Wisconsin Football Recruiting: Ranking the Last 5 Recruiting Seasons
Since there's no college football being played, it is the recruiting classes that are the talk of the town right about now.
I thought this would be a good time to not only look at the Badgers' most recent class, but to also take a trip back and remember the good, the bad and the ugly classes Wisconsin has had come through the last few years.
Never at the top nor bottom of the talent pool each year, the Badgers are still looking to get over the hump of mediocrity.
Twenty-six recruits, only three 3-plus-stars. The numbers speak for themselves: nothing special by any means.
Again we see the trend of in-state recruiting. Until the Badgers get away from the homegrown talent a little bit more, they will never be one of the elite teams in the nation. There's no reason the Badgers should be going after 2- and 3-star recruits in Wisconsin when there are still 4- and 5-star recruits looking for a place to play.
The Badgers didn't need much from their recruiting class in 2010 considering the fact that most of the offense was returning. What they did do was address their need of a tight end by picking up two 3-star recruits in Marquis Mason and Sherard Cadogan.
However, on the defensive side the roster did need a little bit more help. Three of the four starting defensive linemen from the previous year were no more. Good thing Wisconsin was able to sign five more.
None of the prospects added to the roster were stars, there were none higher than 3 stars, but the team did fill its holes and bolster its chances of winning each game.
After a pretty impressive season the previous year, one would think Wisconsin would have a much more impressive recruiting class in 2011. However, like we saw, they made it work.
Linebacker Jake Keefer was at the head of this talented class, the best prospect in the state of Wisconsin and one of the best outside linebackers in the nation.
The Badgers also added another talented linebacker in Michael Caputo and an offensive weapon in tight end in Sam Arneson. The class wasn't exactly filled with top-10, 5-star-caliber players, but Wisconsin did land the top prospect in its state. That's got to count for something.
Good numbers, good depth, good talent. That about explains the Badgers' 2009 recruiting class.
The Badgers went outside of Wisconsin to look for talent and it really paid off, picking up the No. 4 wideout in the state of Missouri and multiple top-rated recruits from Florida.
All the while, they were able to land the No. 1 defensive tackle and other local talent. This was a very good class for Wisconsin that set the team up for years to come. Not the best, not the worst, just a very good class.
It doesn't take a genius to realize this class is one of, if not the most impressive classes Wisconsin has had in years. The Badgers have some homegrown 4-star recruits coming in ready to compete for starting spot and some potential replacements at the quarterback position. In previous years it was hard for the Badgers to bring in anyone higher than 3 stars, and now they've got multiple on their way.
Many people refuse to give Wisconsin the credit it deserves for the incoming class. The team doesn't have as many scholarships as usual to give out. There are those who want to nitpick and say there is no replacement for Russel Wilson, but what people don't realize is that players like Wilson are rare. What the Badgers did bring in and have are quarterbacks with potential and the ability to improve during the offseason.
If the Badgers ever want to be one of the elite teams in the nation, their recruiting classes must continue to improve, but it's clear they are on their way.