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.
Wisconsin hosts important junior day
Wisconsin brought a slew of talented players to campus over the weekend to take in one of the Badgers’ spring practices and learn more about the football program. Two prospects in attendance already were committed to Wisconsin’s 2019 recruiting class. Here’s a look at some of the prospects that visited Madison.
2019 TE commit Hayden Rucci
Tight end Hayden Rucci, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end from Lititz, Pa., became the eighth commitment in Wisconsin’s 2019 class in early February. He had not been on campus since watching Wisconsin defeat Michigan in November and returned last weekend.
— Hayden Rucci (@haydengucci) March 17, 2018
Rucci is a 3-star prospect who ranks as the No. 13 tight end in the country, according to the 247Sports composite. He caught 19 passes for 376 yards with 3 touchdowns and showed he wasn’t afraid to stick his nose in the ground and make the type of pancake blocks that fire up an entire offense.
“A big thing I really like about Wisconsin football is just their work ethic,” Rucci told Land of 10 after he committed. “There’s not a bunch of huge egos in the locker room. I’m ready to get up there and get to work and earn my spot.”
2019 RB commit Julius Davis
Tailback Julius Davis was the other 2019 commit on campus last weekend. He’s become a much more well-known player nationally since he committed to Wisconsin in November. This offseason, he has received scholarship offers from LSU, USC and Notre Dame, so the trip to Madison came at an important time.
Had a great visit in Madtown !👐🏽 pic.twitter.com/E5Moc27BgQ
— J32 (@juliusdavis32) March 17, 2018
Davis carried 257 times for 1,762 yards and averaged of 6.8 yards per carry with 17 touchdowns during his junior season at Menomonee Falls (Wis.) High School. He is a 3-star player and the No. 33 running back nationally in the 247Sports composite.
2021 OL Nolan Rucci
Hayden Rucci’s younger brother also made the trip to Madison, and he already has a build that shows great promise. Nolan Rucci, a lineman in the 2021 class, is listed at 6-7 and 225 pounds. He played tackle on both sides of the ball at Warwick (Pa.) High School.
— Nolan Rucci (@nolanr_21) March 18, 2018
2019 athlete Dean Engram
Dean Engram, who is listed as a wide receiver and cornerback, is a 5-9, 160-pound junior from Washington D.C. Engram holds scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Boston College, North Carolina State, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers and Virginia Tech.
The University of Wisconsin. 👐🏾 pic.twitter.com/Iz2ELRCFYl
— Dean Engram (@TheRealDean__) March 17, 2018
Engram is considered a Penn State lean and is a 3-star composite player who ranks as the No. 117 wide receiver in the 2019 class.
2019 K Ryan Sanborn
Wisconsin is going to need a kicker when Rafael Gaglianone finishes his career after the 2018 season. Perhaps Ryan Sanborn could be that player. Sanborn, from San Diego, has offers from Princeton and Yale.
— Ryan Sanborn (@RSanbornKicks) March 17, 2018
Sanborn is the No. 1-ranked kicker and punter combination in the 2019 class, according to National Camp Series.
2019 athlete Dalton Gillette
Dalton Gillette is a 6-4, 240-pound junior from Mukwonago, Wis. Gillette told BadgerBlitz.com’s Jon McNamara that Wisconsin was looking at him to potentially play defensive end or fullback. He expects to visit again in April and participate in a camp in June.
— Dalton Gillette (@Da1tonGillette) March 18, 2018
“I feel like I really fit into their philosophy of recruiting an athlete and not a specific position,” Gillette told McNamara. “I think Wisconsin is pretty interested with the invites to come back for another visit in April and to see a game on the sidelines in the fall.”
Badgers offer scholarships to 4 prospects
Wisconsin continues to pursue talent in future classes and has offered scholarships to four prospects over the past several days. Here’s a look at the players:
2020 CB Darion Green-Warren
Darion Green-Warren is a 6-foot, 172-pound cornerback from Santa Ana, Calif., who plays for the famed program at Mater Dei. He holds 11 scholarship offers: Arizona, Florida, Louisville, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, UCLA, Utah and Wisconsin.
— Darion Green-Warren (@gogettadarion) March 17, 2018
According to 247Sports, Green-Warren rates as a 4-star prospect and the No. 12 cornerback in the country for the 2020 class. In February, he participated in the Pylon Elite Camp 7-on-7 tournament in Nevada. There, 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong deemed him “one of the more natural players at his position.”
2020 CB RJ Mickens
Cornerback RJ Mickens possesses a massive scholarship offer list that includes 22 schools. Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA and Wisconsin are among the schools to have offered Mickens.
— Rj Mickens (@RjMickens10) March 16, 2018
Mickens is a 6-1, 180-pound sophomore who recorded 99 tackles with 13 pass breakups, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions. He is a 4-star prospect who rates as the No. 4 cornerback in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports, and is considered a Texas A&M lean.
