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.
2018 WR John Jackson earns Nebraska offer
Now that Wisconsin has signed all 19 of its committed players in the 2018 recruiting class, Badgers coaches can begin identifying potential prospects to add to the class on National Signing Day. One of those players is wide receiver John Jackson (Gardena, Calif.).
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Jackson is slated to visit Wisconsin the weekend of Jan. 19 and has garnered interest from several schools, including Oregon, Tennessee, UCLA and USC. He added a Nebraska offer, which he tweeted about Monday.
— John Jackson III (@johnjack3_) December 25, 2017
Jackson finished his senior season with 63 catches for 573 yards with 2 touchdowns. As a junior, he caught 32 passes for 411 yards with 6 touchdowns.
Wisconsin already has depth at wide receiver, but receivers coach Ted Gilmore continues to stockpile weapons. The Badgers will return Quintez Cephus, Kendric Pryor, A.J. Taylor and Danny Davis. Plus, Wisconsin is adding Aron Cruickshank, Isaac Guerendo, A.J. Abbott and Taj Mustapha in the 2018 class.
“I think very highly of them especially after this really successfully season they had,” said Jackson, per Adam Gorney of Rivals.com, earlier this month. “I was on the phone with the wide receivers coach and he let me know I have an offer there so it was good hearing that.”
Jackson has an official visit scheduled for UCLA the weekend of Jan. 26, and it could be difficult for Wisconsin to pry him away from new Bruins coach Chip Kelly and his up-tempo offense. Jackson also said he intends to visit Illinois. If Wisconsin can sway the California native in the dead of a Madison winter, it would be a tremendous addition to the Badgers class.
2018 F Drew Peterson visits
Drew Peterson, a 6-foot-7, 180-pound forward from Libertyville, Ill., took an unofficial visit to watch Wisconsin defeat Green Bay 81-60 on Saturday night at the Kohl Center. This came 11 days after Badgers coaches watched Peterson play. Although Peterson does not have a scholarship offer yet, he likes what he’s seen from Wisconsin.
“It was really cool,” Peterson told Badger247.com writer Evan Flood. “Even with the students gone on Christmas break, there were a lot of people there. The team is really unselfish, I really like the style of play. They have a lot of fun out there, and the Kohl Center is great.”
Peterson has scholarship offers from Bowling Green, Illinois Chicago, IUPUI, Kent State, Loyola Chicago, Tulane and William & Mary. He is a 3-star prospect who is rated as the No. 7 player in Illinois and could be a late find for the Badgers. Peterson told Flood that Badgers assistant coach Howard Moore would watch his team participate in a holiday tournament this week.
Wisconsin currently has two committed players in the 2018 recruiting class — forward Taylor Currie (Clarkston, Mich.) and center Joe Hedstrom (Hopkins, Minn.). But the Badgers are in need of more frontcourt help. Ethan Happ is a redshirt junior who could declare for the NBA draft next spring. Charlie Thomas, Andy Van Vliet and Alex Illikainen will be seniors next season. Wisconsin also could look to add a graduate transfer in the class.
Peterson last played Dec. 15, as Stevenson defeated Libertyville 60-54. Peterson was the star, scoring a game-high 25 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter to keep his team in the contest. According to the Daily Herald, he did this “in spite of constant double- and triple-teams when he posted up in the paint, and in-your-face defense when he tried to shoot from the perimeter.”
Peterson needs to bulk up to compete in the Big Ten and would stand to benefit from a redshirt season. But his length, ball handling and shooting ability are intriguing traits. Over his last five games, Peterson is averaging 26.2 points, which includes a 37-point effort, as well as a game in which he tallied 29 points with 15 rebounds.
Peterson has garnered interest from Illinois, Drake, DePaul and Stanford. He indicated after the game that he believed Illinois coaches were in attendance.
“I’ve gotten used to it [the college coaches in the stands],” Peterson told the Daily Herald. “My recruitment started a couple of years ago. I had coaches coming to games last year. Obviously, they are in the crowd but I am just doing whatever I can to focus on the game and help my team win.”