(While I am on hiatus for the next month, I am leaving behind six articles--(July 1) an analysis of Illinois' 2007 recruiting class, (July 2) Illinois' recruiting for 2011, (July 3) Notre Dame's recruiting for 2011, (July 4) Iowa's recruiting for 2011, (July 5) Wisconsin's recruiting for 2011 and (July 6) Northwestern's recruiting for 2011. Please archive past articles. And enjoy the summer)
Wisconsin has recruited well in-state, as it always has done. Coach Brett Bielema has done as well as his predecessor, Barry Alvarez. The Badgers have landed the top five prospects in the state. They got the players they wanted. Nationally, they still are in the running for a lot of big-name players. I like the way they are going about their recruiting and I think it will pay off for them.
They got 6-3, 220-pound linebacker Jake Keefer of Baldwin and 6-4, 230-pound tight end Sam Arneson of Merrill, the two best players in Wisconsin.
They also got 6-5, 220-pound tight end Austin Maly of Waunakee, 6-5, 225-pound tight end Eric Steffes of Fond du Lac and versatile Melvin Gordon of Kenosha, a running back/wide receiver/defensive back who was committed to Wisconsin, then de-committed and is taking more visits. But you can bet that he will end up at Wisconsin.
The Badgers have offered four players in Illinois, the lowest number I can remember, another indication that the talent level in the Chicago area is down, down, down. Offers went to wide receiver DaVaris Daniels of Vernon Hills, defensive end James Adeyanju of Curie, running back Mikail McCall of Thornridge and running back/linebacker Rodney Coe of Edwardsville, the top-rated player in Illinois.
Because of a lack of talent in the Midwest, Bielema and his staff have expanded their recruiting base and are going out-of-state more than I've seen in the past.
They are in on a lot of big-time players, including defensive back Wayne Lyons of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., running back Savon Huggins of Jersey City, N.J., 6-6, 310-pound offensive tackle Trip Thurman of Dover, Delaware, 6-6, 220-pound linebacker Christian French of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, cornerback Josh Turner of Oklahoma City, Okla., 6-4, 220-pound tight end Dan Tapko of Kansas City and cornerback Blake Countess of Owings Mills, Md.
French is the No. 1 player in Iowa while Huggins is the No. 1 player in New Jersey.