Recruiting never stops in Badgers country, and we’re here to help put it all in perspective. Join us every Tuesday and Thursday night for a recap of Wisconsin recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes and a glimpse at what’s coming next.
In-state athlete Da’Shaun Brown’s coach updates recruitment
Wisconsin made its first scholarship offer to an in-state prospect in the 2019 class back on Sept. 1, extending an offer to athlete Da’Shaun Brown from Racine St. Catherine’s. More than six months later, Brown is still contemplating his college decision.
As he approaches the summer before his senior season, Wisconsin remains near the forefront of Brown’s mind. But with scholarship offers from Iowa, Iowa State and Western Michigan, Brown intends to do his due diligence with visits before he makes a final choice.
“He loves Madison, and it’s kind of just going through the process,” St. Catherine’s football coach Dan Miller told Land of 10. “It’s something that when you get so many schools that are interested in you after you’ve been offered by the Badgers, that says a lot that other teams feel the same way as an excellent program like Wisconsin to have offered him so early. And it says a lot about Wisconsin also and how they care about Da’Shaun and how they feel about him.
“He understands all that. I think we just talked about going one step at a time. Right now, since he’s got a few offers that he’s happy with, he can just focus on his school work and kind of just focus on those little things that can help him be a great leader as well.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Brown has been sensational in two seasons as a quarterback at St. Catherine’s. As a sophomore in 2016, he threw for 1,853 yards with 23 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,087 yards with 17 touchdowns and helped his team to an 8-3 record.
St. Catherine’s finished the 2017 season 10-1 and lost in the second round of the WIAA Division 4 playoffs. The Angels averaged 40.6 points per game thanks in no small part to Brown.
He finished the season with 1,404 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. Brown rushed for 1,210 yards and 17 more touchdowns, averaging 11.3 yards per carry. He set an unofficial Racine County single-game rushing record with 402 yards on Oct. 7 in a 55-7 victory against Kenosha St. Joseph. Brown also has played some cornerback and safety for his team.
Da’Shaun Brown’s junior season highlights
Miller said the Wisconsin offer “really meant a lot to [Brown] and his family.” Brown has made multiple visits to Iowa and taken two unofficial visits to Iowa State since January. Miller said several other programs have come in to talk to Brown, including Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue and Notre Dame.
“For those guys, it kind of comes down to if you make a visit and show greater interest, then we’re going to offer you because if you’re that good of an athlete, it’s kind of a no-brainer situation,” Miller said. “So he kind of knows that there’s other offers out there if he decides to change.”
Brown is a 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite who rates as the No. 3 player in Wisconsin and the No. 43 athlete. The only two players he trails in the state are both Badgers commits: linebacker Leo Chenal (Grantsburg) and running back Julius Davis (Menomonee Falls).
Miller said Badgers special teams coordinator Chris Haering is the lead recruiter on Brown, but offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph and coach Paul Chryst also have been involved. Brown is in the middle of his high school track season, but Miller noted he planned to make some early official visits over the summer, including to Wisconsin. Miller said Brown intends on picking a school before his senior season.
Wisconsin is looking at Brown as a wide receiver, but Miller said it’s still unclear what position the Badgers and other programs want Brown to play because of his athleticism and versatility.
“He’s got a frame that he can definitely put on weight and really be a physical safety,” Miller said. “And he’s got the size and the speed to be a corner, as well. And then you look at the offensive side of it where he could be a receiver with his jumping ability and how he attacks the football.
“Even though he hasn’t played a lot of receiver, he still just has an exceptional push off the snap of the ball. His length with his legs I think really would be something that the school that gets him is really going to have to take a look at and say, ‘OK, can he really be an exceptional receiver or is it defensive back at corner or safety?'”
Badgers offer 2020 LB Antoine Sampah
Wisconsin offered a scholarship on Tuesday to linebacker Antoine Sampah, a 6-1½, 203-pound sophomore from Woodbridge, Va. Sampah’s offer list features 16 schools, including Alabama, Louisville, LSU, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
— Antoine Sampah (@_antoinesampah) March 13, 2018
247Sports.com ranks Sampah as a 4-star prospect and the No. 1 inside linebacker in the country.
Badgers offer 2020 WR Marvin Mims
Wisconsin extended an offer to wide receiver Marvin Mims, a 6-1, 165-pound sophomore from Frisco, Texas. Mims holds five offers: Arkansas, Illinois, SMU, Tulsa and Wisconsin.
— Marvin Mims (@marvindmims) March 14, 2018
During his sophomore season, Mims caught 54 passes for 1,175 yards and 12 touchdowns. He caught 36 passes for 523 yards and 4 touchdowns as a freshman. Mims is a 4-star prospect per 247Sports. He is ranked as the No. 26 receiver in the nation.
Badgers offer Oklahoma RB commit Jase McClellan
Running back Jase McClellan committed to Oklahoma back on July 29, but that hasn’t deterred other college programs from entering the picture with scholarship offers. Wisconsin became the latest such school when the Badgers extended McClellan an offer on Wednesday. McClellan also has earned offers from Arkansas, Alabama, Texas and Texas Tech in the last few months.
— JM9® (@thekidjase) March 14, 2018
McClellan, a 5-10, 198-pound sophomore, is coming off a season in which he rushed for 1,599 yards with 28 touchdowns at Aledo (Texas) High School. He averaged 7.8 yards per carry. As a freshman, McClellan gained 1,528 rushing yards and scored 20 touchdowns.
McClellan has 19 scholarship offers and rates as a 4-star player by 247Sports. He is ranked as the No. 6 running back in the country.
2018 PG Tai Strickland makes official visit
Wisconsin’s quest to land point guard Tai Strickland (St. Petersburg, Fla.) in its 2018 recruiting class took an important step Thursday. That’s because Strickland arrived on campus for his official visit.
Madison, WI #UDUB
— Tai Strickland (@taistrickland13) March 15, 2018
The Badgers appear to be in strong position for Strickland, who has earned scholarship offers from Rutgers, Minnesota and DePaul in the last three weeks. Wisconsin is looking for a playmaking guard, and Strickland is one of the top uncommitted point guards in his class. While Strickland is ranked as the No. 53 point guard in the country, only nine players ranked ahead of him have yet to commit to a school.
Wisconsin has two scholarships available now that forward Andy Van Vliet has announced his decision to transfer. The Badgers are likely to explore the graduate transfer market for a front-court player and perhaps the junior college ranks as well. But Badgers fans are eagerly awaiting Strickland’s decision. He has one other official visit lined up at Rutgers next week.
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