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 CB target Wynston Russell discusses decision date
Wynston Russell didn’t want the stress of his recruiting process to overwhelm him. So he made a big step by announcing the date on which he’ll pick his college football destination: July 27. That date is significant, he said, because it will fall on his father’s birthday.
SHUTTING DOWN MY RECRUITMENT: July 27th ‼️
(There are no favorites)
— Wynston Russell (@___WR3) March 25, 2018
Russell holds scholarship offers from Wisconsin, Syracuse, UCLA, Iowa State, Massachusetts, Toledo and Western Michigan. Whether Russell, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound cornerback from Homewood-Flossmoor (Ill.) High School, chooses Wisconsin remains to be seen.
“I feel like I’ve had a lot of love from Wisconsin,” Russell told Land of 10. “I really like Wisconsin.”
Russell’s lead recruiter at Wisconsin was outside linebackers coach Tim Tibesar before he left to become the defensive coordinator at Oregon State. Russell said he has spoken with Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard occasionally.
He noted Wisconsin’s coaches like his coverage skills and strength against receivers.
“As a DB, I’m physical,” Russell said. “I’m physical and I’ll lock you up. I lock receivers up. That’s what I do. If a receiver lines up in front of me, he’s not catching the ball. He might not get off the line of scrimmage. I pride myself on versatility and the ability to tackle.”
Wynston Russell highlights
Russell is keeping his potential college choice close to the vest. He said he wanted to take his official visits before he lets everybody know of his decision. The only official visit he currently is lining up is one to Syracuse, although he indicated he planned to return to Wisconsin at some point. He initially wanted to attend Wisconsin’s spring game next Friday but doesn’t know if he’ll be able to make it. He plans to announce his decision with a video.
“I’ve got a feeling in my heart right now, but I want to wait it out for a minute,” Russell said. “And also I want to talk it over with my family, pray on it some more and see if any other options come in the door and go with that.”
Russell is rated as a 3-star prospect, the No. 24 player in Illinois and the No. 110 cornerback in the country, according to the 247Sports composite. He did visit Wisconsin once to watch the Badgers defeat Purdue last October.
“I thought it was great,” Russell said. “I loved it there. The coaches, they treated me well. They really showed a lot of hospitality and treated me nicely.”
Wisconsin has scholarship offers out to 11 uncommitted cornerbacks in the 2019 class. Cornerback Semar Melvin (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) is the only player in that group that has a Wisconsin visit scheduled. He is expected to be on campus June 6.
More on Badgers PG target DJ Carton
I wrote a story that published earlier Thursday about point guard DJ Carton (Bettendorf, Iowa) and where things stand with Wisconsin in his recruitment. Carton is the No. 4 point guard in the 2019 class and one of the Badgers’ top basketball targets. Wisconsin represented Carton’s first high-major scholarship offer last summer, but he has since become a popular player on the recruiting scene.
Carton holds several notable scholarship offers, including from Wisconsin, Creighton, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Marquette, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Northern Iowa and Ohio State.
Carton plays his AAU basketball for Quad City Elite and participated last weekend in a tournament in the Milwaukee area. Scott Burgess of PrepHoops Iowa caught up with Carton at the event, and you can check out the interview here:
I spoke with Carton, as well as his mother, his high school coach and his AAU coach. Here are a few quotes about Wisconsin that didn’t make my story:
Quad City Elite AAU coach Logan Wynn: “I know when he visited, obviously he talked about the culture and how when he was there, just the way that the players interacted with each other. They seemed really close and made him feel close. And then just the professionalism of the coaching staff and the way they carry themselves.
“So I know he was really turned on by all of that and the success that they’ve had over the last however many years they made a run in the NCAA Tournament. Obviously this year, it was a young team. But I know that he knows they have some talented young players and some guys coming in.”
Bettendorf basketball coach Curtis Clark: “I think they like what everybody else likes. He’s a real likable kid. He’s humble yet confident. They can see and tell that winning is a priority for him. He’s a high-character kid. There’s nothing off the court you have to be concerned about, whether it be academics or behavior.
“A lot of people like the fact that he’s coming from a program that traditionally does win. A lot of the staffs know that the way we coach that we hold kids accountable and have high expectations regardless of their talent level. I think those coaches know that he’s being coached the right way. That’s something they really enjoy as well.”
DJ Carton: “I’d definitely like to visit [Wisconsin] again. I’ve been there a lot. But it’s always good to see them again and go over their season and what they thought they could’ve done better and just talk about my high school season and talk about the future.”