We've reached the spring and Wisconsin's 2018 recruiting class is nearing double digits. The Badgers currently have eight scholarship commitments to date and have set up their board to land a possible top 25 national class.
Over the next two weeks, BadgerBlitz.com will be bringing you snapshots for each recruited position, covering the targets who are left as legitimate prospects on Wisconsin's board. We will discuss the remaining candidates who are most interested in the Badgers, as well as those who are considered long shots to commit to UW.
As always, this is just a snapshot in time and things remain fluid. Additional offered targets will appear over the next few months and some recruits will inevitably choose other colleges. These positional snapshots are meant to give the lay of the land as the 2017 spring game quickly approaches.
Class of 2018 offensive line needs: 1/2
Class of 2018 offensive line commits: 1
Wisconsin was there from the very start in Michael Furtney's recruitment after evaluating the 6-foot-5, 285-pound offensive tackle last summer at camp. Since then, position coach Joe Rudolph hosted the three-star prospect four more times for unofficial visits, the most recent leading to Furtney's commitment in early March.
"With Mike it was always about the people and where he felt most comfortable," Milan head coach Jesse Hoskins told BadgerBlitz.com. "He wasn't one of those kids who was just going to go after the biggest offer. Going after the glitziest program - that was never his thing. He comes from a very stable family and the things that he values in his family, he was looking for in a school. Wisconsin presented all of those to Mike and I think it's just a great fit.
"Wisconsin is only taking one offensive lineman in the 2018 class, so this was a big offer for Wisconsin to make with Mike. You have to be so selective if you're only going to take one guy in the class. Wisconsin liked that Mike is young right now - he's only 16 years old - and he's a big, athletic kid. He's an excellent student who loves to work hard and learn. I think those are all things that Wisconsin values. Wisconsin is known for their offensive linemen, but what doesn't get talked about as much is how well they develop those guys, and Mike is looking forward to that."
In Furtney, who chose UW over offers from Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Virginia, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, among others, the Badgers are getting an athlete who is young for his class and possesses a great deal of upside.
"Wisconsin really likes that Mike is mobile and flexible; he has all the intangibles you're looking for at the position," Hoskins said. "He's a fluid kid who runs well. Right now he's 6-foot-5, 285 pounds and he's 16.5 years old. So you give him another year and then probably a redshirt year, and I can only imagine what he'll look and play like.
"He's really, really good right now, but there's also a ton of potential for him to grow."