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.
Commitment impact of 3-star athlete Marcus Graham
Wisconsin’s coaching staff deserves tremendous credit for stockpiling athletic weapons at its skill positions in recent recruiting classes. Consider 2019 commit Marcus Graham to be the latest such find for the Badgers.
Graham, a 6-foot, 175-pound junior, plays quarterback for Mountain Island Charter in Mount Holly, N.C. Graham, who committed last Friday, will enter Wisconsin’s program as a wide receiver or cornerback. He is so quick and versatile that members of the Badgers coaching staff may just have to fight over which side of the ball he plays.
“They liked his versatility,” Mountain Island football coach Robert Washington Sr. told Land of 10. “At first, Coach [John] Settle called me. He said, ‘Man, we were in our staff meeting.’ They watch film together. The offensive staff saw his film and they were like, ‘We’ll take him as a slot.’ And the defensive coaches said, ‘Well, we’ll take him as a corner.’
“He was just saying that he was in a special category as far as he could do either. He’s one of those kids like, ‘Wait and see. We know we want him. Get him on campus and whatever the team needs at the time, that’s where he’ll play.’ ”
Graham passed for 1,270 yards, ran for 858 yards, recorded 265 receiving yards and totaled 35 touchdowns last season. He averaged 8.3 yards per rushing attempt. Although Graham will play quarterback his senior season, he is intent on finding ways to hone his skills at the positions he might play at Wisconsin.
“Just focusing on the technique, whether that be wide receiver or DB,” Graham said. “And of course it’s hard because you’re playing quarterback all year. That just comes in the offseason and coming at times where maybe if it’s after practice or something like that, you’ve just got to work on those techniques because it’s way different from being a quarterback.”
Marcus Graham highlights
Graham said he would prefer to play receiver at Wisconsin. If he does indeed begin his college career there, it will represent yet another enticing option at the position. A.J. Taylor and Quintez Cephus will be seniors in 2019. Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor will be juniors. Those four have established themselves as the team’s top four receivers. Cade Green and Emmet Perry will be sophomores.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin is bringing in four receivers in the 2018 class. Early enrollees Aron Cruickshank and Taj Mustapha have put together some impressive performances in spring practice. Cruickshank is a speedy slot man, and Mustapha is a big body who can come down with tough catches in traffic. A.J. Abbott and Isaac Guerendo will arrive this summer in the class. Guerendo is one of the fastest high school track athletes in the country.
Wisconsin now has two commits in the 2019 class that are slated to play receiver: Graham and Nolan Groulx. Given that Wisconsin doesn’t have any departing seniors that play the position in 2018, the Badgers may be full at wide receiver. Wisconsin has been in good standing with receiver recruits Craig Young and Cameron Phillips, among others, so perhaps the staff will take one more and move someone to a different position. Deron Harrell, who signed in Wisconsin’s 2016 class and began his career at receiver, has been moved to defensive back this spring.
Wisconsin’s receivers demonstrated last season how much talent they possess. Taylor, Cephus, Davis and Pryor combined to catch 100 passes for 1,573 yards and 17 touchdowns, and each player has at least two years of eligibility remaining. Wisconsin fans should be excited about what the Badgers staff is building.
“He’ll be a great fit because Wisconsin is smash-mouth,” Washington said of Graham. “It’s a good brand of smash-mouth ball. Marcus is a physical kid, so I think he’ll be a great blocker for Wisconsin if he has to block for the running backs or quarterbacks. Plus I think with his speed, it allows Wisconsin to have a different dynamic. You could put Marcus in the slot. You put a linebacker on him, it’s going to be a nightmare for him.”
Wisconsin offers scholarships to 2 players
The Badgers coaching staff has been busy on the recruiting trail. Here’s a look at two players Wisconsin has offered scholarships to in recent days.
