Recruiting never stops in Badgers country, and we’re here to help put it all in perspective. Join us every Tuesday and Thursday night for a recap of Wisconsin recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes and a glimpse at what’s coming next.
2019 S Bryson Shaw sets Wisconsin visit
Bryson Shaw is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound safety from The Bullis School in Potomac, Md., who holds eight football scholarship offers, including from Wisconsin. He also is such a prodigious lacrosse talent that he committed as a high school freshman to play for Maryland.
Now Shaw has a decision to make about which sport to pursue in college: lacrosse or football. Or both.
Wisconsin doesn’t field a varsity lacrosse team, but the Badgers do have a darn good football program. And that has appealed enough to Shaw that he is expected to make an unofficial campus visit Jan. 27. Other football school to have offered Shaw are Duke, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia and West Virginia.
While Wisconsin is the only Midwest program in the mix, the Badgers have had success at The Bullis School. That’s where current Badgers safety Patrick Johnson attended. Johnson has played in 17 games for Wisconsin and could be in line for a starting role next season.
Shaw’s development as a midfielder in lacrosse has him listed as a 5-star prospect and the No. 8 player in the 2019 recruiting class, according to Recruiting Rundown.
“If you’re on Shaw’s team, you probably love him,” the Recruiting Rundown scouting report reads. “If you’re playing against him, you’re probably frustrated by his compete level and playmaking ability. A freak athlete, he may be raw from a lacrosse standpoint, though you wouldn’t know by looking at his 30 goals and 13 assists.”
The Carroll County (Md.) Times published a nice profile of Shaw in November in which Shaw’s father notes he could have an opportunity to play both sports at either Syracuse or Maryland.
“When the [Maryland] football program decided they wanted to go after him, they had to coordinate with the lacrosse program to see if they would let him play both sports,” Shaw’s father told the outlet. “DJ Durkin told us he’s never had a lacrosse and football person ever do it. The only way they let you do that is if you are good enough to start as a freshman in lacrosse.”
Added Bryson Shaw: “I don’t know if I will do both sports. I’m considering it. The fact that the college is telling me I can do both sports means a lot to me. But it will be hard focusing on two sports.”
According to the Carroll County Times, Shaw closed his junior season on the football field with 27 catches for 474 yards and 5 touchdowns. He also carried 39 times for 213 yards and 3 touchdowns. He scored touchdowns in five different ways during his team’s first four games: kickoff return, punt return, touchdown catch, touchdown run and fumble return. Shaw intercepted 3 passes and returned two of them for touchdowns.
Bryson Shaw’s junior season highlights
Shaw is rated as a 4-star prospect and the No. 21 player in Maryland, according to the 247Sports composite. Wisconsin has offers out to five other uncommitted safeties in the 2019 class: Lewis Cine (Everett, Mass.), Kenyatta Watson II (Loganville, Ga.), Jalani Williams (St. Louis, Mo.), Jalyn Phillips (Lawrenceville, Ga.), and Khalid Martin (Kernersville, N.C.).
If Shaw’s skill set on the lacrosse field is any indication, he’ll make for a special college football player as well. Bullis lacrosse coach Jeff Bellistri told the Carroll County Times that he hadn’t seen a player with Shaw’s speed in his 23 years as a coach.
“He changes the way defenses have to react to him,” Bellistri said. “They have to leave more space for him. He turns regular plays into fast breaks due to his speed. He is that fast and so athletic. Kids are really surprised at what angles they have to take to defend him.”
Wisconsin looking for more 2019 running backs?
Brian Dohn of 247Sports reports that Deyvon Wright, a 5-11, 173-pound running back from Huntington Station, N.Y., is planning several unofficial campus visits in April and May. Wright told Dohn that Wisconsin, Syracuse, Boston College, Connecticut and Temple were in line for potential visits. He also anticipates returning to Rutgers, which he visited twice in September.
According to his Hudl highlights, Wright finished his junior season with 1,307 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. He has a scholarship offer from West Virginia but does not yet have one from Wisconsin.
Wright is a 3-star prospect rated as the No. 2 player in New York and the No. 32 running back nationally in the 247Sports composite.
Deyvon Wright’s junior season highlights
Wisconsin already has one committed running back in the 2019 recruiting class with Julius Davis (Menomonee Falls, Wis.). But it makes sense to add another prospect if coaches believe he can be an impact player. Chris James will be a senior in 2018, and it remains to be seen what the future holds for Taiwan Deal, who has battled ankle issues and missed the 2017 season.
Evan Flood of Badger247.com reported that running back Steele Chambers could be another potential option as a second tailback in the class. Chambers is a 6-2, 215-pound junior from Blessed Trinity Catholic in Roswell, Ga. He is a 4-star prospect and the No. 36 player in Georgia, according to the 247Sports composite.
As a sophomore, Chambers rushed for 1,486 yards and 21 touchdowns to help his team win 10 games and reach the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. This past season as a junior, Chambers guided Blessed Trinity to a Georgia Class 4A state championship. He closed the season with 1,301 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns. Chambers added 143 receiving yards with 2 scores.
Chambers earned a Wisconsin scholarship offer Aug. 3. He has 18 offers from the likes of Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford and Tennessse.
Blessed Trinity coach Tim McFarlin told Land of 10 in August that Chambers was a truly gifted player.
“I’ve had the opportunity to coach a lot of good players in my career,” said McFarlin, who finished his 35th season coaching high school football in Georgia. “What you hope for with a highly talented player is that there’ll be something else that’s special that goes along with that. And Steele is one of those guys. You talk to Steele, you see him in school. He’s everything that you would want him to be.”
Steele Chambers’ junior season highlights
McFarlin said Wisconsin running backs coach John Settle visited the school during the spring. Settle, who played college football at Appalachian State and in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons, has recruiting ties in Georgia. Chambers could be a viable option and would fit right into the Badgers’ scheme.
“In the high school game, so much of it is going to shotgun and spread,” McFarlin said. “But we’re still 21 personnel. We’re still tight end, fullback, tailback, in the I, running downhill. I think part of that is part of the attraction on Steele’s part when it comes to Wisconsin. We’re not too different from what you guys do. And Steele is a bigger back. He’s not a scat back. He’s a big kid.”