. Recruiting fans are getting impatient, but there are still a number of quality targets available.

*Weber is a legit option and he'll likely take an official visit this fall. Same for Williams, though his decision is expected this summer.

*Wisconsin will still heavily recruit both Jordan Stevenson (Texas) and Rocky Reid (Tennessee), among others, despite commitments to other schools. Stevenson, a three-star back from Dallas, is teammates with UW commits Xzavien Ausborne and Takadrae Williams, while Reid was high on the Badgers before he pledged to the Volunteers in early April. Expect both to take an official visit to Madison this fall.

*Mon Denson and Davon Crookshank are both patiently sitting with Wisconsin offers as well. Should the staff turn up the heat on either prospect, there's a good chance the Badgers come up on top.

4. Class Prediction:

The staff is doing everything they can to land Weber, but I just don't see them earning his signature in the end. When the dust settles, I think the Badgers will have a commitment from one uncommitted back (Williams, Denson or Crookshank) and one "flip" from either Stevenson, Reid or a name that has yet to surface, much like Caleb Kinlaw in the 2014 cycle.

For the sake of this article, I'll go Crookshank and Stevenson as Wisconsin continues its momentum in Texas.



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