Each month, Wisconsin beat reporter Jesse Temple will take a look at the Badgers’ recruiting to-do list here on Land of 10. This outlook focuses on three concerns for the program’s recruiting efforts in the weeks ahead. Today, we’ll look back on what happened in those three areas in March.
Wisconsin’s month on the recruiting trail was relatively quiet, although the Badgers did host some important targets on campus visits. All of the coaching staff’s efforts could pay off in the form of commitments over the coming months.
Try to keep the momentum rolling
Wisconsin secured at least one commitment from the 2019 class in every month from September to February. That run of success was bound to end at some point, and it finally happened in March. Still, Wisconsin has plenty of reason for optimism with the players it has already signed and the prospects it could receive commitments from in the future.
Wisconsin ranks No. 3 nationally in the 247Sports composite team rankings for 2019 with eight committed players. As of now, those commitments remain solid to the Badgers.
The one name that will be interesting to watch is quarterback Graham Mertz, who continues to hear from multiple schools. Mertz is the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the class. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has been trying to schedule a campus visit to Ann Arbor for him. However, Michigan already has a quarterback committed in its 2019 class with 4-star prospect Cade McNamara. Until Mertz begins to take actual campus visits, Wisconsin fans should not be concerned.
As for the future, the Badgers remain in good position for several prospects. Tackle Bryce Benhart (Lakeville, Minn.) is a player who is very high on Wisconsin. He has received offers the last few months from Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Wisconsin made the top 10 for tackle John Olmstead (Metuchen, N.J.) and the top 6 for tackle Quinn Carroll (Minneapolis).
Cornerback Semar Melvin (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) has an official visit scheduled for June 6. Cornerback Wynston Russell (Flossmoor, Ill.) tweeted in March that he would make his college decision July 27. He has six scholarship offers, and Wisconsin is considered to be one of his leaders at this stage.
Schedule as many visitors as possible
Wisconsin’s coaching staff was busy with spring football, which began March 13. But March provided a great opportunity for prospects to visit campus while on spring break to check out the Badgers program during a low-key setting.
Wisconsin hosted an important junior day during the month in which 2019 tight end commit Hayden Rucci (Lititz, Pa.) and running back commit Julius Davis (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) attended. Rucci’s younger brother, Nolan, a 2021 offensive lineman prospect, joined Hayden on the trip. Other high school prospects who visited campus that weekend included 2019 athlete Dean Engram (Washington, D.C.), 2019 kicker Ryan Sanborn (San Diego) and 2019 athlete Dalton Gillette (Mukwonago, Wis.).
Continue to offer prospects in future classes
In January, Wisconsin offered at least 18 known scholarships to prospects in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 classes. The Badgers offered six more players in February. Wisconsin coaches were busy again in March, offering at least 16 known scholarships to players across the country.
Here’s a rundown of which prospects Wisconsin offered in March:
2019: defensive end Colt Ellison (Aledo, Texas), outside linebacker Spencer Lytle (Bellflower, Calif.), defensive end Harrison White (Spring, Texas), defensive end Moses Okpala (St. Louis), outside linebacker Rian Davis (Apopka, Fla.)
2020: wide receiver Jordan Johnson (St. Louis), offensive lineman Luke Wypler (Montvale, N.J.), running back Zachary Evans (Houston), linebacker Antoine Sampah (Woodbridge, Va.), wide receiver Marvin Mims (Frisco, Texas), running back Jase McClellan (Aledo, Texas), cornerback Darion Green-Warren (Santa Ana, Calif.), cornerback RJ Mickens (Southlake, Texas), defensive tackle Cole Brevard (Carmel, Ind.), wide receiver Julian Fleming (Catawissa, Pa.), running back Jalen Berger (Ramsey, N.J.)