Wisconsin Football: Which Elite Recruits Do the Badgers Have a Shot at Landing

Peter RaischContributor IIIJuly 17, 2012

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02:  Head coach Bret Bielema of the Wisconsin Badgers looks on as the Badgers take on the Oregon Ducks at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

"Elite" is a relative term when it comes to Wisconsin.

The Badgers have built a powerhouse on the backs of the overlooked, the under-estimated and the good ole' discarded. For all intents and purposes, the cardinal and white do not do "elite." This is a team where walk-ons know they have a chance, and divas are shown the door faster than an Urban Meyer change of heart. 

That grit has led to conference titles, but it has also gotten the team noticed by players being courted by rivals and reigning champions alike. The formula for Bret Bielema is a complicated one though, fraught with an obstacle for which he has no solution. Wisconsin's 2013 recruiting class is already at max capacity. Due to a high number of student-athletes who remain on scholarship, and given the team's proclivity to shun the one-year deal for a four-year contract, the Badgers do not have many scholarships to give out. 

So, Bucky has only a handful of really elite recruits in its crosshairs. 

Number one on that list is a Wisconsin native: Alec James

James would make 2013 a venerable triumvirate of defensive stars for the next class of freshmen. Alongside Darius Latham and Chikwe Obasih, James would be an incredible addition. The weak side defensive end holds offers from a few other schools looking to stock up on run-stuffers and quarterback-sackers in Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan State. He has been known to have "SEC speed" with a Midwestern work ethic that makes James a prized possession for coordinators. 

And Wisconsin has the edge

The Badgers did miss out on 4-star quarterback Johnny Stanton, but the team should be alright in the signal-calling department. Danny O'Brien has two years of eligibility with Bart Houston holding four years after that. Rising sophomore Joel Stave should provide steady backup work as Wisconsin undoubtedly will make a play for a stud in the 2014 class.