Badgers 2014 football camp primer

Wisconsin’s 2014 football camp comes up this weekend, and if reports are correct we’ll be in for a very big weekend indeed. Not only will we here at MTB be on commitment watch, but the Badgers are set to host a number of very important players.

Over the course of three days, Wisconsin will host players hoping to camp for an offer and a number of players with offers already. However, not every player on campus will put on the pads and compete in camp, mostly because they’ve got nothing to prove to Wisconsin.

UW’s biggest 2015 recruiter, committed tight end Kyle Penniston, will be one of a reported five (of nine) commits on campus. That’s a good thing considering some of the important names that will be on campus.

Can Penniston and Co. make a difference with those names? Let’s explore what will happen in the Badgers’ 2014 football camp.

Committed Players:

As we mentioned before, UW expects 4-star tight end Kyle Penniston on campus. He’ll be joined by quarterback Austin Kafentzis, offensive linemn David Moorman and Jon Dietzen and defensive lineman David Pfaff.

None are technically expected to perform in the drills, but some may feel the itch to get on the field. It will be more important for the likes of Penniston & Kafentzis to solidify relationships they’ve been building in this class. Fellow recruits can and do play a big role in the recruiting process these days, so it will be vital for them to put on a great face for the Badgers.

2015 Prospects:

Mohamed Barry (3-star, OLB; Loganville, GA): Barry is one of the players with an outside shot at committing during this camp. With an offer already on hand from the Badgers, don’t expect Barry to compete in the camp itself, but getting him on campus and around the rest of the class could be the difference maker. He did name UW his leader early on this spring, but has since backed off and opened things up more. Can Andersen and Brown close the deal this weekend?

David Edwards (4-star, TE; Downers Grove, IL): Wisconsin clearly is looking to load up at tight end and could be on commit watch with Edwards depending on how this visit goes (he won’t be a camp participant). At one point Illinois was thought to have closed the deal, but Edwards has yet to verbally commit to anyone and could just as easily slow the process down even further after this visit. The commitment of Penniston hasn’t slowed his interest in the Badgers, and an unofficial visit this weekend will be crucial in prying him away from the Illini. I love the film on this guy and it will be very interesting to see what happens in the next few months with this kid.

Chase Scharnek (NR, WR; Waukesha, WI): Scharnek is listed as a 6’3″, 185-pound wide receiver, but he has yet to earn a rating by 247sports. He is drawing interest from Wisconsin, Michigan State, Iowa State and Northern Illinois but does not have an offer as of yet. He is one of the many players who will participate in camp with the hopes of impressing enough for an offer.

Andrew Ruzek (3-star, DE; Stevens Point, WI): The state of Wisconsin isn’t loaded with can’t miss prospects in the class of 2015, but Ruzek could be on the verge of earning himself an offer this weekend at UW’s camp. He currently is the No. 7-ranked player in the state and has an offer from Illinois State, but he has drawn interest from some big names in the Big Ten (Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota). The good news is that none of them have offered and UW may be able to wait and find out how their board sits before offering.

Noah Lazaro (NR, OLB; Lincoln, NE): Wisconsin has looked to the state of Nebraska over the last few years, but hasn’t landed a player from the Cornhusker state just yet. Lazaro is hoping to impress with his play at camp and will have to in order to earn an offer. At 6’2″, 205 pounds, he’s seen as a bit of tweener and will need to put on a bit more weight to really be an outside linebacker at the collegiate level. UW isn’t afraid of underrated prospects, but will need to see Lazaro perform well in person to justify an offer given where other OLB’s stand in this class.

Adam Holtorf (NR, DE; Seward, NE): Camping along with fellow Nebraska native Lazaro, Holtorf could be in better position to earn his offer this weekend. The 6’5″, 255-pound player could be an intriguing long term prospect for the Badgers, yet he’ll need to earn it this weekend. Kansas State is already out with an offer and UW’s could be a game changer if it comes. Look for him to be one to watch at camp this weekend.

Josh Sromovsky (NR, WR; Oregon, WI): The Madison-area native is looking to earn his first offer, but has drawn interest in his services from Iowa State, Wisconsin and Minnesota to date. He has ideal height (6’3″) and weight (200 pounds), but there isn’t a lot known about his play and like so many from the state, he’ll have to participate in camp to earn an offer.

Jamari Manuel (NR, RB; Madison, WI): Manuel plays at not-so powerhouse Madison East and has an uphill battle to earn an offer from Wisconsin. However, he could be the fastest person on campus and camping this weekend and that could be to his benefit. I personally like Manuel’s speed and think it’s something Wisconsin just doesn’t have, but he needs to show more between the tackles to be a “Power 5″ type player. This could be a surprise name at camp this weekend.


Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadger and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, as well as Publisher of Big Ten site