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 OL commit Logan Brown to play in U.S. Army All-American Bowl
One of Wisconsin’s highest-rated recruits in the online rankings era has earned an honor befitting of his lofty status. Logan Brown, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound tackle from Grand Rapids, Mich., tweeted Wednesday that he will be participating in the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
The event will take place Jan. 5, 2019, in San Antonio and will be broadcast on NBC.
— Logan Brown (@loganbrown53) May 17, 2018
The All-American Bowl features 100 of the country’s best high school senior football players. According to the All-American Bowl website, the game has produced 351 NFL draft picks, 135 Pro Bowl selections and 159 NCAA All-Americans.
Brown officially became a 5-star prospect in the 247Sports composite ratings in late April. He made a huge leap from the No. 45 player in the 2019 class to the No. 9 player. Brown is the No. 2 tackle in the nation and has an overall rating of .9935.
The only Wisconsin player to sign with the Badgers since 2000 with a higher recruiting rating was tackle Josh Oglesby, whose rating was .9936. Oglesby was rated as the No. 13 player in the 2007 class. Wisconsin never has signed a player considered to be in the top 10 in his entire class.
Brown’s football coach at East Kentwood High School, Tony Kimbrough, told Land of 10 in March that his star offensive lineman has remained steadfast in his commitment to Wisconsin. Kimbrough noted that a Georgia football coach visited the high school to look at Brown’s teammate, 4-star defensive tackle Mazi Smith. While there to see Smith, the coach asked Kimbrough about Brown.
“He told the coach flat out that I am committed to Wisconsin,” Kimbrough said. “He said, ‘I love everything about it, and I don’t see myself de-committing.’ So that was huge. That tells me where his loyalties are.”
Wisconsin currently has eight committed players in the 2019 class and stands at No. 18 in the 247Sports composite team rankings. The Badgers have not finished with a class ranked higher than No. 30.
Basketball coach Greg Gard discusses redshirting philosophy
Wisconsin basketball coach Greg Gard’s perfectly constructed roster would feature enough experienced players at every position to allow incoming freshmen to redshirt. As Gard discovered last season, however, reality has a way of interfering with those plans.
“You know what happens to perfect plans,” Gard recently told Land of 10. “They sometimes go for naught.”
Last season, Gard opted to burn the redshirt of freshman center Nate Reuvers after five regular-season games. Gard did not have enough reliable big men and thrust Reuvers into a major role. He appeared in 28 games with 15 starts. Reuvers held his own by averaging 5.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game but certainly would have benefitted from saving a year of eligibility.
Gard is optimistic he can avoid a similar scenario with incoming freshmen big men Joe Hedstrom and Taylor Currie. Hedstrom is a 7-foot, 225-pound prospect from Hopkins, Minn., who will begin his Wisconsin career as a walk-on before earning a scholarship in 2019.
Currie, a 6-8, 205-pound forward from Clarkston, Mich., won’t turn 18 until August. He reclassified from the 2019 recruiting class to the 2018 class and essentially skipped his junior year of high school. While Currie is an intriguing prospect, he needs time to develop in Wisconsin’s system.
Gard said the plan now is to redshirt both players this season. If All-America forward Ethan Happ returns for his senior season, the Badgers front court would consist of Happ, Reuvers, Aleem Ford, Alex Illikainen and Charlie Thomas. Happ, Illikainen and Thomas will use up their eligibility after the season, as will guard/forward Khalil Iverson.
“I’d like to be able to develop depth and experience, specifically in that front line where you’ve got guys getting ready and maturing,” Gard said. “It’s a lot like developing an offensive line. If you look, the best offensive linemen here during the course of time have probably redshirted. Bigs are slower developing. It just takes longer.
“Currie’s a year younger coming out. He’s coming out in three years. Just being able to do that to take advantage of our strength and conditioning, an extra year with [strength and conditioning coach] Erik [Helland], the extra year developing with us on the floor, I think that’s huge. Looking at long-term production where we can be in a position where we always have a well-prepared stable of big guys ready to go as the next years move on.”
Gard cited Villanova, which won the national championship last month, as a prime example of the value of redshirting. Four of Villanova’s five starters in the national title game took a redshirt season at some point during their college careers whether because of injuries, transfers, youth or academics.
The fifth, guard Jalen Brunson, was the consensus national player of the year. Reserve Donte DiVincenzo was the most outstanding player at the Final Four. He earned a redshirt season as a freshman in 2015-16 after suffering a season-ending right foot injury.
“We live in such an instant-gratification world that everybody that wants it here and now, they don’t understand the big picture and that there’s a process through this,” Gard said. “And if you go through the process and have the right mindset through it, where you can end up is far greater than where you can get instantaneously. Trying to get guys to understand and see the big picture is huge.
“Hedstrom and Currie both understand it. They have great perceptions of where they are, where they need to be and what it’s going to take to get there. So that’s what’s exciting about guys that are hungry and know they’ve got a lot of work to do. But the potential of those guys as they go through that process is pretty good.”
Badgers offer 2020 OLB Jaheim Thomas
— Jaheim (@JaheimThomas454) May 16, 2018
Wisconsin offered a scholarship Wednesday to Jaheim Thomas, a 6-4, 200-pound outside linebacker from Cincinnati. Thomas received scholarship offers this month from Wisconsin, Indiana, Louisville, Nebraska, Purdue and Georgia Tech.
Among the schools considered to be in the mix for Thomas are Louisville, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State and Rutgers. Notre Dame and Ohio State have not yet offered but likely would shoot to the top of Thomas’ list. The 247Sports site rates Thomas as a 3-star prospect, the No. 6 player in Ohio and the No. 26 outside linebacker in the 2020 class.
Badgers offer 2020 DE Braiden McGregor
— Braiden McGregor (@BraidenMcgregor) May 17, 2018
Wisconsin extended a scholarship offer Thursday to Braiden McGregor, a 6-5, 225-pound defensive end from Port Huron, Mich. McGregor has 10 scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Michigan, Notre Dame, Central Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Purdue, Toledo and Western Michigan. At this stage, his top schools are considered to be Michigan and Notre Dame.
McGregor is rated by 247Sports as a 3-star prospect and the No. 11 strongside defensive end in the 2020 class. According to the Times Herald in Port Huron, McGregor finished his sophomore season with 98 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 3 fumble recoveries, 3 blocked punts and an interception.
Wisconsin makes top 5 for CB Salim Turner-Muhammad
I would like to convey my appreciation to all of the outstanding institutions who have recruited me. However, I will be announcing my commitment to one of these five prestigious universities soon!!! #GoIrish ☘️ #FearTheTree 🌲 #GoBlue 〽️ #OnWisconsin 🔴⚪️ #DecideToFly 🦅 pic.twitter.com/KMybFX48ye
— SalimTurner-Muhammad (@TurnerSalim) May 16, 2018
Salim Turner-Muhammad, a 6-foot, 170-pound cornerback from Alexandria, Va., listed Wisconsin in his top five, which he released Tuesday night. The full list featured Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Stanford, Michigan and Boston College.
Turner-Muhammad has 14 scholarship offers. Wisconsin offered him a scholarship Jan. 25, and he took an unofficial campus visit March 5. He also took unofficial visits this spring to Notre Dame, Michigan, North Carolina and Stanford. Turner-Muhammad is a 4-star prospect and the No. 20 cornerback in the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite.
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