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July 4, 2014
Badger Watch 2: Tight ends
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 tight ends | QUARTERBACKS | RUNNING BACKS |
1. Last update: Badger Watch: Tight ends (4/26/14)
2. What's happened since April?
After not signing a scholarship tight end in the 2014 class, Wisconsin extended four known offers to projected athletes at the position in the current cycle. The staff, led by assistant coach Jeff Genyk, batted .500, landing three-star David Edwards in June to a class that already included four-star Kyle Penniston.
"Wisconsin is just a perfect fit for me academically, athletically and socially," Edwards told Rivals.com. "After my visit I knew was Wisconsin was the place for me. I had a chance to talk to coach (Gary) Andersen and we have a great relationship.
"Wisconsin uses their tight ends better than any other team in the country. In the end it was really down to Illinois and Wisconsin. I visited Illinois and then Wisconsin right after on Sunday. Right after the visit to Wisconsin I knew that's where I wanted to be."
Edwards, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior from Downers Grove North High School in Illinois, plays quarterback at the prep level but will start as an in-line tight end at UW. North head coach John Wander also brought up the possibility of Edwards growing into an offensive tackle during his career in Madison.
"Well, they took him as a tight end but you might see him as a tackle when all is said and done," Wander told BadgerBlitz.com. "I see him as very physical player who has played with his hand in the ground before I got a hold of him. I think he will do very well at tight end to start because he's extremely athletic -- he's been our starter on the basketball team since his freshman year. Whatever he puts his mind to at Wisconsin, I think he'll do a great job there.
"With all the coaches that recruited him, from Illinois to Iowa to Wisconsin, David is a very personable person and he enjoyed being recruited by all three schools. All those schools have been top-notch and that's a tough decision for a 17-year-old kid. But in the end, I think he just felt the best fit for him was at Wisconsin. He really liked coach (T.J.) Woods and coach Genyk, and then he got to know the head coach pretty well. Wisconsin was just the best fit for him."
At the end of May, four-star Hale Hentges pledged to Alabama while fellow four-star Jackson Harris committed to Georgia in June. Both held offers from the Badgers.
3. What happens next?
Wisconsin now appears set at the position with Penniston filling the need at H-back and Edwards as the more traditional in-line tight end. The staff will likely continue to monitor a few bigger receivers who could grow into ends, but don't expect any new offers to be extended at the position.
4. Class Prediction:
Penniston and Edwards are two great additions for Wisconsin in the 2015 class. They should compliment each other well during their time in Madison.
"I think David is going to be a great fit for the two tight end sets that were going to run," Penniston told BadgerBlitz.com after visiting unofficially in June. "I talked to him after he committed and we're both excited. Just talking to coach Genyk, he thinks he can be like Jacob Pedersen and Brian Wozniak. He's probably going to be the nasty guy on the line who gets after it and I'll be more like Pedersen where he was split out a lot. I think we'll compliment each other real well and I'm excited for the future."