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July 5, 2014
Badger Watch 2: Wide receivers
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 wide receivers | QUARTERBACKS | RUNNING BACKS | TIGHT ENDS |
1. Last update: Badger Watch: Wide receivers (4/25/14)
2. What's happened since April?
June was a big month for Wisconsin, as the staff secured a commitment a solidified a past pledge in the span of about 10 days.
Brandyn Lee, a 6-foot, 168-pound prospect from West Hills, Calif., committed to the Badgers after taking an unofficial visit to Madison in mid-June. The three-star prospect was part of an impressive run for UW, which landed pledges from Texas linebacker Chris Orr, Georgia outside linebacker Mohamed Barry, Illinois tight end David Edwards, Missouri defensive end Nate Howard and New Jersey offensive lineman Sam Madden. All were on campus during the weekend of Wisconsin's elite camp.
"When you're in an environment like that it's hard not to commit," Lee told BadgerBlitz.com. "I'm not going to take any more unofficial visits. I'm fully committed to Wisconsin."
Florida wide receiver Andrew James committed to Wisconsin in March despite not setting foot on campus. But after taking an unofficial visit on June 24-25, the three-star standout from Fort Lauderdale decided Madison was everything he was looking for.
"It was an overall great experience," James told BadgerBlitz.com. "I was able to walk down State Street, tour the facilities, eat some authentic Wisconsin food at Mickies and the Old Fashioned, and tour the academic buildings as well.
"Wisconsin is a very fundamentally sound program competing for Big Ten titles and Rose Bowls every season. It was everything that I expected and more."
James said he also met with Kareem Jackson from Wisconsin's men's track and field team because he's planning on continuing his track career once he gets to college. The 5-foot-10, 161-pound senior was a state champion as a sophomore in the 400 meters, and the Badgers are hoping that speed will translate to the gridiron in college the same way it did in high school.
Since the last update, Alex Ofodile (Oregon), Miles Boykin (Notre Dame), Deon Cain (Clemson) and Christian Philpott (Georgia Tech) committed to other schools. All four held an offer from the Badgers.
3. What happens next?
With Lee and James in the mix and five freshmen -- Krenwick Sanders, Chris Jones, Natrell Jamerson, Dareian Watkins and George Rushing -- all getting ready for fall camp, the staff can be extremely selective if they elect to take another receiver. Aramis Alexander, who picked up an offer from the Badgers in February, certainly falls into that "elite" category and would be a take this fall.
"I'm definitely excited to go up [to Madison]," Alexander told BadgerBlitz.com. "I've been talking to coach Chris Beatty since last year before I got the offer. He's from around this area and had the same coach as I have, so we have a lot in common.
"It was a relief [when they offered]. It seemed like he was going to offer me, but I wasn't sure. It was cool to get that offer, and it definitely [boosted] my recruiting as far as Big Ten schools were concerned."
The three-star prospect recently picked up offers from Penn State and Ohio State but still holds Wisconsin, along with Boston College, Northwestern and Wake Forest, in high regard.
Outside of Alexander, UW is in the mix for Shaquery Wilson, Felton Davis, Kevin Thomas and Gary Jennings, among others.
Wilson, a three-star prospect, has UW in the No. 2 spot behind Georgia while Davis, a fellow three-star from Virginia, has the Badgers in his top 10, but Virginia Tech is believed to be his leader. Thomas and Orr play together at DeSoto High School in Texas and UW in his top six. Finally, Jennings, another standout from Virginia, has UW in his top five along with Boston College, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Virginia.
"I haven't been up there to visit yet," Jennings said when asked about Wisconsin. "I would like to. Just finding the time is hard. It's not the closest school."
4. Class Prediction:
Though there are still prospects Wisconsin would love to add, I just don't see the numbers adding up. UW is sitting on 15 commitments and still likely needs two running backs, two defensive linemen (one tackle and one end), one more offensive lineman, two more defensive backs (safety and corner), one more inside linebacker and one more hybrid safety/outside linebacker.
With just Kenzel Doe set to graduate at the end this season, I think Lee and James are the only two wide receivers Wisconsin signs in February.