Wisconsin continues to haul in the talent for the 2014 class as early Saturday night Madison area native Jaden Gault announced his verbal commitment to the Badgers. The Monona Grove High School offensive lineman made his announcement via Twitter on Saturday night.
He made the announcement stating simply: "Just committed to play football for the university of Wisconsin!
#WiscONsin" on his Twitter account.
Gault joins fellow in-state offensive lineman George Panos along with Sturgis, Michigan QB Chance Stewart as the verbal commitments so far in 2014 class for the Badgers. Stewart and Panos are both 4 star recruits (according to 247sports) and are ranked 244 and 119 in the first 2014 Top247 by 247sports.
With this commitment Wisconsin has already hauled in a heck of a start to class with 247sports ranking the Badgers 1st in the Big Ten and 9th nationally at the moment. Now, I'm sure this will change as big names commit and what not, but for a program that has seen the number of scholarships available hurt their rankings in 2012 and 2013 this start indicates they are off to building themselves a class that will be in the upper echelons of the Big Ten.
I spoke to Gault this evening after the announcement and he had a few simple things to say to Badger fans out there.
"I'm just super excited to be a part of the Badger family," he said.
Badger fans are sure to love this guy as his response to the reason for committing to Wisconsin over schools like Michigan State and Nebraska was pure awesome: "What school produces offensive linemen?"
O.k., enough said there, right? So, let's give you his profile, rankings, and a few thoughts on his game to this point early in his football life.
Hometown/High School: Monona Grove, WI/Monona Grove HS
- 247spots: 86 grade, 3*, NR nationally, 31st OT, 4th in WI
- ESPNRN: No rankings out yet
- Rivals: No rankings out yet
- Scout: No rankings out yet
Having seen him in person I can attest that he is one big guy already and with two more years to put on weight he may well top the 300lbs. mark that Wisconsin likes to see their freshman at well before he arrives on campus.
He's another in state prospect and being from the Madison area it was widely thought the Badgers were really the only true choice for Gault to commit to. Along with George Panos the Badgers have inked the states top two offensive lineman in the 2014 class and that's a great sign as Michigan State and Nebraska have really been hitting Wisconsin hard as of late.
As for Gault's play on the field, the Monona Grove offense is a classic wishbone style offense and therefore the strength in his game is clearly run blocking. He's not afraid to mix up at all and he's quite willing to finish blocks and get to the next level as well. In the tape I've seen on him he's athletic for his size and as a sophomore he shows good technique.
All the tape out there I've been able to see is from just his sophomore year, but the building blocks for another good Wisconsin offensive lineman are there. The only question mark that will surround him a bit is in the passing game if for nothing else than the offense he plays in isn't exactly a pass happy offense to say the least. It'll be something that he will have to work on once he gets to Wisconsin for sure.
That's not to say the technique isn't there, but the experience and going up against a more dogged pass rush will take some getting used to.
The biggest thing I like about him is that he shows good pad level and good footwork when driving in the run game and he's not sloppy about it. He needs to work a bit on the hand fighting, but that is coachable at the next level and during the next few seasons. He's got a lot of potential, especially with his size as he enters his junior season.
At the end of the day you can say he's exactly like what you'd expect from an in-state offensive line recruit - he's big, strong, and athletic for his size.
If you'd like to see for yourself then here's some tape from YouTube for your consumption: