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 S Lewis Cine likes Badgers
Wisconsin’s recruiting pipelines extend far and wide, even in locales that traditionally wouldn’t be considered Badgers territory. Take, for example, the city of Everett, Mass.
Four years ago, former Wisconsin safeties coach Bill Busch recruited Everett High School standout Lubern Figaro to Wisconsin. That decision could help pave the way for the Badgers to land another Everett product, 2019 safety Lewis Cine.
Cine is rated as a 4-star prospect and the No. 1 player in Massachusetts for the 2019 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He received a Wisconsin scholarship offer Aug. 3.
FiredUp🔥! I've just received my 1️⃣7️⃣th offer from The UNIVERSITY Of WISCONSIN 🙏🏾🔴⚪️‼️🙏🏾Glory to God✝️ ‼️☝🏾 pic.twitter.com/onp3Pvj61n
— TWIN_TOWER_16 (@LewisCine) August 3, 2017
Cine has a longstanding friendship with Figaro and already has talked to him about Wisconsin and what to expect during the recruiting process.
“What he said about Wisconsin from watching the games, it’s the type of environment I would like to be in,” Cine told Land of 10. “He says that for him in his recruiting process, he saw real people, real coaches that were real with him instead of being fake. He tells me Wisconsin, they’re nothing but the realest. They’ll keep it 100 with you when it comes to the recruiting process and the family feel.
“He’s been over there for a long time now — for four years. And they treat him like nothing but a family member. He said it’s my decision, but pay close attention to who’s realistic and who’s fake to me.”
Cine is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound junior who already holds scholarship offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse and Tennessee, among others. But his offer from Wisconsin was particularly meaningful.
“Way before I had the offers, I told my defensive coordinator to reach out to the Wisconsin staff and send out my film to them to get a response,” Cine said. “It was kind of a late response, but I was still waiting for it. When they finally offered, it was a surreal moment for me.”
Cine said he had been in contact with Saeed Khalif, who is in his first season as Wisconsin’s director of player personnel. He indicated he would eventually like to visit Wisconsin, Michigan, Oklahoma and Florida.
“I definitely know that Wisconsin is one of the top schools,” Cine said. “That’s definitely a school that I would like to visit and get down there.”
According to 247Sports, Wisconsin has offered scholarships to six safeties in the 2019 class. Four of those players have not committed to a school: Cine, Brendan Gant (Lakeland, Fla.), Khalid Martin (Kernersville, N.C.) and Jalyn Phillips (Lawrenceville, Ga.).
Cine has played safety since eighth grade and said he prides himself on being a physical defensive back who is not afraid of contact. He also said his speed and length have helped him to stand out.
Everett opens its season Sept. 9, and Cine said he is looking forward to the season ahead.
“I would love to improve on my defensive schemes, and also the little things when it comes to football,” Cine said. “The right back pedal, working on hips. There’s always something to work on. Getting way better at tackling, reading hips, all of that. That’s one thing I can get way better at.”
2018 CB Marquis Williams announces decision date
Marquis Williams, a cornerback from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced on Twitter that he would make his college decision Monday. His four finalists are Wisconsin, Minnesota, Central Florida and Pittsburgh. According to the tweet, Williams will hold his announcement at 8 p.m. ET at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Deerfield Beach, Fla., and it will be broadcast live on Periscope.
— Sleeper Athletes (@SleeperAthletes) August 17, 2017
Williams has said for months that Wisconsin was his leader in the recruiting process. He received a Badgers scholarship offer April 19 and last visited Wisconsin unofficially on June 22. But Wisconsin also now already has two cornerbacks committed in the 2018 class with Alexander Smith (Culver City, Calif.) and Travian Blaylock (Humble, Texas).
Wisconsin did lose one prospect last week, when safety Trent Ingalls (Menasha, Wis.) de-committed, so there could still be room for Williams. However, Williams has said that he intends on taking official visits to multiple schools this fall. He previously cited Wisconsin, Penn State, Minnesota and Pittsburgh as possible official visit destinations.
Wisconsin’s coaching staff generally prefers a commitment from a prospect that isn’t seeking out other potential suitors, and it will be interesting to see what Williams decides. The 5-foot-8, 154-pound senior is a 3-star player, per 247Sports, who transferred after last season from Coconut Creek to Cardinal Gibbons High School.
Williams told the Sun Sentinel that he wanted to commit to a school before his team’s first preseason game Aug. 18, and he spoke highly of the Badgers.
“They’ve been recruiting me since 10th grade,” Williams said. “When I went up there for a visit, it was nothing but family. Their whole entire staff either worked there before or played there before. It’s nothing but family there. It’s a great tradition.”
2018 DT Tyler Bentley to visit Wisconsin
Defensive tackle Tyler Bentley committed to Kentucky on June 11, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a battle for his services next season. And Wisconsin appears to be firmly in the mix.
Bentley told Scout.com writer Bill Greene that, despite his current commitment to Kentucky, he would take official visits this fall to Wisconsin and Pittsburgh.
Bentley, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound senior from West Chester, Ohio, holds 25 scholarship offers, including from SEC schools Kentucky, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Tennessee and Missouri, as well as Big Ten programs Wisconsin, Michigan State, Maryland, Minnesota, Rutgers and Indiana. Wisconsin offered Bentley a scholarship on Feb. 27.
“I saw Kentucky going on the up,” Bentley told Greene. “I saw a 3-4 defense, and I feel I can really shine as a nose tackle. I want to be a part of something great, or what’s going to be great.”
Of course, Wisconsin also operates out of a 3-4 defense, which is a potential selling point to Bentley. Wisconsin already has secured a commitment from nose guard Bryson Williams (Lincoln, Neb.) in the 2018 class, and it remains to be seen whether the Badgers would take another player at the position or try to move him somewhere on the defensive line. On the current Wisconsin roster, junior Olive Sagapolu is the starting nose guard, with sophomore Garrett Rand serving as his backup.
Bentley is a 3-star prospect who is rated as the No. 60 defensive tackle in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Williams is listed at No. 62.
“I’m a lot faster and stronger,” Bentley said of his development compared to last season. “I really know how to do more pass rush moves. It’s going to really help me out.”
Here is Greene’s brief interview with Bentley:
2020 forward Jalen Johnson recaps Duke visit
One of the fiercest basketball recruiting battles in the 2020 class will involve Jalen Johnson, a 6-foot-7, 170-pound forward from Sun Prairie, Wis. Last Wednesday, Johnson visited Wisconsin to watch the Badgers practice before their exhibition tour overseas. Two days later, Johnson was off to Durham, N.C., to visit coach Mike Krzyewski and Duke.
Evan Flood of Badger247.com caught up with Johnson afterward to recap the visit.
“It was great,” Johnson told Flood. “Getting out to Duke was a surreal visit for me. I never really envisioned myself visiting there. It was super cool. I loved it.
“Some of that stuff is just crazy to see. Some colleges don’t have stuff like that. The basketball facilities are super crazy. They have some impressive technology that tracks their shooting and everything. I was really impressed by that stuff.”
Johnson said he was continuing to build relationships with Wisconsin’s coaching staff as well and that 2018 Badgers commit Tyler Herro was pushing him to come to Madison, too.
“He wants to make the Badgers as good as possible,” Johnson said. “They have a bright future, and he thinks it could get better with the recruiting classes coming up.”
Johnson is a 4-star prospect and rated as the No. 9 player in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports composite rankings. He told Flood he would visit North Carolina in September and Kentucky for its Big Blue Madness event Oct. 13. Johnson currently holds scholarship offers from Wisconsin and Marquette, but several of the top programs in the country are keeping an eye on his development.
Herro, meanwhile, was among those included in Rivals.com analyst Eric Bossi’s “10 players on the rise” following a big summer on the AAU circuit. Here’s what Bossi wrote about Herro and why he was trending up:
“My personal concern with Herro — and why we’ve rated him lower than some other services — has been that he has to work very hard and use a lot of dribbles to create space against high-major defenders. During July, he looked more fluid and like he wasn’t working as hard to get his offense, which was very promising when coupled with his ability to shoot.”
Also included on Bossi’s list was 2018 Badgers recruit Nate Laszewski, who visited campus on the same day last week as Herro, Johnson and 2019 recruit Nobal Days. Laszewski, a 6-foot-10 forward from Northfield, Mass., produced one of the best summers of any AAU player. He received scholarship offers from Indiana, Arizona, Wisconsin, Virginia and North Carolina alone in a four-day span from July 28-31.
“Laszewski has always shown a tempting combination of size and skill,” Bossi wrote. “During July, he added more killer instinct and consistency while helping the New England Playaz to a big summer.”