The early signing period arrives for the first time on Dec. 20. Most of Wisconsin’s 19 committed prospects in the 2018 class are expected to sign. With that in mind, Land of 10 is taking a look at some of the members of that class as a primer for what to expect once they arrive on campus.
As a 4-star prospect, inside linebacker Jack Sanborn is the highest-rated player in Wisconsin’s 2018 recruiting class. And Badgers fans have good reason to be excited about his potential. On Wednesday, Sanborn officially signed with the Badgers.
This season, Sanborn starred for Lake Zurich (Ill.) High, leading the team with 124 tackles. He recorded 11 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery during Lake Zurich’s 21-14 Class 7A state championship game loss to Batavia. Lake Zurich finished the season 13-1.
For his efforts, Sanborn earned Pioneer Press All-Area Football Defensive Player of the Year honors.
David Proffitt was Sanborn’s high school coach through his junior season and told the Chicago Tribune: “He’s the most athletic linebacker I’ve ever coached.”
Current Lake Zurich coach Luke Mertens once coached Badgers linebacker T.J. Edwards at Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa, Ill. Mertens sees some of the same traits in Sanborn that have made Edwards a star.
“Jack’s instinct to the ball is like no other,” Mertens told the Tribune. “He knows where the ball is going and arrives angrily. His explosiveness on contact is very similar to T.J. Off the field, Jack is humble, respectful and selfless.”
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 20, 2017
Sanborn took his official visit to Wisconsin two weekends ago, alongside most of the Badgers’ 2018 commits. He told Ben Worgull of Badger247.com that he was looking forward to the opportunity to learn behind some talented inside linebackers at Wisconsin, including Ryan Connelly and Chris Orr. Edwards recently earned Associated Press First-Team All-America honors and could declare for the NFL draft.
“I think it’s going to be really beneficial to me, especially that first year,” Sanborn told Worgull. “That experience, they’ve been there before. They’ve done it all before. T.J. was a Butkus finalist this year. If he comes back, I think it would be awesome with him, Chris and Ryan and all of them, to see them go about their business and how they prepare so I can learn from them. I think it’s going to be real easy.”
Hometown: Lake Zurich, Ill.
Ranking: 4-star prospect, No. 4 player in Illinois, No. 17 inside linebacker in the country
Committed: March 22, 2017
How he fits in: Based on the way Sanborn played throughout his high school football career, he has a chance to be the next great Wisconsin linebacker. Sanborn was dominant and has a knack for making tackles — you don’t record 124 in one season without a special talent and work ethic. Even if T.J. Edwards declares for the NFL draft, Wisconsin returns Ryan Connelly and Chris Orr. Arrington Farrar, Griffin Grady and Mike Maskalunas are among those who will vie for playing time next season. Sanborn has a great opportunity to learn from veterans and thrive when his opportunity arrives.
247Sports evaluation: “Productive player who does a great job of reading his keys and getting to the football quickly. Does a great job of making his way through traffic. Takes good angles to the ball carrier. Does a good job of taking on blocks because he does it with good technique, pad level and aggressiveness, but he still has room to get stronger at the next level. He does a nice job of using his same smarts and instincts in the passing game, but can still work on his man to man coverage.”
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