With Wisconsin Badgers spring football out of the way and coaches hitting the road on the recruiting trail, it is time for us to also dive in to what is happening with the 2018 recruiting class.
Earlier this week we started by taking a look at the quarterback position, where the Badgers are
So, it would only be right that we start our look at defensive recruiting with the “quarterback” of the defense — safety. The Badgers have a ton of depth and a lot of competition happening, despite loosing starter Leo Musso to graduation.
That means recruiting efforts at the position will be all about finding potential and the best fit possible.
Wisconsin has seemingly hit the jackpot at this position in the last few recruiting cycles, has that continued in to the 2018 class? Let’s take a look.
Wisconsin got off to a fast start in the 2018 recruiting cycle, and surprisingly enough its first commitment came last August. It also came from an out-of-state product in Reggie Pearson from River Rouge, Mich. (a Detroit suburb).
He isn’t the most heralded of safeties in this class, but has been a solid commitment for the Badgers to build on. Additionally, he brings good size and speed to the position going forward.
This commitment came as a bit of surprise, if only because it came out of nowhere. One visit for a game, an offer and less than two weeks later Ingalls committed. What Pearson brings in physicality and size, Ingalls brings in instincts and ball-hawking ability.
He’s got a really good mental game and nose for the football in coverage. Film on Ingalls shows someone who is fundamentally sound, but likely needs to work on his tackling game at the next level. That will come with more bulk and the finer points of the game from Jim Leonhard. It will be interesting to watch the progression of Ingalls in a Badgers uniform.
Players in the Mix:
DeAndre Square Detroit, Mich. (Cass Tech)
Much like the quarterback position, Wisconsin is done at safety for the most part. Unless there is someone special or a straight athlete that turns in to a safety in the future, don’t look for the Badgers to add any more safeties in this class.
However, if there is one player UW will fit in at the position it will be three-star safety DeAndre Square from famed Detroit powerhouse Cass Tech. He is listed as “warm” towards the Badgers according to 247Sports and there is certainly mutual interest. Square not only is a quality player (No. 26 safety in the class), but gives UW a foot in the door at one of the most talent-rich high school programs in the country.
At 6-1, 200 pounds, Square also could be that extra in the box safety that UW liked to play with a few years ago. Think Michael Caputo with a bit more athleticism to his game coming out of high school.
Beyond Square, don’t be surprised if the Badgers are done at this position.
State of the Recruiting Board:
We’ve pretty much hinted at this all along, but Wisconsin prioritized this position early on in the recruiting process and got two very different safeties in the fold by the end of October. That was a big surprise considering some of the names that were offered before Ingalls, but we all know head coach Paul Chryst and Co. know this state like the back of their hands.
Given Wisconsin’s depth and youth at the position, the Badgers could afford to go after a few players who are projects and then try to land a bigger fish. All the eggs seem to be in the basket of Square, who is a heavy Michigan State lean at this point.
Wisconsin has had a way of pulling surprises on the recruiting trail and this would be a big win if Square ends up committing to UW over its Big Ten rivals.