The perfect class: Version 1.0

Jon McNamara, Editor
Badger Blitz

The 2018 recruiting class is a big opportunity for the Wisconsin coaching staff. The talent level inside the state is high - 20 prospects currently have a Division 1 offer - and the Badgers are riding the national momentum of an 11-3 season from a year ago.

Fourteen scholarship seniors are set to graduate at the end of 2017, so the Badgers will be looking to add around 17-19 signees in this recruiting cycle.

Below is the first look at what the perfect class for Wisconsin could look like. A perfect class doesn't necessarily mean landing all the top players UW has offered. It is more realistic than that - it fills needs and gives fans the stars they so desperately want. This is the best case scenario with players the Badgers have a legitimate chance with.

If you missed our Positional Recruit Snapshot coverage, here's a refresher before you read this report:

QUARTERBACKS | RUNNING BACKS | OFFENSIVE LINEMEN | TIGHT ENDS | WIDE RECEIVERS | DEFENSIVE ENDS | DEFENSIVE TACKLES | LINEBACKERS | CORNERBACKS | SAFETIES AND SPECIALISTS |

Quarterback - 2

Dual-threat quarterback

3 STARS

Wisconsin
LaGrange

RR: 5.6

Ht: 6'3.0"

Wt: 195.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

Wisconsin

Pro-style quarterback

2 STARS


Jacksonville

RR: 5.4

Ht: 6'2.0"

Wt: 194.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Ben Bryant is already in the mix and the staff will host both Chase Wolf and Carter Bradley this week. In order to get the scholarship numbers at quarterback to a healthy standing, taking two in this cycle is probably in Paul Chryst's best interest. Wolf, who is rumored to be favoring Boston College and South Carolina, has a more decorated scholarship list, but Bradley could be a better compliment to Bryant.

Running back - 1

Running Back

3 STARS


Sanford

RR: 5.7

Ht: 6'0.0"

Wt: 194.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Jahmir Smith, who rushed for 2,130 yards and 41 touchdowns as a junior, is arguably Wisconsin's top remaining running back target in this class. The three-star prospect has already visited Madison unofficially this spring and he's expected to trim his list at some point this summer. If not Smith, UW could go after in-state tailback Henry Geil, who is expected to commit to Iowa in the near future.

Wide receivers - 2

Wide Receiver

3 STARS


Xenia

RR: 5.7

Ht: 6'2.0"

Wt: 185.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Wide Receiver

3 STARS


Brooklyn

RR: 5.6

Ht: 5'10.0"

Wt: 168.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Meechi Harris and Aron Cruickshank would be great gets for Ted Gilmore in 2018. A three-star prospect from Ohio, Harris was one of the first receivers UW offered in this cycle. Cruickshank, a projected slot receiver, is very high on the Badgers right now despite holding offers from Michigan and Ohio State. Ohio and New York are two areas Wisconsin have had success in the past, and it would be good to keep that momentum going in both states.

Tight end - 1

Athlete

3 STARS


Gibraltar

RR: 5.6

Ht: 6'4.0"

Wt: 195.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Wisconsin would love to have either Jeremy Ruckert or George Takacs, but that just doesn't appear likely. Jaylan Franklin, who visited last week, is the next best option. At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, the three-star prospect projects to UW's H-back position. Northwestern is believed to be Franklin's leader, but Wisconsin has a strong chance after the visit and offer.

Offensive linemen - 1

Offensive tackle

3 STARS

Wisconsin
Milan

RR: 5.6

Ht: 6'5.0"

Wt: 265.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

Wisconsin

Wisconsin put a ton of work into Michael Furtney's recruitment and was rewarded with his commitment this spring. At this point, Furtney is being told he's the only lineman the Badgers plan to take in this cycle. If that holds true, Joe Rudolph will try and add one or two talented walk-ons from inside the state, with Ryan Possley, Brandon Malkow, Trevor Shohoney, Andrew Lyons, Jacob Edwards, Cody Ince and Zach Mueller all options.

Defensive linemen - 3

Strongside defensive end

3 STARS

Wisconsin
Kimberly

RR: 5.6

Ht: 6'3.0"

Wt: 235.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

Wisconsin

Strongside defensive end

3 STARS


Canal Winchester

RR: 5.7

Ht: 6'6.0"

Wt: 260.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Defensive tackle

3 STARS


Norcross

RR: 5.5

Ht: 6'3.0"

Wt: 295.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



A defensive line class of Boyd Dietzen, Isaiah Mullens and Nazir Sy isn't going to blow anyone out of the water, but the staff would be very happy if that's how things looked come February. With Dietzen already committed, the staff is looking for a big body to compliment him on the outside. At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, Mullens fits the bill. Inside, Sy is the big, athletic plugger UW so desperately needs.

LB - 4

Inside linebacker

4 STARS

Wisconsin
Lake Zurich

RR: 5.8

Ht: 6'2.0"

Wt: 210.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

Wisconsin

Outside linebacker

3 STARS

Wisconsin
Waukesha

RR: 5.5

Ht: 6'5.0"

Wt: 225.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

Wisconsin

Outside linebacker

3 STARS

Wisconsin
Menomonie

RR: 5.6

Ht: 6'5.0"

Wt: 220.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

Wisconsin

Outside linebacker

3 STARS


Detroit

RR: 5.7

Ht: 6'1.0"

Wt: 196.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Wisconsin is just about full at linebacker with commitments from CJ Goetz, Mason Platter and Jack Sanborn. Three-star DeAndre Square would be a great final piece for defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard. It's early, but the Badgers have a chance to best Michigan State and a host of other schools for the Cass Tech standout.

Cornerbacks - 2

Cornerback

3 STARS


Fort Lauderdale

RR: 5.7

Ht: 5'9.0"

Wt: 165.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Athlete

3 STARS


Indianapolis

RR: 5.6

Ht: 5'10.0"

Wt: 175.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Cornerback is still pretty wide open at this point, but both Marquis Williams and Resse Taylor have the Badgers in their top groups. Despite being a little undersized, both are big-time playmakers.

Safeties - 2

Safety

3 STARS

Wisconsin
River Rouge

RR: 5.7

Ht: 5'10.0"

Wt: 180.0

Class: 2018

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

Wisconsin

Safety

3 STARS

Wisconsin
Menasha

RR: 5.6

Ht: 6'1.0"

Wt: 180.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

STATE

Commitment status:

verbal

Wisconsin

Not much suspense here. Reggie Pearson and Trent Ingalls were commits No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the 2018 class, and they will likely be the only two scholarship safeties come February.

Kicker - 1

Kicker

0 STARS


Plymouth

RR:

Ht: 6'1.0"

Wt: 180.0

Class: 2018

-

POSITION

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE

Commitment status:

undecided



Wisconsin hasn't offered anyone at kicker, so it's tough to pin-point just one name. Taylor Mehlhaff is looking to find Rafael Gaglianone's replacement in 2018, and it's likely he'll offer the top performer at Wisconsin's camp this summer. For now, we'll go Matthew Jaeger from Minneapolis. The junior visited Madison unofficially this month and is ready for camp in June.

Class total: 19

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