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Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst believes a scholarship offer should mean something.

Iowa’s Brian Ferentz has a point, where things stand at CB, and Vince Biegel’s first day

We hope you’ll start your day with us here at Landof10.com as we work to prepare you for everything you need to know – Monday through Friday – around the world of Wisconsin sports. Whether it’s football, basketball, hockey or just a wild story we hope you’ll find interesting, we’re here to share it all with you.

Today is Friday, May 5, and this is what’s for breakfast.


Recruiting measures

Brian Ferentz apparently has had enough. The new Iowa offensive coordinator went on a tear in a recent podcast admonishing Iowa State, Minnesota and Nebraska for certain recruiting measures, including claiming that the Cyclones and Gophers hand out scholarships that aren’t actually committable.

“The guys in Ames and the new guy in Minneapolis seem to have no problem throwing early things out. What I’ve learned, certainly about the guys in Ames, we’ll find out about the guys in Minneapolis, what does an offer really mean,” Ferentz said.

“I can tell you this much, if the University of Iowa offers you a scholarship and you commit to us, we intend to sign you and we intend to take your commitment.”

Schools all over the country hand out scholarships that aren’t actually something an athlete can take on the spot. And that’s wrong. As Ferentz said, if you offer someone a scholarship, the athlete should be able to commit on the spot. It means the offer is real and the coaching staff isn’t just slow-playing a kid in case a school misses out on a target higher on their board.

It’s underhanded and deceitful, and it’s one reason Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst was in favor of an even earlier signing period than the 72-hour period in December that the NCAA approved earlier this year. The third-year coach wanted one in June as well.

brian ferentz comments nebraska iowa recruiting iowa state
Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz went off on some of the recruiting practices of rival teams. (Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

“[The player’s] commitment is real, and the offers on our part that we give out, those have to be real because a kid could take it,” Chryst said in April. “If he’s committed and you’ve offered, that should be [it]. I like that it puts validity to the two terms — offer and commitment.”

And that’s not the case with a lot of schools these days, as they shower offers all over the country. Wisconsin did it under former coach Gary Andersen. Many potential recruits would walk into their coach’s office at school and an offer from the Badgers would be sitting there for them despite the player never having even talked to Wisconsin’s coaches.

Some think it’s a way to get on a prospect’s radar, while others do it simply because they know the kid wants to come to their school, and it’s a way to keep their attention until the school strikes out on enough better players to the point that a spot really does open up.

Ferentz can complain all he wants, but these recruiting measures aren’t going to end unless the NCAA does something about it. And based on the decision to stick with December and February signing periods, fixing the problem doesn’t appear to be a priority for the sport’s governing body or the coaches who employ the method.

Where things stand: Cornerback

Spring practice finished up in late April for the Badgers, so we’re going position-by-position to take a look at where things stand, including cornerback.

What happened: Wisconsin lost just one player from the 2016 group, but it was a big one in Sojourn Shelton, who set a school record with 51 career starts. Still, the Badgers don’t believe there will be much of a dropoff, if any, with Hawaii transfer Nick Nelson taking over opposite senior Derrick Tindal.

Behind those two, senior Lubern Figaro and redshirt freshman Dontye Carriere-Williams battled for the No. 3 cornerback job, while several other young players, including true freshman Madison Cone, flashed play-making ability over the 15 practices.

Biggest takeaway: Nelson could be the next Ryan Ramczyk

Ramczyk transferred in from Division III UW-Stevens Point in 2015 and dominated on scout team for a year before taking over at left tackle last season and earning All-American honors. No one is saying Nelson will have that kind of success, but he was a frustrating guy for the Badgers wide receivers to deal with on scout team last season and slid right into the vacant starting cornerback job this spring. Confident and skilled, Nelson could be in a for a big season.

Biggest question: Who will be the No. 3 cornerback?

This is a fight that will play out in fall camp, with the main contenders being Carriere-Williams, Figaro and perhaps redshirt sophomore Titus Booker, who missed the spring due to injury. Figaro was OK at times in the role in 2016, but the Badgers could use an upgrade and the staff is high on Carriere-Williams.

First day on the job

Vince Biegel went from being a fan of the Green Bay Packers to officially being a player on Thursday when all the first-year guys reported for rookie orientation.

Biegel will likely have the most eyes on him when the media is able to watch the first workouts on Friday, and he should get used to it. Not only did he grow up in Wisconsin, play at Wisconsin and get drafted by the Packers, he plays a position of need at outside linebacker.

With former first-round pick Datone Jones and veteran Julius Peppers no longer around, Green Bay needs Biegel to help and help early. And least one guy, ESPN’s Mel Kiper, thinks he will, as he named him one of his early-impact rookie players.

There’s also the fact that Green Bay passed on Biegel’s former teammate, T.J. Watt, in the first round, trading down and acquiring picks that ended up being Washington cornerback Kevin King and Biegel. It may be unfair, but the three are tied together and many will be looking to see how Watt does in Pittsburgh over the next few years.

Catching up

  • Tom Oates at the Wisconsin State Journal takes a swing at putting together an all-time NFL team made up of former Wisconsin players.
  • From UWBadgers.com: A look at the 2017-18 Wisconsin men’s hockey schedule that was released on Thursday.
  • Over at Madison.com: Vince Biegel is just the latest former Wisconsin player to suit up for the Packers.
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