With 18 known scholarships out in Georgia, the Wisconsin coaching staff has placed a large recruiting emphasis on the Peach State in the 2014 class.
Led by assistant coaches Thomas Hammock and Ben Strickland, Georgia, a territory Wisconsin has lightly recruited in the past, has commanded more scholarship offers from the Badgers than any other state thus far.
To provide further insight, BadgerBlitz.com reached out to Southeast Recruiting Analyst Woody Wommack, who is familiar with the recruiting landscape in Georgia.
1) To start, how is the talent level in Georgia compared to other states like Florida, where Wisconsin has had some success is the past?
Wommack: With the way it's producing talent at a near never before seen clip, Georgia is making a case to become the No. 4 state in the country in terms of talent, behind the obvious big three of California, Florida and Texas. Obviously Georgia has become a battleground state for all the big boys in the SEC, but there are plenty of players to go around and we've seen the Big Ten schools reach down and take some pretty talented players over the past couple of years.
2) Is recruiting in Georgia dominated by the two in-state programs or have other schools been able to have some success there in the past? What other schools generally hit Georgia hard each year?
Wommack: Georgia has had a ton of success but I wouldn't say they have a foothold on the state. Florida and Florida State hit South Georgia hard and Auburn, Alabama and Clemson have also done a good job in recent years. Since Urban Meyer took over at Ohio State he's made the Peach State a priority as well, and the Buckeyes have already offered more than 20 players in this year's class.
3) Are there any powerhouse programs Wisconsin should, or already has, started to build some connections at?
Wommack: There are a few programs that are known to produce talent on a year-in, year-out basis. In the Atlanta area there is Buford High, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson High and Tucker High, just to name a few. In the southern part of the state there are programs like Camden County and Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes that also do a great job of developing players.
4) In your opinion, are there any prospects you think Wisconsin has a realistic shot at landing in the 2014 class?
Wommack: It's still very early for the Badgers this year in Georgia and I think we're going to have to wait for some guys to start coming off the board first. However, some of the guys they'll likely have a good shot at include DB's Quay Searcy, Cameron Albright and Allen Artis, WR Emanuel Beal and versatile athlete Thomas Wilson, just to name a few.
5) Probably a difficult question to answer so early, but do you think Wisconsin will have success in Georgia or will it take some time to get its name out in the state as the staff builds connections?
Wommack: I think the key is going to be to get a guy or two this year and start to build a foundation. We've seen the Badgers have success with players from Florida before and that's helped them with subsequent classes. Georgia will likely have to be approached the same way.
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