After going in-state and underground to pick up the first two members of the defensive end group in the 2016 class, the Wisconsin Badgers went a little more high profile for commit No. 3 at the position and commit No. 14 overall.
Our recruiting partners at Badger247 confirmed that 3-star defensive end Keldric Preston has committed to the Wisconsin Badgers. Preston, a native of Tampa Bay, committed to the Badgers over offers from Boston College,Â Indiana, Miami, Pittsburgh and Rutgers.
The 6-4, 245-pound prospect could be a great fit for the Badgers 3-4 defense with his length and athletic ability on the edge. Itâ€™s that ability that makes him a perfect addition to a group that features more power-based ends so far.
Wisconsin finished last season with 37 sacks, but failed to have a defensive lineman account for more than Chikwe Obasihâ€™s 1.5 sacks on the season. Getting more athletic and explosive at the position could help change that number.
Things werenâ€™t much better in the tackles for loss department. Despite the Badgers ranking second in tflâ€™s in the Big Ten last season, no lineman accounted for more than Obasihâ€™s 2.5 tackles for loss (UW had 93.0 tflâ€™s in total).
One name that immediately pops to mind when seeing Prestonâ€™s film is that of former Badgers defensive end David Gilbert. That could be very helpful, as Gilbert was a very disruptive player on the defensive edge, and given the recent trend downward on the stat sheet, a commit like Preston is an important one.
The stats certainly back it up, asÂ Preston recorded 39 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles as a junior last season for Tampa Bay (Fla.) Robinson High School.
Preston is currently ranked as the No. 73 weakside defensive end per the 247Sports composite rankings and the No. 183 overall player in the state of Florida. He is also the No. 1279-ranked player in the country.
UW is now in the No. 35 spot in the 247Sports team rankings and holds steady at No. 9 in the Big Ten rankings.