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.
What every Wisconsin fan needs to know on National Signing Day
When the NCAA adopted the December early signing period, Wisconsin was the type of program that stood to benefit most. Badgers coaches have thrived on identifying talent early and securing commitments well before players are required to sign. So it wasn’t a surprise that all 19 of the Badgers’ committed players signed in December.
What does that mean for National Signing Day on Wednesday? For the Badgers, it means little in the way of drama, although there could be one more move to be made.
Rachad Wildgoose Jr., a 5-foot-11, 190-pound safety from Miami, announced Sunday on Twitter that he would sign with his college of choice Wednesday at Miami Northwestern High School.
Wildgoose visited Wisconsin’s campus last weekend after taking official visits to Pittsburgh, UCF and North Carolina State. Wildgoose de-committed from Georgia on Jan. 14 and could be a last-minute steal for the Badgers. He is a 3-star prospect who ranks as the No. 65 safety in the country in the 247Sports composite. The fact Wisconsin was the last school he visited is a positive sign for the Badgers, whose biggest competition appears to be UCF.
Rachad Wildgoose’s senior-season highlights
Beyond that, there doesn’t appear to be any other movement afloat at Wisconsin. The Badgers previously pursued receiver John Jackson (Gardena, Calif.) and cornerback Jairus Brents (Louisville, Ky.), but both players have moved on from Wisconsin.
Even if nothing happens for Wisconsin on Signing Day, the Badgers have put together a solid 19-man class for 2018. Wisconsin’s class ranks No. 40 nationally on the 247Sports composite and consists of a group of players who will contribute after they’re able to develop.
2020 OL Trey Wedig earns Wisconsin offer
Trey Wedig, a 6-7, 284-pound sophomore from Wales, Wis., had a huge Friday on the recruiting trail when he received scholarship offers from both Michigan and Wisconsin.
Very excited to say I have reciecved an offer from the University of Wisconsin!! pic.twitter.com/uqpZCoKL0g
— Trey Wedig (@wedig_trey) February 2, 2018
Wedig has collected scholarship offers since his season ended from Syracuse, Iowa State, Michigan and Wisconsin. The Badgers have thrived over the years on landing in-state offensive linemen, but it appears as though Wedig will take his time with his college decision.
“Although I have been to campus, I still feel like I do not know a whole lot about Wisconsin’s program,” Wedig told Allen Trieu of 247Sports. “That being said, I want to learn as much as I can about the schools that are interested in me.”
Michigan offers 2020 OL commit Jack Nelson
Speaking of in-state offensive lineman in the 2020 class, Badgers commit Jack Nelson was another prospect to receive a scholarship offer from Michigan on Friday, according to Badger247 reporter Evan Flood. Nelson, who is listed at 6-7 and 242 pounds, committed to Wisconsin on Oct. 30.
Nelson spoke to Land of 10 after his commitment and sounded like someone who is set on becoming a member of the Badgers. His father, Todd Nelson, played at Wisconsin from 1984-88.
“I knew I wanted to play football for the Badgers ever since I could remember,” Jack Nelson said. “Growing up watching the games, getting to go to a practice once or twice with my dad, having posters in my room, yeah, there’s no other school that I could think of that I’d want to play for as much as Wisconsin. Just the heritage, especially for the O-line. Joe Thomas, everyone in the league. It’s where I want to play football.”
Nelson turned 16 in January. He put together a dominant sophomore season at Stoughton High School, which is less than 30 minutes from Camp Randall Stadium. He was recognized by his conference as a co-offensive lineman of the year, as well as a unanimous first-team all-conference selection.
“He just fits that mold of the Wisconsin lineman,” Stoughton football coach Dan Prahl said. “He’s got that huge frame, he’s still growing and when he gets there, they’re going to put a lot of weight on him. And it’s a good weight. He’s an athlete. He can move. He bends well. That was one of the things they loved about him was how he looked in his stance. And then obviously when he explodes out of his stance, he’s pretty good to have on your side.”
