Recruiting is the lifeblood of any major college athletics team, but following it closely as a fan can sometimes be difficult and can often be time consuming. We’ll try and condense all the recruiting news you can use into this bi-weekly (sometimes more) post. It’ll include updates on current commits, including stats from their high school games, as well as news on players the Badgers are still pursuing. Let’s get down to business!
- 2024 4-star WR Cam Williams (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) out of Glenbard South High School earned an offer from Wisconsin after an unofficial visit to UW earlier in the week. Williams already has over a dozen offers including from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Minnesota, Purdue, Vanderbilt and others. He has taken a few visits to Notre Dame as well, although the Irish haven’t offered yet. It looks like he has a lot of interest in Iowa, as he’s already visited Iowa City five times, according to On3 Sports.
Williams has excellent size for a wideout, standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing around 180 pounds. He is rated as the No. 159 player and No. 27 WR in the 2024 class by the On3 Consensus as well as the No. 3 player in the state of Illinois. Rivals also has him listed as a 4-star while 247 Sports hasn’t rated him yet, but Evan Flood calls him “touted” ($) in his post on Williams. Flood also notes that Williams is “a huge Russell Wilson” fan and has followed Wisconsin closely since Wilson played for the Badgers.
Here is Williams’ Hudl tape. He shows nice hands, an ability to adjust to the ball in midair and uses his frame to his advantage. This is the type of player that Wisconsin often struggles to reel in on the recruiting trail, but his familiarity with the program, as well as his hometown being close to Madison, should help the Badgers make some inroads here.
- Unranked 2024 LB/ATH Derek Weisskopf (Williamsburg, Iowa) out of Williamsburg High School earned an offer from Wisconsin earlier this week. The Badgers are the first to extend a scholarship offer to Weisskopf, although Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska and Notre Dame could/should soon follow with offers of their own.
Weisskopf is 6-foot-3 and weighs a bit over 200 pounds. His Hudl tape lists him as an OLB or WR but it also looks like he plays some sort of hybrid S/LB position (and punter!) too. The Badgers have been taking more and more players like this and I think it’s a smart move (this is probably a discussion to be had on another post, but players like Weisskopf should continue to be extremely valuable on defenses as the line between LBs and safeties blurs a bit).
It will be interesting to see which schools get in the mix for him, as well as what the recruiting services think about him, but the Badgers being first and, hopefully, having a plan to deploy him on defense should matter here.
- 2024 4-star OT Fletcher Westphal (Leesburg, Va.) out of Tuscarora High School received an offer from Wisconsin this past week as well. Westphal already has nine offers, including Maryland, Penn State, Pitt, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia among a couple of others. North Carolina and Notre Dame are also showing interest but haven’t offered yet.
Westphal is already a massive human being, standing at 6-foot-8 and weighing close to 320 pounds. The On3 Consensus ranks him as the No. 174 player and No. 9 OT in the 2024 class as well as the No. 4 player in the state of Virginia.
Here is his Hudl tape. Given his size, he is obviously a people mover at the high school level. He is also surprisingly athletic for a young, large player. A lot of his interest is coming from schools in the DMV area and Pennsylvania, so it’ll be interesting to see what a school like Wisconsin, who regularly produces NFL offensive linemen, means to him.
- 2024 4-star LB Sammy Brown (Jefferson, Ga.) out of Jefferson High School was offered by the Badgers this past week. He has around 15 offers currently, including from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Tennessee and other Power 5 schools too. Those are, uh, some good offers right there.
Brown, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs around 215 pounds, is rated as a 5-star by the 247 Composite (No. 6 player and No. 1 LB in the nation), a 4-star by Rivals (No. 23 player and No. OLB in the nation) and as a high 4-star by the On3 Consensus (No. 17 player and No. 3 LB in the nation).
He is an impressive athlete who won the Georgia Class A 400-meter state title as a freshman and is also a wrestler. During his sophomore season he racked up 51 tackles, five TFLs, three sacks and a fumble recovery while rushing for 750 yards (on only 57 attempts aka 13.2 ypc) and 12 touchdowns on offense. He also returned a kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown. Here is his Hudl tape.
As far as high school sophomores go, this dude is a pretty complete player. He is going to end up with offers from just about every major school in the country. The Badgers have a good recent history of turning players like Brown into NFL Draft picks but, I’ll be honest, Brown looks like an NFL talent regardless of college choice.
- 2024 4-star EDGE Elijah Rushing (Tucson, Ariz.) out of Salpointe Catholic earned an offer from UW and Bobby April this week. If his last name sounds familiar, it is because his older brother George was a wide receiver at Wisconsin from 2014-2017. Rushing already has a bunch of offers from the likes of Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, Southern Cal, Utah and others.
Rushing is around 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds and, like his last name suggests, he can get after the pass. He is rated as the No. 45 player and No. 3 EDGE in the country by the 247 Composite while the On3 Consensus has him as the No. 55 player and No. 4 EDGE in the nation. Depending on your recruiting service of choice, he is either the second or third best player coming out of Arizona in the ’24 class.
Here is his Hudl tape. He uses his long arms well to get in the passing lanes and bother quarterbacks, that is when he isn’t dropping them for a loss behind the line of scrimmage. He plays both standing up and with his hand in the dirt, but with April being the one who offered him you’d expect Wisconsin sees him as an OLB in their defense.
Oregon and Notre Dame appear to be the early front-runners in his recruitment but hopefully the familial connection to Madison will at least bring Rushing to campus so Paul Chryst and co. can give him their best pitch.
UW makes cutdown list for blue chip LB
- 2023 4-star LB Phil Picciotti (Perkasie, Pa.) has narrowed his recruitment down to a top-12 schools and Wisconsin made the cut. Penn State is still considered the favorite by many of the recruiting sites, but he is also considering South Carolina, Michigan State, Southern Cal, Michigan, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Nebraska and Illinois.