Badgers deliver the answer to, ‘Why Wisconsin?,’ Bronson Koenig’s rough day and in-state recruiting update
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Today is Friday, May 19, and this is what’s for breakfast.
The University of Wisconsin has plenty to sell when it comes to recruiting athletes. A beautiful campus, highly regarded academics and a fervor for sports that few other college towns can match top the list. The school put all of that on display in a video released Thursday highlighting what makes being a student-athlete at Wisconsin so special.
— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) May 18, 2017
If you watched it and are a student, alum or just a fan of Wisconsin, parts of it likely sent shivers down your spine as some of the greatest athletes the school has ever seen — Russell Wilson, Melvin Gordon, Frank Kaminsky, Rose Lavelle and Hilary Knight — spoke about their passion for the city and the university. The responses on Twitter rolled in all afternoon from athletes and fans alike.
Nothing better than being a Badger. Will always be my favorite place in the world. https://t.co/hmFAEJPgt5
— Sam Dekker (@dekker) May 18, 2017
When people ask why I left Texas to go to school here…. Enough said! https://t.co/yGhWrhmj4c
— Marie Polzer (@mspolzertech) May 18, 2017
So great I'm spending summer #6 in Madison… Gonna have to drag me out of this city. https://t.co/6p1hrOJlwE
— Zak Showalter (@ZShowbball333) May 18, 2017
After watching this, I want to go back. https://t.co/5goACWxYmL
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 18, 2017
Almost everyone loves where they went to school. You did pick that place, after all. But Madison is special, and so are the school and athletics program situated inside its borders. What the Badgers have to offer as an all-around college experience is unique, and Wisconsin is doing a fantastic job of showing that in this video.
There’s no doubt this 4 minute, 48 second piece will be played for recruits for the foreseeable future, and while it may not lead anyone to commit to the Badgers outright, it’s one heck of a starting point for any coach out on the road recruiting.
Nightmare finish to dream workout
Thursday was supposed to be a big day for Bronson Koenig. The former Wisconsin guard was set to workout with the Milwaukee Bucks — the team he grew up cheering for — as he chased his NBA dream. But all that hope turned to despair when he got tangled up with another player and injured his ankle. Instead of doing interviews afterwards with a smile, he did them while being held up by crutches.
— Stephen Watson (@WISN_Watson) May 18, 2017
The injury was just the latest setback for Koenig, who left Madison as the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made. During his senior season, he dealt with a thigh contusion in addition to the more-publicized calf injury that slowed him for much of the second half of the Big Ten season. Then, at the Portsmouth Invitational earlier this month, he injured his left ankle on the second day of competition and couldn’t perform for scouts in that highly competitive atmosphere.
All of this comes while Koenig is desperately trying to prove that he is an NBA-caliber player. It’s unclear how serious this latest injury is, but if he’s forced to miss any of his other scheduled workouts, his climb to the highest level of basketball in the world will become even steeper than it already was.
In-state recruiting update
Former football coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez always talks about building a wall around Wisconsin when it comes to recruiting. The Badgers may need to go outside of the state to fulfill all of their needs, but keeping the best players home became a priority when Alvarez was football coach, because it wasn’t happening before he arrived in 1990. He was able to build it, his successor Bret Bielema kept it fortified, and now Paul Chryst is trying to do the same after there was a bit of fraying with Gary Andersen.
With that said, here’s a look how the Badgers are doing in Wisconsin in the Class of 2018, including some notes on the uncommitted players.
3-star DE Boyd Dietzen (Kimberly, Wis.)
247Sports’ No. 1 player in the state for 2018
3-star ATH Cormac Sampson (Eau Claire, Wis.)
No. 2 player in the state for 2018
3-star S Trent Ingalls (Menasha, Wis.)
No. 5 player in the state for 2018
3-star OLB Mason Platter (Menomonie,Wis.)
No. 7 player in the state for 2018
3-star ILB C.J. Goetz (Waukesha, Wis.)
No. 10 player in the state for 2018
3-star TE Jack Plumb (Green Bay, Wis.)
No. 3 player in the state for 2018
— Jack Plumb (@Jacktussplumb) May 18, 2017
Plumb has been on fire of late with Power 5 offers rolling in from all over the place, including Iowa, Minnesota and Arizona State. The Badgers jumped on board with an offer of their own on Wednesday. A standout in basketball and football at Green Bay Bay Port, the 6-foot-8, 240-pound Plumb has played tight end in high school, but most expect he’ll move to offensive tackle in college. And he’ll likely do that while wearing a Wisconsin uniform, with all signs pointing to him committing in the near future.
3-star OLB Reggie Jennings (Brookfield, Wis.)
No. 8 player in the state for 2018
Wisconsin offered Jennings a scholarship back in the middle of March but he has yet to pounce on it. That is a bit surprising for an in-state product, especially one with his only other known offer coming from Syracuse. It’s possible he’s waiting to see if more interest comes his way before making his final decision.
- Injuries, not talent, are limiting Koenig, writes Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal.
- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says the timing of former Wisconsin LB Vince Biegel’s foot injury was a blessing, per Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal.
- From UWBadgers.com: Three Wisconsin softball players earn regional honors.