By Jake McCormick
Indiana is the only team ranked lower than Wisconsin in the 2010 Big 10 football recruiting rankings. Despite what Bret Bielema might say about the current class, it should not be expected to be anything other than decent for a team that will start the season ranked (around) 10th in the nation.
Despite the immediate contributions of Bielema’s past two draft classes, the 2010 Wisconsin class doesn’t jump off the page. Then again, none of the underclassmen that were big contributors in Wisconsin’s 10-3 2009 season were considered top 10 recruits at their positions.
Wisconsin’s recruiting classes under Bret Bielema have never been star studded. They normally feature a good dose of homegrown fruits with a touch of East Coast flavor and dash of Florida spice, guaranteed to whelm more than over or underwhelm.
This year features a much larger sample size from Wisconsin, where the players typically don’t jump to the top of the class but live up to or exceed their expectations (Jim Leonhard, John Clay, Joe Thomas, and Donald Hayes, to name a few). Although the class of 2010, with 22 three star commits and none above that ranking, won’t produce in the immediate way the past two groups have, you can’t write a class off as a failure before they have a chance to put on pads.
A down year in recruiting could not have come at a better time in Bielema’s tenure, as he is coming off his first 10 win season with a roster full of talented underclassmen and the loss of only six impact seniors (one on offense, five on defense). Those holes will be at tight end, defensive line, linebacker, and safety. Here are a few incoming freshmen that could make an immediate impact at each of these positions (scouting reports courtesy of Scout.com):
TE Warren Herring
Position rank: 41
Scouting Report: Herring is a stocky kid who can play both sides of the ball. As a tight end, where he is projected, he presents a big target with reliable hands. He shows some run after the catch ability but does have have super straight line speed. He is a strong kid who could potentially be an H-Back and lead blocker.
DT Beau Allen
Position rank: 26
Scouting Report: Allen is a tough, strong kid. He is well built all around and has a strong lower body, which allows him to hold his ground against the run. He does a solid job of getting off the ball, he plays with good leverage and gets good penetration. Does a good job with using his hands to shed blockers. Good effort, but has only average ability in pursuit. As a pass rusher, he relies on the bull rush and is capable of collapsing the pocket.
LB Konrad Zagzebski
Position rank: 51
Top recruit from Wisconsin
Scouting Report: Impresses with his athleticism and aggressive play. He gets off the ball and into the backfield well and attacks the ball carrier. For a kid who isn’t that big, he shows good ability at the point of attack and sheds blockers well. Could still get bigger and stronger. Suffered an ACL injury this year and must recover from that.
LB Josh Harrison
Position rank: 44
Scouting Report: Harrison has good size and projects as a Mike backer at the college level. Plays smart and is well disciplined on and off the field. Lacks the burst you might like to see but makes up for it with his instincts and film study to always be prepared.
S Frank Tamakloe
Position rank: 67
Scouting Report: Is a hard hitting, disciplined safety. He is great in run support, as he is aggressive, takes great angles and is a sure tackler. In coverage, he has good smarts and has the speed to make plays back there. He has tools that could allow him to play a couple positions, including both safety spots, but his run support and tackling ability may have him better suited as a strong safety. Needs to add strength and bulk.
ATH (LB/S) Manasseh Garner
Position rank: 29
Scouting Report: Garner is a great kid from a great family. He is an outstanding athlete, but he is raw and still learning. Garner has really improved his straight line speed in the course of a year. Garner is very versatile and has played several different positions on both sides of the field. He has good lateral speed and awareness in coverage. Garner can play off the edge and get after the quarterback.
Leave a Reply