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It's been fast and furious in the world of recruiting following the completion of the Spring football and the 2013 class expanded late yesterday as offensive lineman Jack Keeler gave his verbal commitment to the Badgers.  That makes a half-dozen for a class that's quickly filling out. 

As we discussed on Badgers Power Hour this past Tuesday the Badgers are recruiting some huge kids and Keeler fits this mold both physically, but also in presence.  Keeler projects as an offensive tackle at the next level and when you see his stats you'll understand why.  

With the addition of Keeler that makes two players in the 2013 class from our neighbors to the south in Illinois.  He joins ILB Garret Dooley from the Land of Lincoln in what's shaping up early on to be one of the better classes in terms of quality, not quantity, that Wisconsin's had under Bielema.  247sports has Wisconsin's 2013 class ranked 29th overall in the nation at this point.  Now, that number may end up changing and be lower when all is said and done because the class itself is expected to be small, but right now that's an impressive ranking.

According to most projections the Badgers class is most likely only 10-12 players at most, so it's easy to see why the numbers would skew the class south.  However, getting these early verbal commitments is absolutely a sign of just how hot a program the Badgers are at the moment in my opinion and that can only help for the rest of the class and for the 2014 class as well. 

Keeler's Profile: 

Height: 6'7"

Weight: 285lbs.

Position: Offensive Tackle

Hometown/High School: Barrington, IL/Barrington High School

 

 

 

Rankings: 

247sports: 3*, NR nationally, 58th OT, 13th in Illinois

ESPN: 4*, NR nationally, 23rd OT, 9th in Illinois

Rivals: 3*, NR nationally, 43 OT, NR in Illinois

Scout: 3*, NR nationally, 67th OT

 

Thoughts: 

This kid simply has Wisconsin written all over him and you'll know why by watching his highlight tape and seeing his measurables.  I mean seriously, Keeler is big, REALLY big.  He's also got a serious mean streak on the field and frankly when you think of Wisconsin offensive linemen that's what you normally think of.  

I'm excited by the fact that as a young man Keeler already has that "attack" to him.  By that I mean when he's engaging in a block he sees his opponent and rather than waiting for the point of contact he goes and makes it happen.  Usually that ends in him simply mauling the guy he's blocking and that will only serve to help his transition to the college game.  However, he's not a complete player (what high school kid is, right?) and he'll need to work on setting his base and his footwork.  He can get by at the high school level because of his size and athletic ability, but he needs to be more solid from the waist down from all the tape I've seen of him.  At the next level if he doesn't get that base corrected he'll have trouble with the bigger and faster players he'll see.  Thankfully it is something that's easily workable at the next level and the Badgers have a great O-Line coach in Mike Markuson.

This past season he played guard alongside Badger freshman Dan Voltz for Barrington but will likely slide outside this season.  Just by watching the tape you can see why he projects to a tackle at the next level.  

It's very likely that the combination of Voltz at Center and Keeler could become potential anchors along the offensive line early on in their careers and that would bode quite well for Wisconsin's future offensively.  

Here's some tape for your viewing pleasure: