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Badgers Recruiting

Badgers already ahead of the game in 2019 football recruiting

While everyone is gawking over the just-signed 2018 class, Wisconsin has long been building a quiet but impressive 2019 class.

Yesterday was the 2018’s time to shine, but today is a new day and for most of the college football world it is already all about the 2019 recruiting class.

But, for the Wisconsin Badgers, it has been all about the 2019 recruiting class since the summer. That is in large part thanks to the Badgers locking down the vast majority of its class by July.

So, while most classes are now firmly focusing on the 2019 class, the Badgers have quietly built some big time national momentum on the recruiting trail.

You may not have noticed, but Wisconsin already has four players committed in the 2019 class. While it started with in-state prospect Leo Chenal (brother of 2018 walk-on John), he was just the beginning of an important class.

One thing has become clear as the Badgers continue to dominate over the rest of the West division — there’s a large gap between the West and East division.

Wisconsin has experienced that the hard way over the last two seasons, losing to Penn State and Ohio State in back-to-back Big Ten championship games.

The one thing that seemed to be missing was an extra game-changing player on either side of the ball.

Against Penn State is was a glaring need to get more out of the wide receiver position and in the defensive secondary. Wisconsin has addressed those needs in a big way in the past year, but more work can and should be done.

This year, against Ohio State, it was clear that there was a large difference in speed and production on the offensive side of the ball. Wisconsin just couldn’t match the breakaway speed of J.K. Dobbins and even the speed of the defensive line.

So, in 2019 the Badgers have hit the ground running to address those needs. Look no further than prying the No. 3 recruit in the state of Michigan from the Wolverines. 4-star offensive tackle Logan Brown committed to the Badgers last month, and was followed up by fellow 4-star offensive tackle Joe Tippmann out of Indiana earlier this month.

Brown currently sits as the No. 76 player in the country and the No. 10 offensive tackle in the country, while Tippmann is the No. 34 tackle and the No. 295 ranked player in the country. Both are fast, big and mean offensive lineman that can add to an impressive core of young offensive linemen already in the fold.

All of that is good, but what may end up being the most impressive name on the list to date is actually 4-star quarterback Graham Mertz out of Kansas.

Mertz is rated as the No. 7 pro-style quarterback and the No. 305 ranked player nationally. One look at his video and you can see perhaps the best arm talent we’ve seen from a Badgers quarterback prospect in years.

While the early names are impressive, there’s a long way to go and with a spring official visit period coming for the first time this spring, it will be interesting to see how the early momentum pans out for UW.

UW has put out 99 total offers in the 2019 class already, with Florida, Ohio and Texas leading the way in terms of offers out.

Getting kids on campus from those three areas in the spring is going to be huge to the effort. The jury is out as to just how many of those offered kids will want to take in the Madison campus in the spring, but if they can get a number of them in to town it could be a really interesting recruiting cycle for Wisconsin.

It certainly has gotten off to a big start.

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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