BREAKING: 4-star RB Antonio Williams de-commits from Badgers

When the Wisconsin Badgers got a commit from one of the top running backs in the class of 2016, history said this was going to be a long road to national signing day. History was proven right on Wednesday, as 4-star running back Antonio Williams told our recruiting partners at Badger247 that he has de-committed from the Wisconsin Badgers.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Williams had been hearing increased interest from reigning national champions, Ohio State. That contact has led to Williams making an un-official visit to Ohio State on Thursday.

Before even getting to Columbus, the Badgers’ prized running back commit has decided to open his recruitment back up.

Evan Flood of Badger247 has recently changed his crystal ball for Williams to that of the Buckeyes, with signs pointing to a commitment coming shortly after his visit.

What prompted all of this? While the full story is likely to only be known by those on the inside, it can’t be coincidence that Ohio State reached out after the nation’s No. 1-ranked running back in the 2016 class, Kareem Walker, took an official visit to the University of Michigan over this past weekend.

Many in the recruiting world believe its a matter of when, not if, Walker re-opens his recruitment and likely ends up at Ohio State’s bitter rivals.

With Williams likely not heading to Wisconsin, although we’ve seen him have one foot out of the door after the departure of running backs coach Thomas Brown only to come back in the fold, this one feels different.

If Williams does flip to the Buckeyes, it will be the third verbal pledge for the New London, North Carolina native. He was previously committed to the home-state North Carolina Tar Heels before making a switch the Badgers back in December of 2014.

Wisconsin now goes back to the drawing board at running back, and interestingly enough has reached out to Walker over the past week to gauge potential interest. That is likely to not go far from what sources are telling us.

However, sources indicate the Badgers have always had a game plan in place for a situation like this. That’s just basic recruiting 101.

Look for those names to come to the surface in the next few days, especially if Williams ends up making his verbal commitment to the Buckeyes following his visit.

Wisconsin’s class is now down to 20 verbal commitments, and will likely move down the 247Sports rankings after loosing the third-highest rated player in its class.

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, 32flags.com as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10.com