A Recruiting Update for the Casual Observer

by Andy

Following college sports is sort of a weird thing to do. You’re devoting tons of time (and probably) money to follow a bunch of 18-22 year old kids simply because they go to the same school you once did, or are playing at the school in the state in which you grew up.  However, it’s also fun as hell and thoroughly fulfilling, especially when “your” team wins.

Following recruiting is even weirder. Almost as a rule, all teenagers are dumb. If a group of teenagers are walking down the street I’ll go to the other side, yet I’ll actively seek information about them, via the Internet at least, if they show interest in attending Wisconsin to play sports.

I do my best not to follow the day-to-day drama that comes with reading 17 yearold kid’s awful Twitter account (hello, Joe Mixon), but I do like to have a general idea of the types of players that are coming in next year. As a fan, it is hard not to at least care a tiny bit about who is coming in.  Any “big” Badger fan who says he (or she, in some instances) refuses to follow recruiting is lying, I doubt he or she was totally in the dark when Sojourn Shelton lined up as the starting CB in the first game last year or wasn’t at least somewhat aware that Mixon would have a Badger hat on the table during his announcement.  Either that or they know and just don’t admit it!

So with that long disclaimer - the Badgers got a bunch of recruits over the last few weeks, including a major haul back in the middle of June.

Below, I’ll look at the 2015 verbal commits and the first Badger comparison I thought of after researching each recruit for 30 seconds. I’ve also included an announcer talking point that you can use as a fun fact to impress your friends at the bar before the media pounds it into the ground (speaking of which, did you know Owen Daniels is really into being a weatherman?) I did not!

 

Austin Kafentzis - QB, Utah (committed in 2013)

Quick Badger Comp - Brooks Bollinger

Annoying announcer talking point (AATP) - Set the Utah HS record for the javelin (there’s video of this out there, seriously). He’s from Utah; Gary Andersen is from Utah.

 

Kyle Penniston - TE, California

Quick Badger Comp - Travis Beckum

AATP - From California, but has relatives in Wisconsin and Dad is from Minnesota.

 

Andrew James - ATH, Florida

Quick Badger Comp - David Gilreath

AATP - Anecdote after anecdote about how fast he is, using code since he’s white - “deceptively fast” etc. 

 

Jon Dietzen -OL, Wisconsin

Quick Badger Comp - Any lineman from Wisconsin in the past 20 years. 

AATP - Fat jokes about Wisconsin and discussion about how the state breeds offensive linemen.

 

David Moorman -OL, Michigan

Quick Badger Comp - Any lineman from Wisconsin in the past 20 years.

AATP - Something about the allure of the Wisconsin offensive line tradition pulling him away from his home state teams in Michigan.

 

David Pfaff -DE, Wisconsin

Quick Badger Comp - Pat Muldoon

AATP - Caught the attention of college recruiters by having battles against George Panos in High School.

 

X'zaviae Ausborne - DB, Texas

Quick Badger Comp - Dez Southward

AATP - Plans to run track. Is a HS teammate of Takadrae Williams. From a Texas HS powerhouse. 

 

Takadrae Williams - DB, Texas

Quick Badger Comp - Brett Bell, maybe - this one is tough, not much history of tall CBs at Wisconsin

AATP - HS teammate of X’zaviae Ausborne. From a Texas HS powerhouse.

 

Nick Thomas - LB, Florida

Quick Badger Comp - Vince Biegel

AATP - From Kansas, moved to Florida to get more recruiting attention and play against better competition.

 

Chris Orr - LB, Texas

Quick Badger Comp - Undersized and projected to play in the middle, so will go with Borland even though that’s unfair.

AATP - Father played in the NFL, 3 older brothers play college football.

 

Sam Madden - OL, New Jersey

Quick Badger Comp - John Moffitt

AATP - Diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as a HS Freshman. Is, in fact, a cousin, of one John Moffitt.

 

Nate Howard - OLB, Missouri

Quick Badger Comp - DeAndre Levy

AATP - Was not on ANY recruiting radars until Wisconsin got him to commit. We’ll hear lots about how the Badgers found him, how recruiting stars don’t matter, etc. Might want to mention Oklahoma, like Boomer Sooner, offer 24 hours prior to his committing (per Rich/Evan Flood).

 

Brandyn Lee - WR, California

Quick Badger Comp - Lee Deramus

AATP - Sort of at a loss here until more info comes out. If the Badgers are successful, I assume the story about how group of guys all committed in mid-June at camp will be repeated adnauseum.

 

David Edwards - TE, Illinois

Quick Badger Comp - High School QB who projects as a TE? Sounds like Owen Daniels, though seems like more of a blocking TE than was Daniels.

AATP - Since he played QB in High School and will likely be a big TE as he gets older, this will be mentioned quite frequently. 

 

Mohammed Barry - OLB, Georgia

Quick Badger Comp - Jonathan Casillas

AATP – The Georgia pipeline is now OPEN!

 

So there’s the current list. You’re now armed with enough knowledge to casually mention incoming guys in conversation and drop some knowledge without sounding creepy.  Here’s to you, recruiting!