The heat is turning up, both on the thermometer and on the recruiting trail. While 2015 players are getting a lot of attention, Wisconsin is building early relationships that could pay off in the 2016 recruiting class.
To that end, weâ€™re previewing who Wisconsin has offers out to so far in that class and introducing you to their video and recruitment as we hear it. After previewing quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers â€” we look towards the defensive side of the ball for the first time, taking a look at safeties in the class.
Entering the 2016 season, Wisconsin could be looking to replace as many as three seniors (A.J. Jordan, Michael Caputo and Serge Trezy) at the safety position. So UW could be in a position to add at least two, possibly three, safeties in the 2016 class. To date, the Badgers have offered five safeties â€” so lets get in to the players UW could see on campus come the fall of 2016.
Thanks always to our recruiting partner Badger247 for the hard facts you see on each recruit.
Thereâ€™s no doubting the talent of Kyle Davis, especially since the guy is already 6â€™3″ and 210 pounds after his sophomore season. An offer list that includes not only UW, but also four SEC schools and three Big Ten offers should tell you a lot.
Davis isnâ€™t just a physically gifted player for his age, he stands out among the older players on the field as well. Heâ€™s got speed to go with the size, as the video above shows. What will be interesting is to see if Davis ends up wanting to play safety or is going to move to another position. In his tape we see Davis play some quarterback, running back and wide receiver to go along with
As long as Davis stays where heâ€™s at in terms of his size heâ€™d be a lot like Tanner McEvoy was for Wisconsin this past season â€” meaning, heâ€™s a rangy and instinctive player with a lot of potential to be the QB of the defense.
Thomas Brown is his main recruiter, and as of now there isnâ€™t an offer from Georgia. It remains to be seen how an offer, should one come, from the Bulldogs would change the game. Also factoring in the decision will be his mother, who is in a wheel chair and Davis helps to take care of, according to an interview with Badger247. If Georgia or another school close to home offers, it could be very difficult to get him up to Wisconsin at all.
Anthony Gaiter IV:
Any video of him comes under the name “Elbre” instead of Anthony, and the guy has an impressive resume to date. He won the overall MVP award at the NUC camp last summer as a ninth-grader. Heâ€™s listed at 5â€™10” and 160 pounds, but there isnâ€™t a lot of tape on him because of the school he plays at â€”Â Westminster Christian School in Miami, FL.
Wisconsin is one of two power-5 schools to offer Gaiter, with Indiana doing the same. Gaiter stands out on tape as a wide receiver, but he is a two-way player in high school and his future could well be on the defensive side of the ball in college.
What the tape shows is a player with good footwork and some very nice instincts when it comes to finding the ball. However, what we didnâ€™t see was a ton of range from him, nor an extended look at his ability to play closer to the line of scrimmage. That doesnâ€™t mean it isnâ€™t there, it just means we havenâ€™t seen it on tape. At 6â€™1″, 185 pounds, Pollard has the body that could fit well in Wisconsinâ€™s system in the future.
Things havenâ€™t totally heated up for Pollard on the recruiting trail just yet, with Wisconsinâ€™s offer in mid-May just his second one on his plate (Utah was first). Yet, home-state schools USC and UCLA are showing major interest, as is Arizona State. USC, should they offer could be very tough to beat, but according to his conversation with Evan Flood of Badger247, education is going to be the key factor, and UW has that to offer in spades.
Sitting at 12 offers already, Warrior could be blowing up on the recruiting trail very soon. Despite no ranking by 247Sports, Warrior holds offers from three SEC schools (including home-state Georgia). He also has offers from powers like Clemson, Ohio State and Tennessee besides the Badger offer.
The tape is a great showcase for Warrior, and itâ€™s very easy to see why heâ€™s already receiving offers from major programs in the ACC, Big Ten and SEC. The early Crystal Ball predictions (all 11 of them) has Warrior going to Georgia and itâ€™s hard to see that not happening from everything Iâ€™ve read about his recruitment to date.
Like so many of the safety offers out by the Badgers, Young plays both ways in high school. At 5â€™10”, 175 pounds, Young appears to be a great fit for safety at the collegiate level. One look at the tape shows that Young has great football instincts, no matter the position, and some pretty good speed to him.
Speaking with insidetheu.com, Young told them that his position in college wonâ€™t matter and that he just wants to play.
â€śMiami told me they like me at cornerback,â€ť Young said. â€śI am cool with that. I will play anywhere in college if the fit is right. I just try to make plays to help my team win. I donâ€™t care if I have to play on offense, defense, or both.â€ť
In-state schools Miami, Florida State and UCF have offers out and so do Indiana, Michigan and Rutgers out of the Big Ten. Itâ€™s safe to say the Badgers have their work cut out for them in this recruitment.
Overall Early Impressions:
Wisconsin clearly is looking to find speed at the safety position, and that has meant going where speed can be found in abundance â€” namely Georgia, Florida and California. UW also seems to be putting out offers to players theyâ€™ve been able to see in person, regardless of what the “rankings” have said to date. The other impression is that Wisconsin is going to be fighting an uphill battle with all five of the players they have offered, and it may have been smart to get in early because of that.
Will any of these five become a Badger? From early indications, probably not…but this is very early and we all know things have a funny way of working out on the recruiting trail.
Who Becomes a Badger:
1. C.J. Pollard
2. Anthony Gaiter IV
3. Kyle Davis
4. Malek Young
5. Nigel Warrior