Time flies when youâ€™re baring down on the final days of a recruiting cycle, and with just under a week to go before Paul Chrystâ€™s first national signing day as the Wisconsin Badgers head coach things are very fluid.
No position seems to be more fluid than that of cornerback, where the Badgers at one point had not one or two, but FOUR committed prospects. It seemed like a loaded group with a lot of potential and raw ability were coming to Camp Randall this fall, however all that glittered at the position hasnâ€™t been gold.
Perhaps the most polished of the cornerback commits, T.J. Griffin, de-committed from the Badgers after his main recruiter in Virginia, Chris Beatty, left to take the wide receivers coaching job at the University of Virginia. He maintains that signing with the Badgers still could be an optionÂ ($), but the writing appears to be on the wall between the Cavaliers and Griffin.
If his visit this weekend goes well, expect him to announce for the Cavaliers and Wisconsin will be down itâ€™s highest-rated cornerback commitment.
So, Wisconsin has been down to likely just three commits in the 2015 class for a few weeks now. However, that makeup took a massive blow on Wednesday. Thatâ€™s because Dallas (TX) South Oak Cliff teammates Takadrae William and Xâ€™zaviae Ausborne both de-committed (more like werenâ€™t going to be takes anymore).
With those two gone and the status of T.J. Griffin up in the air (and likely gone too), that left one man standing â€” Titus Booker, who had a monster season as a running back for Grayslake (Ill.) North this past season, but will be a cornerback at UW.
However, Michigan has swooped in with a late offer and despite saying he had shut down his recruitment Booker will visit the Wolverines this weekendÂ ($). Heâ€™s being recruited as a running back by the Maize ‘N Blue and that could make things interesting.
The question is, will Booker be flipped by the visit to Michigan? Itâ€™s really anyoneâ€™s guess at this point, but Wisconsin canâ€™t be super confident right now.
Chryst and his staff werenâ€™t going to be caught flat-footed though, as they have had a few backup plans at cornerback for a little while now. Trenard Davis, a 3-star athlete out of Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage was expected in Madison for a visit, but according to Badger247 that isnâ€™t happening anymore ($).
UW is also in deep with 3-star Rutgers cornerback commit Jarius Adams, however it appears unlikely that a flip for the No. 126-ranked cornerback is going to come unless some magic happens late in the game.
It all adds up to UW possibly missing on any cornerbacks in the 2015 class. Luckily, itâ€™s not the end of the world given the cornerback depth that exists on the current roster.Â However, it puts a ton of pressure on the 2016 recruiting cycle, as the Badgers will have just three returning cornerbacks on the roster (if Booker doesnâ€™t end up flipping).
Just how dire and desperate for bodies could the Badgers be if they go without a cornerback in this class? Hereâ€™s a look at the four-year position chart:
Itâ€™s safe to say the Badgers are going to have to hit that position hard in the 2016 class without pulling off some magic. While having open positions is nice to show recruits, it also makes the Badgers desperate for bodies and thatâ€™s not a fun position to be in. Ideally the Badgers would land Booker and at least one other corner in this class and have the ability to spread things out at the position in the future.
Weâ€™ll know a lot more at the end of this weekend, but it certainly isnâ€™t looking good for Wisconsin heading in to the final official visit weekend of the 2015 recruiting cycle.