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Badgers not done recruiting in 2018 class?

With 19 commits, most believed the Badgers 2018 class was set. However, UW has made some big moves in the last few days that could add to the class.

It has long been assumed that the 19 players committed to the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2018 class would be the end of the recruiting cycle. After all, the numbers seem to work out to a full class.

But, early indications this week suggest that Wisconsin is not only shoring up the 19 players already verbally committed, but also poking around and still making a few offers to other names in the class.

One name to really keep an eye on is 4-star cornerback Houston Griffith, who recently re-opened his recruiting after Jimbo Fisher left Florida State for Texas A&M. Griffin was a big target for the Badgers earlier in his recruitment, but UW backed off a bit when it was clear he would be committing elsewhere.

Notre Dame is currently the runaway favorite, but it is clear that the Badgers want to get involved bad. With rumors of Nick Nelson potentially leaving school early and Derrick Tindal’s graduation, the cornerback spot is going to need bodies and an influx of top-level talent in the next year or two.

Getting an official visit in the coming weeks would be huge for the son of BTN analyst Howard Griffith, and a good indication of just how serious the interest is on both sides. A commitment to the Badgers would be a huge help to say the least, and Griffith could be in the mix early for playing time if Nelson leaves early.

But, it isn’t just a position of need (despite two players already at cornerback in this class) that the Badgers are going after. They have continued to evaluate every position and have even offered a new name at wide receiver. According to the offer list on 247Sports, a new name has popped up in 3-star wide receiver John Jackson.

The California native is rated as the No. 93 wide receiver by the 247Sports composite rankings. Jackson has serious interest in the Big Ten, with schools like Illinois in the mix as well as West Coast powers like Oregon, UCLA and USC in the mix.

Jackson appears likely to take official visits to the Midwest, so getting him on campus could be a huge help to the Badgers chances to land him in February.

Wisconsin also has looked in to running back Markele Stepp according to a recent report. That would be an interesting move given the Badgers already have Nakia Watson in the fold and have a loaded group of running backs coming back next season in at least Garrett Groshek, Chris James, Bradrick Shaw and Jonathan Taylor.

But, what remains to be seen is just who is leaving the program to help fill the extra spot or two that would be needed in this class. Will names like Michael Dieter, David Edwards or T.J. Edwards be leaving early for the NFL?

If so, look for the Badgers to have the room to add the names they’ve offered late in the process.

One thing is for sure, this staff isn’t leaving any stone unturned on the recruiting trail.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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