It's been a busy September for Wisconsin -- the Badgers picked up four recruits last month, expanding the numbers of the 2014 class quite dramatically. They've surged up the boards as a result, now sitting at 28th in the country overall and third in the Big Ten, according to the 247sports composite. Only Michigan and Ohio State are ahead.
While none of the four new Badgers are particularly highly ranked, all four should be solid players: defensive end Conor Sheehy, wide receiver Chris Jones, defensive end Rohan Blackwood, and safety Lubern Figaro are all ranked as three-star players on the 247sports composite. Figaro will join Tampa (Fla.) Plant's Austin Hudson in the defensive backfield as Wisconsin's second safety commitment.
Sheehy and Blackwood become the third and fourth defensive line recruits of this class, which has clearly been a focus for Gary Andersen's first recruiting class -- Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead defensive end Billy Hirschfeld and Highland (Kan.) Community College defensive tackle Joe Keels are the others. At only 210 pounds, however, Blackwood could stand to put on some more weight, as he is drastically lighter than any of the other three incoming defensive linemen.
The addition of Keels should prove key, though -- being a JUCO transfer, the 6'4, 275 pound defensive tackle should be ready to play much sooner than Hirschfeld, Sheehy or Blackwood.
Impact of coaching change
So far, there has been no appreciable difference between the level of recruiting quality under former coach Brett Bielema, and new coach Gary Andersen. Wisconsin's recruiting will ensure that it will remain in the upper half of the Big Ten, but it's not close to the level of Michigan or Ohio State.