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Wisconsin Badgers 2018 Football Recruiting: Inside Linebacker breakdown

Inside linebacker is stacked for the Badgers in 2017, but what does the future hold for the position on the 2018 recruiting trail?

Summer is here and that means the recruiting trail is heating up big time. With the Wisconsin Badgers already halfway to a likely 18-man class, this summer is likely to turn in to turning up the heat on prospects at the top of the board and moving forward with evaluations and new offers.

We’ve seen some of that already, with the Badgers messy “divorce” with three-star quarterback Ben Bryant this past Friday. There have also been a bevy of new offers across the board for UW.

Previous Positions: Quarterback | Safety | Running Back |

One position that the Badgers have nailed on the recruiting trail in the previous few cycles has been inside linebacker. It may well be the deepest position on the team in 2017, but we’re talking about the future and Baby Badgers here, not the team that will take the field this upcoming season.

Can UW continue its hot streak recruiting inside linebackers? Do they already have a player or two in the fold? Let’s take a look at the position as it stands heading in to the heat of the summer.


Jack Sanborn

It feels only natural that Wisconsin’s top recruit and the only 247Sports four-star player in the fold would come at inside linebacker. Sanborn is a gifted athlete and one of the most instinctual players at his position I’ve seen in a long while. It doesn’t hurt that he is also a hard hitter at just 210 pounds.

The good news for Sanborn is that he can let his body develop at the next level and work his way up the depth chart with little pressure to perform early. However, don’t be surprised to see him working in to the mix sooner rather than later even with the depth the Badgers have.

CJ Goetz

Goetz is the classic type of player that Chryst and Co. love to recruit in-state. He wasn’t getting a ton of national attention or regional attention for that matter, but that was likely because the Badgers were on him early and often. He also displays the fundamentals, mental game and overachieving physicality that hallmark in-state players. While he isn’t likely to be needed right away, don’t be surprised to see Goetz making an impact at this position in the future.

Recruiting Priorities:

It wouldn’t make sense for Wisconsin to stock up on any more inside linebackers, but there are a few offers still out there that could add to this class. Wisconsin may take one more, but it would be more about filling out the class than filling a need if you will.

Getting one of the most talented players in the state of Wisconsin along with a top-line recruit at the position should be more than sufficient for this class. However, the Badgers haven’t stopped offers at the position and just extended a new offer to a unheralded recruit out of Virginia.

Ricky Miezan is the name, but despite the unknown nature of his name, there are offers from some big schools out there. He has offers from the likes of Indiana, Michigan State, Syracuse and Virginia amongst others. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of the offer.

State of Recruiting:

Wisconsin’s state of recruiting at inside linebacker couldn’t possibly be stronger. For all the misses of the Gray Andersen era, linebacker certainly wasn’t that area. Potential starting inside linebackers T.J. Edwards and Chris Orr were amongst the big finds of Andersen’s recruiting classes.

It is clear that recruiting at this position is at its highest level we’ve ever seen it. Adding the caliber of players that Sanborn and Goetz are is further proof of that. It is one thing to add a few good players in a class or two, but the Badgers have hit recruiting at this position out of the park since the 2012 recruiting class and that is more than a coincidence.

With some of the talent leaving the program in the next year or two, keeping the recruiting at a high level is very important. It seems that Chryst and Co. know that and aren’t afraid to go after the top of the board talent on a yearly basis at inside linebacker.

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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