Wisconsin has a long way to go before they’ll be viewed the same way the top tier programs are. You dont magically get your name thrown around with the so called helmet schools overnight. Those programs have insane histories, Wisconsin does not. UW and Alabama could swap classes and they would not be ranked the same. Those “top tier/helmet school” programs get an artificial bump in their ranking because of who they are.
You also have to consider class size. UW has never been in the habit of over signing. Up until recently the Big 10 didn’t allow it. They’ll have classes of 18-20 kids whereas the Alabamas, Oklahomas, LSUs, etc have oversigned and moved enrolled kids out the door. When you bring in 25+ guys each year you’re going to have a class rank bump. If you sign 18 your overall class ranking will be lower.
I’m not saying recruiting isn’t important, it most certainly is but UW has a formula that works. They’ve been right at the doorstep a handful of times over the past 25 years using it. The ironic thing about their recruiting is that if you go by sources like rivals, ESPN, etc, their “best” class in the past two and a half decades came on the heels of the back to back Rose Bowl wins in the late 90’s. That class was to be the core of the 2001-2003 seasons. Their records those three years were 5-7, 8-6, 7-6. They got away from their formula and Barry admitted this.
Correct, Wisconsin has done more with 2 and 3 star recruits than any team in the country during the past decade. However, if you'd like to see the Badgers take an even bigger step in the how they are looked at nationally, and how they compete against the "usual" top teams in the country, they will need to improve the quality of their roster. If you are satisfied having the compete, and as of late, winning the BigTen west, then the 2-3 star players will do. Overall team speed is what they need to compete at the highest level. They can only improve that will better recruiting.
I would doubt that the ranking service that didn't have Joe Thomas listed is in business any more. Rivals had him as a 4-star, an Tom Lemming had him as the 55th best recruit in the country with his ranking service. JJ Watt I could see not being ranked. He was a 2-star with most and one service had him as the 1,320th best senior coming out.
On a side note, after visiting Madison this weekend, 3 star DL Gio Paez of North Carolina committed on Sunday night. Later today, 4 star CB Semar Melvin, of St. Thomas Aquinas in Pemboke Pines, will announce his intentions. He was in Madison this weekend as well. Hopefully he'll be coming to Wisco also.
Recruiting rankings are an inexact weird science. Take Joe Thomas for example. One source had him as a high four star. Another had him at zero stars. He committed early and spurned all interest from other programs. If he would’ve taken visits to schools with more tradition than Wisconsin his star rating would’ve gone up. Some sources simply add a star or two once they see certain programs show interest in a kid. “Geez, Alabama and Ohio State offered this guy? He has to be a five star.” The reality is that most of those ranking services know jack squat about many of these guys and will weight their ranking based on who is giving them offers.
As a junior, Owen Daniels was regarded as one of the top three QBs in his class. He was easily on his way to being a five star QB based on the interest he was getting from “name” schools. Then after two games in his senior year he wrecks his knee and his trajectory stagnated. Why? Some programs withdrew their offers and he reaffirmed his commitment to UW. Since Mertz reaffirmed his commitment don’t be surprised if his ranking doesn’t move much. It could if he has a lights out season but don’t be shocked or disappointed if it didn’t.
Wisconsin isn’t a program built on flashy recruiting rankings. It’s built on the lunch pail work ethic mentality where they develop guys who buy into their systems. Over the last decade Michigan has consistently had “better” incoming classes than UW has had. Since the 2009 season, one program has 62 wins and the other has 93. Give me the 93 wins from guys who have the desire to succeed instead of the underachieving 62 win guys who ranked higher as 18 year olds.
Agreed. Mertz is probably the best qb recruit (freshman) ever to come to UW, regardless of rating. Julius Davis is another interesting commit. From Menomonee Falls, is currently a 3-star. Since his verbal to UW, he's received offers from LSU and Southern Cal! Has any Wisconsin HS kid ever received an offer from So. Cal, let alone a RB?? Logan Brown from Michigan went from being the 45th ranked recruit to #9 in the past year. If that holds, it would be the first top 10 recruit ever to go to UW. And also only the second 5 star (Josh Ogelsby- St. Francis) being the other.
I don't take Badger football or hockey recruits seriously until that L.O.I. is signed; and as we recently saw in hockey, players STILL get out of letters of intent.
In addition, too many flippers out there these days.
I'll take Mertz serious when he's suited and practicing/playing.
I haven't seen anyone who has Mertz as a 5 star, but he is in the top 5 of his class of Pro Style QB's. Great class with him, a legit 5 star tackle from Michigan, a 4 star tackle from Indiana, and a good TE from Penn to start. Last weekend and this, and next are huge with the amount of recruits coming in to visit Madison. The two uncommitted kids in last week were a 4 star o lineman from Minn. and a LB from Cali. They spent the weekend with Mertz, and 4 other commits, hopefully forming a bond that will make them want to become Badgers. Fun to watch all of this unfold.
Prop- Agree with your post.. You never know how these highly rated kids will work out in college but it sure is nice to see the Badgers in the running for a 5 star QB.. Seems to have a good head on his shoulders and should be a good fit for Wisconsin.
We all saw what Chryst did with one year of Russell Wilson!!!! Still concerned about Alabama, OSU and the rest of the big name schools being in the background trying to change his mind.