2020 OL Andrew Gentry
Andrew Gentry, a 6-8, 290-pound tackle from Littleton, Colo., earned a Badgers offer Thursday. Gentry received an offer from USC on Wednesday.
— Andrew Gentry (@a_gentry75) April 5, 2018
According to 247Sports, Gentry is rated as a 3-star prospect, the No. 2 player in Colorado and the No. 28 tackle in the 2020 class. He also holds scholarship offers from Arkansas, BYU, Colorado, Colorado State, Kansas State, Oregon, Utah and Virginia. Andrew’s older brother, JT Gentry, is a BYU signee and currently is on a Mormon mission in Budapest.
Wisconsin has a commitment in the 2020 class from 6-7, 242-pound tackle Jack Nelson (Stoughton, Wis.). The Badgers also have scholarship offers out to tackles Trey Wedig (Wales, Wis.) and Kevin Pyne (Millis, Mass.).
2019 OL Ira Henry
Wisconsin has two tackles committed in the 2019 class with Logan Brown (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Joe Tippmann (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Several more offered tackles are strongly considering the Badgers.
But that hasn’t stopped Wisconsin from continuing to find potential prospects in the class, including Ira Henry, a 6-5, 320-pound junior from St. Louis. Henry is a 3-star prospect who ranks as the No. 16 player in Missouri and the No. 69 tackle in the country, according to the 247Sports composite.
— Ira Henry7️⃣8️⃣ (@IraHenry8) April 6, 2018
Henry has 20 scholarship offers, with Illinois considered to be his leader. He attended an Illinois junior day on Feb. 18 and unofficially visited Missouri on March 2. Henry received an offer from Ole Miss on March 11.
Badgers host several visitors for junior day
Wisconsin hosted yet another important recruiting day on Friday, as multiple Badgers targets watched a spring practice. Here’s a look at some of the prospects who were on campus.
2019 DL Austin Ertl (Wauwatosa, Wis.)
Awesome time at Wisconsin today!!🔴⚪️ pic.twitter.com/Gk2TBe4k0t
— A U S T I N E R T L™️ (@AustinErtl71) April 7, 2018
Austin Ertl has developed into one of the better in-state high school football prospects in the 2019 recruiting class. According to 247Sports, he ranks as the No. 8 player in Wisconsin. The Badgers already have commitments from the top two in-state players: linebacker Leo Chenal and running back Julius Davis. Wisconsin also offered athlete Da’Shaun Brown, the No. 3 prospect.
Whether Ertl becomes the next in-state player to earn a scholarship offer remains to be seen. But Ertl is optimistic he has the tools necessary to gain the offer he covets.
“I believe that I’ll earn one this summer,” Ertl told Land of 10 two weeks ago. “I’m putting my mind to it, and if I put my mind to it, I think I can do it. It’ll be at an individual camp. I played defensive end in high school, but I’ve got to make sure I can compete at nose tackle and I can move people around and that I can finish, because that’s the one big thing I think I can show.”
Ertl plays on the offensive and defensive lines in high school but is being looked at by Wisconsin as a potential nose guard. Last season, Ertl earned Wisconsin Football Coaches Association all-state honors on offense and defense. He was a first-team selection as an offensive lineman and an honorable-mention pick as a defensive lineman. Ertl registered 35 tackles with 15 tackles for loss, 4 1/2 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.
Ertl’s scholarship offer list includes Mid-American Conference schools Buffalo, Central Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio) and Northern Illinois. Dartmouth, Columbia and Fordham are among the East Coast schools to have offered him. He also is drawing interest from Syracuse, Boston College, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa and Iowa State. He recently visited Iowa and Iowa State.
2019 TE Jake Rock and 2020 OL Trey Wedig (Wales, Wis.)
— Justin Gumm (@CoachGumm87) April 7, 2018
Tight end Jake Rock and tackle Trey Wedig are teammates at Kettle Moraine High School. Rock, who is listed at 6-7 and 240 pounds, doesn’t have any scholarship offers yet. He has visited Wisconsin twice within the last six weeks.