2019 commit Bryson Shaw receives Ohio State offer
Safety Bryson Shaw, a 6-2, 175-pound junior from Potomac, Md., committed to Wisconsin while on a campus visit two weekends ago. At the time, he held scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Maryland, Rutgers, Duke, Syracuse, Virginia, Wake Forest and West Virginia. But it was clear several more schools were expressing interest. On Sunday, Shaw tweeted that he had received an offer from Ohio State.
Blessed to have received an offer from The Ohio State!!! pic.twitter.com/HnKbPQbPGE
— Bryson shaw (@bshaw272727) February 4, 2018
Shaw rates as a 3-star player and the No. 73 safety in the country in the 247Sports composite. He told Land of 10 last week that before he committed to Wisconsin, he was planning to set up another visit with Ohio State because new Buckeyes defensive coordinator Alex Grinch had been recruiting him hard.
“When I committed to Wisconsin, he said, ‘I’ve been at Ohio State two weeks and I’ve been to your school both of those weeks. I think I deserved a chance,’ ” Shaw said. “I let him know that Wisconsin was the place for me and I’m sorry it didn’t work out. But Madison is the place I want to be.”
In other words, Badgers fans shouldn’t be too concerned about Ohio State coming in with a scholarship offer after Shaw’s commitment. The Buckeyes also offered a scholarship to 2019 Wisconsin quarterback commit Graham Mertz. It isn’t unusual for committed prospects to tweet about scholarship offers elsewhere. Mertz has tweeted about offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Georgia, Missouri, Arizona State and Oklahoma State since he committed to Wisconsin.
2018 guard Ochai Agbaji earns Kansas basketball offer
Well, landing guard Ochai Agbaji just became a whole lot more difficult for Wisconsin’s basketball program. Agbaji, a 6-5, 195-pound senior from Kansas City, Mo., tweeted Saturday that Kansas had offered him a scholarship.
— Ochai Agbaji (@youngoch) February 3, 2018
Agbaji has quickly become one of the hottest uncommitted prospects on the college basketball recruiting scene. According to MaxPreps, Agbaji is averaging 27.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this season for Oak Park High School.
Wisconsin offered Agbaji a scholarship on Jan. 27. He also recently received offers from Texas A&M, Oregon, Nebraska and Oklahoma State. Jayhawks coach Bill Self, as well as former Kansas coach Larry Brown, watched Agbaji tally 29 points and 14 rebounds on Friday night.
Agbaji intends on taking an unofficial visit to Oregon State on Feb. 10. He was born in Milwaukee before moving to Kansas City, and his father played basketball at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, so Wisconsin could have a leg up on many of the programs to have offered him scholarships. But with Kansas now in the fold, the odds of Agbaji picking Wisconsin could become longer.
2018 point guard Xavier Pinson picks Missouri
Wisconsin also recently offered point guard Xavier Pinson on Jan. 29, and the Badgers appeared to have a decent shot to land him after he took an unofficial visit that day. Pinson then narrowed his finalists down to Wisconsin, Missouri and Georgetown.
But he announced Monday night his commitment to Missouri, which came just two days after he visited Missouri. Pinson had planned on setting up an official visit to Wisconsin, but that obviously will no longer take place.
— XP3 (@xpinson3) February 6, 2018
Pinson is a 3-star player from Simeon High School in Chicago who had six scholarship offers: Wisconsin, Missouri, Georgetown, Memphis, Dayton and DePaul.
Wisconsin’s coaching staff continues to look for someone else to help fill out the 2018 recruiting class. Wisconsin coaches have been monitoring the progress of forward Drew Peterson (Libertyville, Ill.) for the past few months and have yet to offer him a scholarship. Peterson scored 35 points two weeks ago in his team’s 74-60 victory against Waukegan. He recorded 19 points and 5 rebounds in a 62-43 victory against Warren Township on Saturday night.
Beyond that, Wisconsin likely will hit prep schools, look for late-bloomers who lack high-major offers and potentially pursue graduate transfers after the season.