2020 DT Cole Brevard
Defensive tackle Cole Brevard earned a Wisconsin offer while on an unofficial visit over the weekend. Brevard holds eight scholarship offers: Notre Dame, Penn State, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Ohio State and Purdue.
Great day in Madison!!! Extremely blessed & super excited to receive an offer from the University of Wisconsin! Thanks to Coach Chryst & the coaching staff for this weekend. #Gobadgers #foreverforward pic.twitter.com/l2eXwQm6io
— Cole Brevard (@YoBoiCole2020) March 18, 2018
Brevard, who is from Carmel, Ind., has been busy visiting schools in March. This month, he already has visited Notre Dame, Iowa and Wisconsin and has an unofficial visit scheduled for Indiana next weekend. Brevard is 6-3 and 280 pounds. He ranks as a 4-star prospect and the No. 7 defensive tackle in the country.
2019 OLB Rian Davis
Outside linebacker Rian Davis added a Wisconsin offer on Monday. Davis is a 6-3, 225-pound junior from Apopka, Fla., who holds 30 scholarship offers. His offer list has grown significantly in the last month. During that time, he has earned offers from Minnesota, Pitt, Baylor, Nebraska, Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan State, Mississippi State and Wisconsin.
— Rian "Trouble" Davis (@Trouble_R4) March 19, 2018
Davis is a 3-star player in the 247Sports composite who ranks as the No. 35 outside linebacker in the country. During his junior season, Davis tallied 93 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 6 pass breakups, 3 sacks, 2 fumble returns for touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
2019 OL John Olmstead lists Badgers in top 10
Wisconsin would have to pull off some sort of recruiting upset to land tackle John Olmstead, but at least the Badgers remain in the mix. Olmstead released a video on Twitter that narrowed down his candidates to 10 schools: LSU, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Rutgers and Wisconsin.
I am truly thankful to every school that has offered me a chance to continue my academic and athletic careers. It has been an honor to meet all of the coaches who recruited me. After many conversations with my family and much prayer, I will be considering these ten schools. pic.twitter.com/VWo7qGQvlP
— John Olmstead (@JOHNNYO_72) March 16, 2018
Olmstead is a 6-6, 290-pound junior from Metuchen, N.J., who holds 35 scholarship offers. He is rated as a 4-star prospect, the No. 4 player in New Jersey and the No. 19 tackle in the country, according to the 247Sports composite. The 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions favor a commitment to Notre Dame.
Wisconsin already has two tackles committed in the 2019 class: Logan Brown and Joe Tippmann. The Badgers also have interest from several other tackles in the class, including Bryce Benhart, Quinn Carroll, Trevor Keegan, Jonathan Allen and Andrew Kristofic.
2018 Badgers signee Travian Blaylock wins triple jump
Incoming Wisconsin cornerback Travian Blaylock has been hard at work closing out his high school track season. Over the weekend, he scored a major victory by winning the triple jump at the Texas State University Relays with a leap of 49 feet, 1 inch. The second-place competitor was well behind at 46-6.
Last year, Blaylock finished second at the Texas Class 6A state championships in the triple jump with a leap of 49 feet, 7 ¼ inches.
Blaylock has been able to learn from one of the best mentors in the country. His high school track coach is Chris Carter, who was the USA indoor triple jump champion in 2014. For the record, Carter’s personal record is 56 feet, 3 inches.
Coach Carter and Travian Blaylock are both meet champions today at TSU Relays. How many athletes can say they were coached by a USA Indoor Champion?? We are blessed to have @cartercutz coaching at Atascocita High School. pic.twitter.com/sVgCIA19dX
— AHS Boys Track&Field (@AHS_Boys_Track) March 17, 2018
The 6-foot, 180-pound Blaylock signed with Wisconsin’s football program in December after finishing his senior season at Atascocita High with 30 tackles, 10 pass breakups and 3 interceptions. In his high school career, he tallied 149 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 5 interceptions and 3 forced fumbles.
Blaylock is one of four cornerbacks in Wisconsin’s 2018 class, along with Donte Burton, Alex Smith and Rachad Wildgoose Jr.
2018 Badgers signee Boyd Dietzen sets shot put meet record
Speaking of Wisconsin football signees excelling in track and field events, incoming defensive end Boyd Dietzen continues to dominate in the shot put. He broke his own meet record at the UW-Stevens Point Invite with a throw of 65 feet, 5½ inches. That mark represents a school record.
New School Record Alert 🚨!
Congratulations to Boyd Dietzen breaking his own record at the UW-Stevens Point Invite! pic.twitter.com/YYRZfdrv1m
— KimberlyTrack (@KimberlyTrack) March 19, 2018
Dietzen finished his senior football season at Kimberly with 70 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks to earn the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association defensive player of the year award. He also earned the Tim Krumrie Award as the state’s top senior defensive lineman.