While the 2014 class is barely taking it's full shape and more offers are sure to come out as the evaluation period begins anew in relatively short order, one of the biggest names in attendance at this past weekend's annual spring game was a 2015 prospect named Austin Kafentzis.
Kafentzis, one of the top 2015 QB prospects in the country, has been on the radar of head coach Gary Andersen since well before his announcement as the next head coach at Wisconsin and it appears that following Kafentzis' last minute trip to Madison this past weekend the Badgers are out in front for the time being.
"We took pictures everywhere," Kafentzis told MadTown Badgers on Monday night. "It was just sweet, we got to take pictures with the past Heisman's at the school. I mean, just everything about that school just makes me want to go to the school even more. After this weekend they are definitely on top of the list."
That offer list includes BYU, Utah and Utah State as well as the Badgers and is expected to grow big time over the summer.
Wisconsin made a big impression on the QB, who was taking just his first visit of any kind this past Saturday.
"It was my first real visit," Kafentzis said. "I was scared, nervous, worried, and excited. My dad planted it on me on Friday, it was a last minute thing. I had all those mixed emotions, but as soon as I got out there it was just good, you know. They made it so easy, they were so cooperative. They went into detail about everything and I was welcomed by everyone."
That sense of welcome and the atmosphere of the spring game also left a lasting impression on Kafentzis.
"Even the atmosphere, even at the spring game, everyone, you can just tell it's a good school to play for and everyone's got your back," he said. "Everyone was proud to be on the field and play for that team."
One of the biggest theme's emerging in the recruitment of 2014 and 2015 prospects is just how big of an impression the new weight room and academic center are making on the visitors - a selling point that wasn't lost on Kafentzis during his visit either.
"The facilities are crazy now, especially with my dad playing and everything, how he told me his facilities were and how they are now. It's just crazy to see what they've got going on now, especially with that education center. I can't wait to see it when I come out again, whether it's in the summer or in the fall for a game."
Moving forward the Badgers may be visiting for a throwing session in May, but if not he may end up camping at Wisconsin in June. However, according to Kafentzis, he expect to be attending the Penn State game at the end of November at the minimum.
One of the most interesting developments on his visit was that he was blown away by the size of the offensive linemen Wisconsin has. He also began to develop a good relationship with 2014 offensive line recruits Jaden Gault and George Panos.
"I had an awesome time meeting the other recruits, I mean their line is huge," said Kafentzis. "I took some pictures with some of them and I just had a blast going down there."
"When I did talk to Panos and Jaden they are way friendly people," said Kafentzis. "They can be mean suckers on the field, but they are really welcoming people when you meet them off the field. It's nice to know they can be mean on the field and protect me, but be nice people off the field."
Kafentzis was also sold on how times are changing with the likes of Russell Wilson producing at the NFL level, a good selling point for a kid who describes himself as a "dual-threat" quarterback, but really just wants to make the plays that his coach calls for him, whether that's with his feet or his arm.
Perhaps the biggest selling point of all for Kafentzis is the fact that he realizes the value of an education, in fact he says it's one of the biggest factors he's taking into consideration in his decision. It's a good thing the academic center and the education Wisconsin can provide is top-notch.
While the Badgers lead now expect his offer list to grow considerably over the summer as the likes of Oregon, LSU, Alabama and really the entire SEC have expressed early interest in one of the class of 2015's biggest QB prospects. No doubt his recruitment will be one to watch as a Badger fan.