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Badgers Recruiting

Lorne Bowman becomes 1st Badgers basketball commit of 2020 class

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National signing day for the 2019 class was earlier this week and the Wisconsin Badgers announced just one commit for the class. 

With a limited amount of scholarships open in the 2020 recruiting class, it’s likely the Badgers will look to keep a few of the remaining openings in the 2019 class open for 2020 prospects. 

However, it didn’t take long for one of those few spots to be filled, as under-the-radar point guard Lorne Bowman announced his commitment to UW via his Twitter account. 

The point guard is currently unranked in the 2020 class, but expect that to change as the evaluators at various recruiting services re-evaluate the class in the coming weeks and months. 

Bowman rose up the Badgers recruiting board after watching him take off a bit on the AAU circuit this past summer. After waiting until September to make him an official offer, Bowman leapt at the chance provided to him by the Badgers. 

The Detroit (Mich.) St. Mary’s product got to Madison for the Badgers exhibition victory over Wisconsin-Oshkosh earlier this month and raved about his weekend experience on campus. 

“The city of Madison is amazing,” Bowman told 247sports. “The campus is just as good, maybe even better. To see all the people and all the things to do around Madison, it was amazing.”

What are the Badgers Getting?

After a few classes of leaders and pass-first kind of point guards (even if D’Mitrick Trice is lighting up the scoreboard as of late), the Badgers needed a player like Bowman at the point. He’s a natural scorer and has a good shot. 

Wisconsin needs someone that can create his own offense, especially with the perimeter threats that will still be in Madison when Bowman arrives. His ability to beat people off the dribble is nice and his on-ball confidence is a change of pace from the guards the Badgers currently have. 

Imagine a future with him slashing and wings scoring from his passes? It’s a sweet thought. But, overall, Bowman is a classic project for the UW coaching staff. The good news is that the basics are all there for a quality player. 

Look for Wisconsin to get Bowman in to the weight room and for him to be a potentially lethal scorer when/if he gets his opportunity in the Cardinal and White. 

Badgers Player He Most Reminds Us Of: Trevon Hughes

Yes, Bowman has a few inches on Hughes and Hughes likely had a few pounds on Bowman when he came to the Badgers…but, there games are about as similar as you can imagine. 

Both are on the ball scorers and aren’t afraid to slash to the basket or take on a little contact. Hughes was also were speedy players who made the Badgers more athletic overall and Bowman can do that as well. 

Here’s a look at Hughes’ game for those of you not old enough to remember all the way back to 2010 or so.

What Does it Mean for the rest of the 2020 Class?

It’s a nice start to the class, but the Badgers are in on some big time targets as well and getting Bowman isn’t going to be make or break for any of the big targets on UW’s board.

There is 5 star in-state product Jalen Johnson, who has seen his recruitment completely blow up and looks increasingly likely to head to one of the blue bloods that has offered him despite a full-court press by the Badgers. 

But, the biggest names to watch are a pair of players out of Minnesota — 6-10 power forward Dawson Garcia and 6-9 Ben Carlson — to be exact.  

According to 247Sports, the Badgers also have offers out to a number of 4-star talent from across the Midwest and beyond. The big names to watch from this group are Reece Beckman (4-star guard from Louisiana), Ethan Morton (4-star guard from Butler, PA) and Shon Robinson (4-star forward from Arizona). 

Robinson took an official visit to the Madison campus in October and his recruitment may not play out much longer either unless he wants to wait out the spring evaluation period as well.

Wisconsin needs to hit on at least two big men in this class and right now my guess is that Robinson and Carlson are the likeliest bets as Garcia could see his already impressive offer list continue to grow if he wants to play out the spring and summer recruiting periods this next year. 

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Badgers Recruiting

Badgers get commitment from 2020 OLB Cole Dakovich

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The 209 football recruiting cycle hasn’t technically ended and already things are heating up quickly for the 2020 Wisconsin Badgers recruiting class.

A day after accepting a verbal pledge from in-state wide receiver Chimere Dike, the Badgers now have their 6th member of the 2020 class with Waukesha (Wis.) Catholic outside linebacker Cole Dakovich announcing his pledge on Twitter on Friday morning.

This was another quick recruiting life cycle, as UW offered on Saturday during their first junior day and Dakovich jumped on the offer a week later.

He is another under the radar recruit, with the Badgers offer being his only to date. However, that is more likely because Dakovich has played only one year of football since the 7th grade and it was a productive year at that.

In his first year back to playing football, Dakovich racked up 105 tackles, 18 for loss, 2.0 sacks, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles. He also had 16 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown on the offensive side of the ball.

Wisconsin has a long and storied history of identifying these types of prospects and having them turn out well over their time in Madison.

He is not ranked by any of the scouting services out there, that’s how little football he has played to date.

The Badgers are now 11th nationally in the 2020 team recruiting rankings after some movement around the country yesterday.

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Badgers Recruiting

In-state 2020 WR picks Badgers

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Just a month after the Wisconsin Badgers got the 2019 football class signed, they got their fifth verbal pledge to their 2020 class.

Following an offer at junior day on Saturday, Waukesha (Wis.) West wide receiver Chimere Dike jumped at the chance to follow the team he’s been a fan of all of his life.

Getting this commitment gives UW five players in the mix, but also their first non-offensive lineman commit in the class.

Dike is also the fourth player to commit from in-state in the class, joining 4-star offensive linemen Trey Wedig and Jack Nelson as well as 3-star offensive lineman Ben Barten.

Wisconsin is getting a player they found early in his football playing days and only competed with Iowa State for a scholarship offer to date.

