UW Football Add Pair of Recruits to Nearly Complete 2017 Class


The Wisconsin Badgers 2017 football recruiting class was always going to be small, but it appears as if the coaching staff is not letting that small class size deter it from making big moves.

Following two commitments in as many days after the Nebraska game, the Badgers have doubled up on the week in just one day.

According to our recruiting partner, Badger247, the University of Wisconsin has picked up a pair of commitments on Tuesday night.

The biggest name was that of New Jersey running back Jonathan Taylor. Shortly after that news broke that JUCO defensive end Andrew Van Ginkel had committed to Wisconsin as well.

With those two additions, Wisconsin’s class is now up to 15 verbal commitments and nearly full for the class.

Taylor has long been Wisconsin’s main priority on the recruiting trail, but Van Ginkel has been one of the fastest risers on UW’s recruiting board as of late.

Just two weeks after getting main running back target, Jonathan Taylor, on campus for the Ohio State game it got his verbal commitment. The one-time Rutgers pledge seemed destined for a flip from the time he agreed to an official visit to Madison.

The writing seemed further on the wall for the No. 32 ranked running back, as he officially decommitted from the Scarlet Knights on Oct. 29. Just three days later and he was a member of the Badgers 2017 class that will sign in February.

As for the change of heart, it was all just a matter of showcasing what the running backs at Wisconsin can be capable of.

“Wisconsin feeds the ball to their running backs,” Taylor told 247Sports. “They highlight their running backs. Their run game opens their pass game. They are looking for tough guys. They run downhill a lot and I enjoy running downhill. They run that pro-style offense.”

The Badgers have struck it rich a few times in the state of New Jersey, especially with South Jersey running backs. Some guy by the name of Ron Dayne happened to hail from that area along with current starting running back Corey Clement.

What are the Badgers getting in Taylor? His coach believes Taylor is the best back in the state and perhaps the fastest of the backs to come to Wisconsin from New Jersey.

“Wisconsin is getting the best back in (New Jersey),” Salem (NJ) coach Montrey Wright told 247Sports. “He fits that offense good. They are getting another south Jersey back just like Ron Dayne and Corey Clement. So he can follow in their footsteps. That’s a pretty good fit. He’s a great kid with character.”

“He’s the fastest man in the state,” Wright said. “He takes his education serious and he knows the caliber of education he will be getting at Wisconsin and the caliber of football as well.”

Time will tell, but certainly history suggests that Taylor’s time at Wisconsin could be very special.

He’ll join a crowded backfield next year, with emerging freshman Bradrick Shaw likely to battle with junior Taiwan Deal and Pitt transfer Chris James for playing time. We’re guessing a redshirt year could be in order, but it also could set him up for a very interesting career at UW.

That was just the first highlight of the night for the Badgers on the recruiting trail, as Taylor’s commitment was followed up by Van Ginkel’s about an hour later.

Van Ginkel, the No. 3 ranked JUCO strongside defensive end in the country chose the Badgers over 10 offers. That list included the likes of Iowa, Iowa State and Kansas to name a few. It also is an interesting addition at a position group that hasn’t been hurting for depth as of late.

Perhaps attrition is coming, or Van Ginkel is just simply too good of a prospect for the coaching staff to pass on.

Clearly they love what he has accomplished in his time at Iowa Western Community College, as Wisconsin went from not even recruiting him to having his commitment in short order.

With the pair added to the mix, Wisconsin moved from No. 44 to No. 36 in the 247Sports national team rankings. UW stayed at N0. 10 in the conference rankings, but its average star ranking puts UW at the No. 8 spot in the B1G.

UW is still after a safety and may be done with this class after that.

Arrow to top