Wisconsin recruiting notebook: Badgers offer in-state football player, gain walk-on; hoops offer forward

Wisconsin-DaShaun Brown

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Da’Shaun Brown first in-state player to earn Badgers offer for 2019

Wisconsin’s football program had extended scholarship offers to 59 players across the 2019 recruiting class before the team’s season opener Friday night against Utah State. Not one of those offers belonged to an in-state prospect.

That changed on Friday, when St. Catherine’s High School quarterback Da’Shaun Brown earned an offer during an unofficial visit. Brown, who is being recruited as a quarterback and athlete, received his offer from special teams coordinator Chris Haering.

“And then Da’Shaun came back and he told everybody,” St. Catherine’s coach Dan Miller told the Racine (Wis.) Journal Times. “It was just a surreal moment. You could see on Da’Shaun’s face that he was extremely excited and just wowed that they offered him this early. He was extremely surprised. It was really neat because I got a text from Coach Haering the day before (Thursday) that they were excited that we were all coming up there to enjoy the game. It was really neat.”

Brown tweeted about his offer Friday night:

According to the Journal Times, Brown transferred from Case High School in Racine to St. Catherine’s before his sophomore season. He played quarterback at St. Catherine’s last season and threw for 1,853 yards with 23 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,087 yards with 17 touchdowns and helped St. Catherine to an 8-3 record. In three games this season, the Journal Times reported that Brown is averaging 189 total yards and has 7 touchdowns.

It’s still early in the recruiting process for Brown, as the Wisconsin scholarship offer marks his first. Brown told Evan Flood of Badger247.com that Iowa also was expressing interest in him. But Wisconsin clearly ranks high on his list.

“It was a dream come true,” Brown told Badger247.com. “Since I was little, I always wanted to play at Wisconsin. I love the coaches there. The players are so nice. I just love the atmosphere there.”

Based on his sophomore season highlight film, Brown appears to possess true dual-threat capabilities. He is a solid pocket passer who can deliver throws on the money downfield. He also isn’t afraid to run if a play breaks down, and he has the athleticism to evade tacklers at the line of scrimmage. Brown can keep the play alive long enough to find receivers for big gains.

Brown could play multiple positions at Wisconsin, including wide receiver or cornerback. Wisconsin already had extended offers to three of the top quarterbacks in the 2019 class, each of whom has committed to a different school. The Badgers continue to monitor several other quarterbacks in the class, including Hayden Wolff (Englewood, Fla.) and Connor Bazelak (Dayton, Ohio).

“Honestly, I have no clue what I’ll do,” Brown told Badger247.com. “After I was offered — it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in my family if I commit there. I’m going to continue to think about it. If I’m feeling it, I’ll commit.”

LB Marty Strey turns down scholarship to walk on at Wisconsin

The pull of playing for the home-state college football team is strong at Wisconsin, and Marty Strey felt it strongly. Strey, a linebacker from Sun Prairie, Wis., ultimately has chosen to walk on at Wisconsin in 2018 rather than accept a scholarship offer from FCS school North Dakota or wait for other potential offers during his senior year.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Strey told BadgerBlitz.com editor Jon McNamara that his mom played soccer at Wisconsin in the 1990s, and his dad’s side of the family is from the state.

“I was born and raised a Badger fan,” Strey told BadgerBlitz.com. “It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to get the opportunity to play for the Badgers. I’m very thankful for the opportunity North Dakota gave me, but it was a no-brainer to choose Wisconsin.”

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Strey was a first-team all-state selection by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association as a junior last season. He earned honorable mention all-state by the Associated Press. Strey recorded 72 tackles last season, including 22 tackles for loss. He also contributed 7 sacks and 4 forced fumbles.

The State Journal noted Strey has played outside linebacker, defensive end and tight end this season for Sun Prairie, which is off to a 3-0 start. Strey tallied 6 tackles and 2 sacks in a 41-7 victory against Janesville Craig on Thursday. He posted his highlights to Hudl.

Strey generated interest from Ivy League schools such as Cornell, Harvard and Princeton. He told Badgerblitz.com that he carried a 3.94 grade-point average and scored a 30 on his ACT. On the football field, Strey said he could play inside or outside linebacker and was solid dropping into pass coverage or blitzing. He said he would discuss his projected position with coaches later in the week.

“It’s nice knowing I can now focus solely on my senior season of high school,” Strey told McNamara. “There’s nothing like Friday night lights, so I’ll enjoy it. At the same time it’s a great feeling to know that I will have an opportunity to play for Wisconsin. I just have to work exceptionally hard and see what happens.”

2019 F Zeke Nnaji nets basketball scholarship offer

Zeke Nnaji, a 6-foot-9, 195-pound forward from Hopkins, Minn., earned a scholarship offer from Wisconsin’s basketball program Friday when he attended the Badgers football game on an unofficial visit.

The offer represents Nnaji’s first on the recruiting scene, although there are likely more to follow. He told Badger247.com that schools such as Minnesota, Purdue, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rutgers, Butler, Stanford and Northern Iowa had expressed interest in him.

Nnaji becomes the fourth player in the 2019 class to earn a scholarship offer from Wisconsin. The others are point guard DJ Carton (Bettendorf, Iowa), forward Matthew Hurt (Rochester, Minn.) and forward Nobal Days (Racine, Wis.). Nnaji’s high school teammate, Joe Hedstrom, has a scholarship offer from Wisconsin in the 2018 class.

Nnaji participated in Wisconsin’s team camp in June and performed well for the Howard Pulley 17U AAU team. Badger247.com captured video highlights.

RB Nakia Watson shines in season debut

Wisconsin commit Nakia Watson waited longer to open his season than many of his future teammates in the 2018 recruiting class. But it proved worth the extra time because he began his senior season in Texas with a bang.

Watson carried 22 times for 228 yards with 3 touchdown in Austin Westlake’s 35-28 victory against College Station. He scored on touchdown runs of 27, 72 and 77 yards during the game.

Watson committed to Wisconsin on June 10 but figures to generate more interest from other schools during his senior season. The Badgers represent his only offer from a Power 5 program.

A few other 2018 Badgers commits who stood out in their high school games include quarterback Chase Wolf (Cincinnati, Ohio), tight end Jaylan Franklin (Gibraltar, Mich.) and wide receiver Isaac Guerendo (Avon, Ind.)

Wolf helped his St. Xavier team back from a 14-0 deficit in an eventual 20-17 overtime victory against Colerain. Wolf completed 19 of 33 passes for 166 yards with 1 touchdown and added the game-winning rushing score.

Franklin, who plays quarterback for Gibraltar Carlson, led the way in a 42-14 victory against Trenton. He completed 6 of 8 passes for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown.

Guerendo continued his hot start to his senior season by catching 5 passes for 139 yards with 2 touchdowns. He scored on passes of 69 and 21 yards in Avon’s 38-7 victory against Hamilton Southeastern. In three games, Guerendo has 16 receptions for 356 yards and 5 touchdowns and is averaging 118.7 receiving yards per game.

Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports captured video of Guerendo’s touchdowns catches. Here is the video from his 69-yard touchdown reception:

The post Wisconsin recruiting notebook: Badgers offer in-state football player, gain walk-on; hoops offer forward appeared first on Land of 10.

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