Wisconsin football recruiting update II

By Sam Zastrow

The Badgers doubled their 2012 recruiting class in size in the month of June, picking up four verbal commitments from prospects in three different states. The Badgers now have commitments from four four-star recruits, three more than they had last season, and it’s not even July yet. There was some talk Wednesday that the Badgers had picked up another four-star prospect, OT  Jordan Diamond, but that turned out to be untrue. Still, with the addition of Russell Wilson Monday and a great start to its 2012 recruiting campaign, Wisconsin could be set up to win in both the immediate and long-term future.

Here’s your Badger football recruiting update for the month of June:

Newly signed:

OT Kyle Dodson, University Heights, Ohio; 6-6, 310 lbs
Scout.com: four stars; No. 23 OT, No. 187 overall
Rivals.com: four stars; No. 18 OT, No. 152 overall
247Sports.com: four stars; No. 26 OT, No. 192 overall
ESPN.com: three stars; No. 82 OT

Dodson was probably the most surprising and probably the most important commitment the Badgers picked up in June. He was recruited heavily by several elite schools including Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Nebraska and nearby Ohio State. He had 27 scholarship offers when he committed to Wisconsin June 13. Obviously, he already has the size to play tackle at the collegiate level, but many scouts consider him to be a raw talent who still needs to improve his technique.

From Scout.com:

Dodson stands out to be because of his ability to move, pull and get into the second level at his size. He’s very naturally strong and I like how he finishes his blocks. He’s clearly very raw, but he does play at a school that spreads it out, so he has experience in pass pro as well as in the running game. His upside is tremendous

from ESPN.com:

Dodson has the upper body playing strength to dominate opponents as an inline drive blocker. Has the size with enough athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. However defensive speed could become a challenge down the road; if this occurs, a move inside to guard could be in his future … It may take some time and perhaps a red shirt year to polish he skills prior to becoming a starter at the BCS level of play.

CB Hugs Etienne, Plantation, Fla.; 5-10, 175 lbs.
Scout.com: two stars
Rivals.com: three stars; No. 44 CB
247Sports.com: not rated
ESPN.com: not rated

The other three commitments Wisconsin picked up in June were much less high-profile than Dodson’s, but the Badgers have always been a team that prefers molding and developing lower regarded recruits than focusing on big names. They also have a solid recruiting pipeline opened up in Florida, especially in regard to defensive players and more specifically, defensive backs. Projected 2011 contributors James White, Kevin Claxton, David Gilbert, Aaron Henry and Antonio Fenelus all attended high school in Florida.

Etienne attended Wisconsin’s summer camp and performed well, leading to an scholarship offer. He turned down offers from West Virginia and several lower-tiered schools including Northern Illinois and Kansas. He projects to be a cornerback at the collegiate level, but don’t be surprised if he winds up playing safety at some point down the road.

CB Reggie Mitchell, Pittsburgh, Penn.; 6-0, 170 lbs.
Scout.com: not rated
Rivals.com: two stars
247sports.com: not rated
ESPN.com: not rated

Another summer camp attendee, Mitchell took less than 24 hours to announce his commitment after receiving a scholarship offer June 22. There doesn’t seem to be much information on Mitchell and the Badgers were the only school to offer him a scholarship prior to his commitment, although he was recruited by Penn State, Pittsburgh and a handful of other schools.

DT Arthur Goldberg, Pittsburgh, Penn.; 6-4, 270 lbs
Scout.com: not rated
Rivals.com: not rated
247Sports.com: not rated
ESPN.com: two stars, No. 120 DT

Wisconsin’s third commitment in a 48-hour period from June 23-24, Goldberg also did not receive a lot of attention from recruiting sites. However, he did receive seven other scholarship offers from schools like Cincinnatti, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia. He is a bit undersized, so he’ll likely need to put on some bulk before he earns playing time.

from ESPN.com:

He looks to have a frame that can support more good size with time in a college weight program and while he displays that he will line up and battle he does need to get bigger and improve strength. He displays a solid get-off, but does need to work on getting off the ball a little quicker … He displays a good motor and adequate range and reactive athleticism. He is a wrap-up tackler. As a pass rusher he will be active and try and use his weapons and work moves, but needs to develop and refine his pass rush arsenal.

Other commitments:

OG Dan Voltz, Barrington, Ill.; four stars 
OLB Vince Biegel, Wisconsin Rapids; four stars
QB Bart Houston, Concord, Cal.; four/three stars
RB Vonte Jackson, Kenosha; four/three stars

Here’s a link to last months recruiting update, featuring scouting reports on the four prospects listed above.

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