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Badgers Recruiting

Wisconsin Badgers 2019 Football Recruiting: an early cornerback breakdown

With 2017 in the rearview mirror and the 2018 Wisconsin Badgers recruiting class already signed, sealed and mostly delivered, it is truly an offseason to look forward to what is ahead.

That’s especially true on the recruiting trail, where the Badgers are way ahead of their normal curve. UW already has four commits to the 2019 class and there is a ton of buzz around the potential for this class to be special.

Previous looks: Running Back |

Wisconsin also likely needs to make this class count because it won’t be a big one, with around 14-16 players likely to be in the class in total. UW currently has 75 players on the 2019 scholarship list as it would sit today.

As we transition to looking ahead, we’ll take a look at each position as it stands on the recruiting trail. After looking in to the offensive backfield last time around, we’ll start our defensive look in the backfield as well with a look at cornerback recruiting.

Commit(s):

None – Wisconsin has four players signed for the 2019 class, but none at cornerback just yet.

Recruiting Priorities:

As of this writing, the Badgers have thrown out 14 offers at the cornerback position and by my count should be in place to add just two players to the mix in the 2019 class. Wisconsin will roll in to the 2019 season having not graduated a single scholarship cornerback and they added three of them in the 2018 class alone. Look for the Badgers to try to even things out in terms of numbers with just a couple of commits at this position in 2019.

So, what names should be in the mix? Right now that is a hard question to answer, as cornerback is a notoriously slow position in terms of commits and process. However, the Badgers could have an inside track on a few names due to great relationships. That includes Jalen Alexander (Loganville, Ga.) Wynston Russell (Flossmoor, Ill.) and Mike Sainristil (Everett, Mass.).

All three are from schools that Wisconsin has had long-standing relationships with and all three schools have Badgers players or recent graduates amongst their ranks. Alexander has been a name to watch as the Badgers landed his opposite number in Donte Burton in the 2018 class, while Russell was a former teammate of current Badgers wide receiver Kendric Pryor and Sainristil is from the same school that produced backup cornerback Lubern Figaro.

Can those relationships help the Badgers win what could be interesting recruiting battles? These are the names that I would focus the most attention on as realistic options.

State of Recruiting:

If ever there was a way to test just how good a talent evaluator Jim Leonhard is as a coach, the 2018 season is just that. Wisconsin will replace both starting cornerbacks and have just one returning player with any real experience in the mix, and that is nickel back Donyte Carriere-Williams.

The good news is the Badgers have hit on two of the better cornerbacks in the 2018 class in Travian Blaylock (Humble, Texas) and Donte Burton (Loganville, Ga.) are both top 60 cornerbacks according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

One trend you have seen with the Badgers since Chryst came aboard is the emphasis on bigger cornerbacks in the program. Wisconsin has struggled to land them, but that hasn’t been for a lack of trying. In the 2019 class a full seven of the 14 offers already handed out are to players 6-foot or taller. Perhaps no player intrigues me more that Bobby Wolfe does, as his height (6-3) and film indicate a player who can be a difference maker in a conference that is seeing the passing game take priority as of late. However, landing the 3-star product is going to be tough as schools like LSU, Oregon and Texas A&M are in the mix here (A&M has yet to offer).

More than the past, this recruiting class will test the ability of Leonhard as a recruiter. Wisconsin has to be picky at this position in this class and his eye for talent will mean a lot. Luckily, the Badgers have had some really good cornerback play in the past few years and it’s helped open up some recruitments that may not have been their before.

Overall, it appears the Badgers are trending up in terms of the pure talent that will take a look at them, and that changes the game in a big way.

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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