Wedig, who is 6-7 and 284 pounds, has five offers, including one from Wisconsin. The other schools that have offered Wedig are Iowa State, Michigan, Minnesota and Syracuse.
2019 WR Jacob Lippe (Port Washington, Wis.)
— Jacob Lippe (@jacoblippe42) April 7, 2018
Jacob Lippe doesn’t have any scholarship offers yet, but several schools have expressed interest. Lippe is a 6-2, 180-pound receiver. Last season he caught 48 passes for 591 yards and 5 touchdowns. He added 199 rushing yards with 2 touchdowns.
Lippe has unofficially visited Iowa on multiple occasions, including most recently on March 28.
2019 TE Caden Blum (Baraboo, Wis.)
Great day in Madison! Thank you to the whole staff for having me out. pic.twitter.com/27mQad94Na
— Caden Blum8️⃣7️⃣ (@CadenBlum) April 7, 2018
Caden Blum is a 6-5, 230-pound tight who holds scholarship offers from Air Force, Cornell, Eastern Michigan, North Dakota and South Dakota State. However, he is drawing interest from several Big Ten programs.
Blum has taken unofficial visits to Purdue, Minnesota and Iowa. Wisconsin already has one tight end committed in the 2019 class with Hayden Rucci (Lititz, Pa.)
ILB Brock Horne (Romeo, Mich.)
— Brock Horne (@brockhorne02) April 7, 2018
Brock Horne’s recruitment has picked up considerably this spring. He holds scholarship offers from Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Iowa State, Miami (Ohio) and Toledo.
Horn unofficially visited Michigan State on March 15. He was at Wisconsin last Friday and at Indiana on Saturday. According to TheDZone.com, Horne tallied 110 tackles with 9 sacks during his junior season.
Badgers hoops offers 2019 SF Malik Hall
Wisconsin’s basketball program has been extremely selective in offering scholarships to members of the 2019 recruiting class. But the Badgers added another name to the list Monday when they offered Malik Hall, a 6-7, 190-pound forward who attends Sunrise Christian in Wichita, Kan.
Blessed to receive an offer from the University of Wisconsin-Madison! pic.twitter.com/WE6SsLEKkd
— Malik Hall (@iammalikhall) April 9, 2018
Hall becomes just the fifth player to earn a Wisconsin offer in the 2019 class, joining point guard DJ Carton (Bettendorf, Iowa) and forwards Nobal Days (Racine, Wis.), Matthew Hurt (Rochester, Minn.) and Zeke Nnaji (Hopkins, Minn.).
Hall is rated as a 4-star prospect and the No. 14 small forward in the country, according to the 247Sports composite. He holds 16 scholarship offers, including from Kansas, Purdue, Butler, Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon and Texas A&M.
RB Patrick Garwo announces top 6 schools
Patrick Garwo, a 5-10, 202-pound running back from Fairless Hills, Pa., released his list of top six schools Monday, and Wisconsin made the cut. The other five programs are Boston College, North Carolina, Virginia, Syracuse and Rutgers.
— Patrick Garwo (@patgarwo) April 9, 2018
Garwo finished his junior season at Conwell-Egan with 1,879 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he tallied 895 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. He is a 3-star prospect who is rated as the No. 25 running back in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite.
Wisconsin has one committed running back in the class with Julius Davis (Menomonee Falls, Wis.). But the Badgers are actively looking for a second tailback.
Garwo told Land of 10 in August that his uncle’s family lives in Sun Prairie, Wis., which is less than 30 minutes from Wisconsin’s campus. He noted then that he intended to visit this summer and likes the way the Badgers utitilize their tailbacks.
“They’re committed to run,” Garwo said. “They always have a really good, big offensive line that would be amazing to run behind. I just like how back after back after back is successful there at Wisconsin. That’s something that’s big on the decision.”
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