Coming off of a great season, in which the Badgers were co-champions of the Big Ten conference, Wisconsin football now turns it's eyes to the recruiting race.
Head Coach Bret Bielema has done a good job to this point of bringing in the players he needs in order to be effective within his system, and this year's recruits seem to be no exception to that rule.
While the Badgers hope to continue their success in the Big Ten and on a national scale, they are somewhat lacking when it comes to recruiting rankings.
The Badgers are currently 34th nationally in overall recruiting ranking, and have some solid recruits, but in order to compete on a national level, they will have to up the level of their recruiting.
Auburn was the prime example of this in the BCS Championship. While Oregon may have been light years against the rest of the country when it came to schemes and play-calling, Auburn just plain had better athletes, and it showed.
The Badgers have some solid recruits coming in, and can expect repeated successes within the conference, that being said, the level of recruiting must go above and beyond where it is now before the Badgers can hope to compete on a national stage.
Fredrick, a safety at Memorial high in Madison, WI, projects to be a linebacker at Wisconsin.
Upside - Fredrick has great hands and closes on the ball quickly, at 6-3 he is tall and strong.
Downside - As stated, Fredrick played safety in high school, so he will have to adapt to shedding blockers. The other weakness in Fredrick's game is his lack of size. In order to compete on the college level he will have to bulk up.
Summary - Fredrick is known as a ball hawk and has great open field vision after an interception. He is a three star recruit and ranked #62 at the OLB position as reported by Scout.com.
Hayes committed to Wisconsin on Halloween night of 2010. This 6-4 Defensive End from Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio has the opportunity to contribute immediately.
Upside - Hayes has a tremendous first move to the quarterback, and the strength to shed blockers and stuff the run.
Downside - Hayes needs to work on containing the edge, as he has been susceptible to the same types of plays that suckered J.J. Watt in the Rose Bowl.
Summary - Hayes looks to have an explosive game, and may contribute early to the Badgers.
Maly, a 6-5 tight end from Waunakee, Wisconsin, will try to step in and compete for a spot at tight end.
Upside - Here is what Scout.com had to say about Maly's upside:
Maly is a huge weapon in the passing game. He is a big target with soft hands, and he adjusts well in the air to meet a ball at his highest point. He does a good job of getting off of the line of scrimmage and avoid being jammed, making him a good downfield threat and not just an underneath target.
Downside - Maly will have to gain weight if he wishes to be effective in Wisconsin's power running game.
Summary - Maly has the ability to beat jams, and runs a solid route. he is a three star recruit.
Jordan is an athlete. it;s that simple.
Upside - As seen in the highlight reel, Jordan creates a huge downfield threat with his speed and leaping ability. He also has great blocking skills.
Downside - Prone to dropping passes, Route running
Summary - This is one receiver that may have an impact at the college level. The Badgers are pretty set at receiver for next year, but Jordan, from Trotwood-Madison High School, may have an impact in the return game.
Ball is a monster. At 6-7 325, he has the size to compete in the Big Ten immediately, but expect a few years to gain experience.
Upside - He is huge. but beside that, Ball is athletic for a big man, and this is a key for a Wisconsin lineman.
Downside - Needs to become a little quicker, but this should develop with time.
Summary - Expect great things from Ball in the future, as he steps into a great place for offensive linemen to learn the game. Oh, and he is another recruit from the state of Ohio.
Gordon could be the next in a long line of great running backs at Wisconsin.
Upside - While Gordon is no Ron Dayne or John Clay, he is incredibly elusive and makes people miss in space.
Downside - Somewhat small, almost Anthony Davis like, needs to put on some bulk.
Summary - Gordon is lightning in a bottle, with a phenomenal burst from the line of scrimmage, this 6-1 speedster from Bradford HS in Kenosha, WI runs a 4.5 forty.
Adeyanju has the speed and strength to compete immediately for time in the defensive end rotation.
Upside - Strength, he squats 425 pounds and benches 325. he is strong enough to fight off blockers.
Downside - He is a little slow off of the ball, but this will improve through strength and conditioning.
Summary - As the brother of an NFL defensive lineman, this star from Curie Metropolitan HS in Chicago has some advice on how to train, and has the desire to match his brother's intensity.
Arneson is a typical Wisconsin tight end, with soft hands and blocking ability.
Upside - Arneson is extremely athletic and great at catching the ball while at the top of his jump.
Downside - Needs to work on routes and hands.
Summary: Arneson is from Merrill, Wisconsin HS and runs a 4.7 forty, pretty good time for a tight end.
Caputo played running back and linebacker in high school, but will probably stay on the defensive side of the ball at Wisconsin.
Upside - Caputo is a hard hitter, who takles well and has a good nose for the ball,
Downside - At only 6-1 and 195, he is a little undersized.
Summary - Caputo is a three star recruit from West Alleghany High School in Imperial Pennsylvania.
Keefer has the potential to impact the game the way freshman of the year Chris Borland did last season.
Upside - Keefer plants his facemask squarely into the ball carrier and executes text book tackling.
Downside- Practically none
Summary - Keefer has the size, speed and strength to be a major contributor at the linebacker position fo the Badgers.