Recruiting is an all-season, all-year, all-time consuming task.
In that respect, college coaches are much more akin to the heads of major brands like Google and Facebook when it comes to shared headaches rather than their NFL brethren. Those companies, like the Sabans and Meyers of the world, cannot rely on a draft to attract and sign the best talent. They need to sell themselves every single day.
Wisconsin is no stranger to the struggles of recruiting. Bret Bielema and his crew are hamstrung even more by small recruiting classes. It is, though, an obstacle of their own making, as the team loses very few of its players to academic ineligibility or team violations. What's more, the Badgers are quick to redshirt underclassmen and rely on walk-ons to fill holes where needed.
The strategy also keeps the team relatively young according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "[Bielema] noted that UW's 70-player travel roster last season included nine juniors and 45 players who were sophomores or younger."
So if fans thought the 2012 class was small, the entire 2013 class could probably sign its collective letter of intent on the back of a matchbook.
Before Danny O'Brien transferred, the Badgers had nine scholarships to offer. Wisconsin has reeled in two-thirds of its verbal commitments already, and could be looking to shore up its 2014 class by the time the faxes roll in next February.
The Skinny: Bret Bielema has six verbal commitments in hand, and all are rated 3-star prospects and up by Rivals.com.
The Headliner: Defensive end Chikwe Obasih is the star of the class. The Wisconsin native picked UW on the strength of its actuarial science department as much as its football prowess.
The Surprise: Rob Wheelwright, a wide receiver out of Columbus, Ohio, was a surprise get for Wisconsin. He is a tall receiver at 6'3" and spurned a host of Big Ten powers to commit to the Badgers.
The Bottom Line: Bret Bielema tweeted out a stat that notes, in the last four drafts, "there has been 20 players as 1st rounders that were ranked a 2 star player out of HS. Food for thought w/ recruiting experts."
That sentiment seems to be top of mind for the Badger staff, so expect this class to average a little over three stars but to continue its trend of on-field production.
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