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UW wins battle over MSU for 3-star wide receiver

Badgers beat Spartans for one of top wide receiver targets, earn Taj Mustapha’s verbal pledge on Thursday

Wisconsin’s efforts in the state of Michigan are starting to get noticed. Now the Badgers are also going head-to-head and winning for recruits over in-state Big Ten programs.

On Thursday night, 3-star wide receiver Taj Mustapha announced his verbal pledge to the University of Wisconsin according to our recruiting partners at Badger247. The West Bloomfield (Mich.) product was involved in a heated battle between the home state Michigan State Spartans and the Badgers, with UW  securing his verbal commitment tonight.

Wisconsin made Mustapha work for his offer though, pulling out an offer after seeing him come to Madison each of the last two weekends. One of those two weekends included a camp performance from the 6-2, 175-pound wide receiver.

It was important for the Badgers to get him on campus, as Michigan State got an unofficial visit on June 11th. Wisconsin’s ability to get him on campus two weekends in a row seemed to be a tell-tale sign, but one can never be sure of the strength of the pull from the home-state team.

UW’s win didn’t just come over the Spartans, although it was likely down the two of them in the end. The Badgers also had to beat other Big Ten schools like Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Purdue in the mix as well.

Mustapha is Wisconsin’s first wide receiver in the 2018 class. He is also ranked as the No. 155 wide receiver in the country and the No. 23 player in Michigan according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

One of the biggest things that stands out on film is his ability to make big plays happen in short space and by burning the top of the defense as well. In fact, that led to him putting up 47 receptions for 879 yards and nine touchdowns in his junior season last year alone.

Look for the Badgers to have one of the more versatile threats in the pass-catching game when Mustapha gets on the field. At 6-2 already, he’s got the frame to be a very interesting matchup at the collegiate level.

Wisconsin is now No. 24 in the country with its 14 commits in the 2018 class. UW also sits at No. 8 in the Big Ten in what is perhaps the most impressive year for recruiting from the conference in modern times.

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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