This past season Dike caught 79 passes for 1,091 yards and 12 touchdowns. At 6-1, 170 pounds, Dike gives UW a nice frame to work with and his production says there is potential here.

It has led to him being rated a 3-star prospect by 247sports and the No. 6 ranked player in the state. He’s also the No. 99 ranked wide receiver in the 2020 class.

Wisconsin had him near the top of their board and getting him to verbally commit this quickly has to make the coaching staff very happy.

It also means the Badgers continue to keep a very high national ranking for this class. Wisconsin is ranked No. 10 in the country and No. 2 in the Big Ten right now. They also have a crazy .890 average player rating for the class so far.

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Badgers Recruiting

Wisconsin Badgers 2019 Early Signing Day Breakdown: Tight End

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All 19 scholarships the Wisconsin Badgers had to offer in the 2019 recruiting class have been spoken for. Early National Signing Day was yesterday and everyone chose to put pen to paper and faxing actual Letters of Intent in.

Previous Positions: QB | DE | RB | CB |WR | DT |

But, we aren’t done breaking down the class and we continue our journey through the 2019 Badgers recruits today. This time it’s a look at Tight End.

UW Needs: 2
UW Commits: 2

Already Signed: Hayden Rucci, Clay Cundiff

After jumping in with some big time recruits at the position, Wisconsin got back down to looking at players who could be good blockers and pass catchers once again.

Rucci was a big get, with his recruitment a good battle amongst high-level teams. Cundiff was a late addition, flipping from Kansas during his senior season and UW believes they got a hidden gem from the 3-star recruit.

Biggest Get: Hayden Rucci

There are very different versions of what a quality tight end can be. There’s the receiver-heavy kind and the blocking-heavy kind, but in Rucci, the Badgers found a mix of both.

There wasn’t a lot of consensus on how good Rucci was in this class, with Rivals having the Badgers signee as their No. 15 ranked TE and 247Sports ranking him at No. 31.

What we can see from his junior film is someone who isn’t afraid to block on the line of scrimmage, but also has the ability to slip past defenders. Wisconsin got themselves a quality addition that may not have to immediately play should everyone else ahead of him stay healthy.

Biggest Miss: Hudson Henry

It’s not too often the Badgers are a serious contender with top-level recruits, but that was the case early on with 4-star tight end Hudson Henry. UW was given a long look by Henry, but the Little Rock, Ark. product couldn’t pass up playing for the home state Razorbacks.

Missing on the No. 60 player in the class stunk, but the Badgers ended up with some quality at the position despite this miss.

Biggest Target Still Out There: None

Wisconsin got what it wanted in this class in terms of a more well-rounded player at tight end.

What to Expect From This Group: Dual-Threat Ability

As hard as it is to admit, the Badgers offense is at its best when there are multiple looks from the tight end group. Having a blocking tight end along with a pass-catching option has made UW’s offense scary-good in the past.

With the additions of Rucci and Cundiff, Wisconsin has found two players who are good on the line of scrimmage and leaking out to receive passes as well.

Pairing either of them as they develop with the likes of Jake Ferguson could make UW’s offense really dangerous in the coming years.

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Badgers Recruiting

Wisconsin Badgers 2019 Early Signing Day Breakdown: Defensive Tackle

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Believe it or not, national signing day is here and the fax machines were buzzing early on Dec. 19th. 

For many kids it is the time they finally get to do what they’ve wanted to do for months, if not years. Yes, they’ll officially be able to call themselves Wisconsin Badgers. 

It’s 9:30am and believe it or not the biggest names UW had verbally committed to the program have already made it official. All the speculation and last-minute wringing of hands can cool off now. 

We’ll continue to break down the class that just signed as we’ve done leading up to signing day. 

Previous Positions: QB | DE | RB | CB |WR |

Up today is a look at a position that saw injury and youth on the recruiting trail really devastate the group — defensive tackle. 

UW Needs: 2
UW Commits: 3

Signed Early: Rodas Johnson, Gio Paez, Keenau Benton

With Olive Sagapolu graduating after this season and only one true nose guard/defensive tackle on the roster (Bryson Williams), this group was going to have more than one player in it. 

In Benton, Johnson and Paez, the Badgers continue the trend they set with Williams — mainly concentrating on athleticism for the inside of the defensive line. 

Biggest Get: Rodas Johnson

Getting a big time player at this position was a premium for the Badgers. Doing so right in Ohio State’s backyard…well that was just icing on the cake. 

Wisconsin beat out the likes of Michigan and Penn State down the stretch of his recruitment and that was huge. 

Johnson comes to the Badgers as the No. 29 ranked defensive tackle in the class and on film he shows potential to be a dominating force on the inside. At the very least, he’s got a college-ready body and can be the immediate back up to Williams. 

Biggest Miss: Isiah Gibson

While the Badgers are happy with the three players they got, UW also was very heavily involved in the race for Gibson’s pledge. In the end it came down to the Badgers and Kentucky, with the Ohio native choosing to stay closer to home. 

It also would’ve been interesting if Benton or more likely, Paez, would’ve even been in the mix had Gibson chosen Wisconsin. 

Biggest Target Still Out There: None

UW has finished up its class and there are no expected signings at the position. 

What to Expect From This Group: Athleticism

For all the talk of the size of Olive Sagapolu, the biggest lesson is that athleticism really matters on the inside. The ability to take on a double team or eat up space doesn’t just mean you’re a big man. It means you have the strength and athletic ability to get the job done. 

When watching film on all three of UW’s signees, it’s clear that they all are athletes with big frames to work with. The more athletes along the line, the better UW’s linebackers look as well. 

This will be a transformative group of inside players for Wisconsin’s defense. 

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