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.
No. 2 defensive tackle in 2018 class to visit Wisconsin
Tommy Togiai, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound senior defensive end from Pocatello, Idaho, holds 15 scholarship offers, including one from Wisconsin. Many pundits believe Togiai will choose Ohio State. His high school coach noted this week to Bill Kurelic of 247Sports.com that the Buckeyes remained Togiai’s leader.
However, his coach also confirmed that Wisconsin would represent one of Togiai’s five official visits this fall. Togiai intends to visit Ohio State, Southern Cal, Washington, Utah and Wisconsin.
Togiai will visit Ohio State this weekend for its home game against Oklahoma. He has a visit lined up for Washington the weekend of Oct. 6, when the Huskies play Cal. Wisconsin will have five home games remaining after the Florida Atlantic game on Saturday. Those games are: Northwestern (Sept. 30), Purdue (Oct. 14), Maryland (Oct. 21), Iowa (Nov. 11) and Michigan (Nov. 18).
According to 247Sports, Togiai will play in the Army All-American Bowl in January and plans to graduate high school in February. He is a 4-star prospect who is rated as the No. 1 prospect in Idaho, per 247Sports, and the No. 2 defensive tackle in the country.
Togiai was the USA Today Idaho defensive player of the year and a first-team all-state selection last season. Here are his junior highlights, which show a physically dominant player who can blast through the interior of an offensive line and has the speed to track down quarterbacks in the backfield.
Bryson Williams (Lincoln, Neb.) currently is the only defensive tackle committed to Wisconsin in the 2018 class. Whether the Badgers are able to land Togiai remains a long shot. But Wisconsin will at least have an opportunity to impress him during his on-campus visit and make his decision more difficult.
Basketball program bringing recruits to campus
Wisconsin’s coaching staff is continuing its search for a big man in the Badgers’ 2018 basketball recruiting class. That search will bring center Joe Hedstrom and forward Jack Hemphill to campus for official visits during the weekend of Sept. 29. Both players will attend Wisconsin’s football game against Northwestern.
Ryan James of GopherIllustrated.com first reported that Hedstrom, a 6-foot-10, 200-pound senior, would visit Wisconsin. Hedstrom has been offered a 4-for-5 deal at Wisconsin, which means he would be a walk-on next season before earning his scholarship in 2019.
Wisconsin currently represents Hedstrom’s only high-major offer. He also has scholarship offers from Boise State, Cleveland State, Columbia, Denver, Loyola Marymount, North Dakota, North Dakota State and South Dakota. Hedstrom is scheduled to take an official visit to Boise State the weekend of Sept. 22.
Evan Flood of Badger247.com reported that Hemphill would visit Wisconsin the same weekend as Hedstrom. Hemphill has not yet received an official scholarship offer from the Badgers.
Hemphill is a 6-9, 230-pound senior from Ravenscroft School in North Carolina and has been in contact with Badgers assistant coach Joe Krabbenhoft. He told BadgerBlitz.com editor Jon McNamara in August that he had scholarship offers from American University, Appalachian State, Boston University, Furman, New Hampshire and William & Mary.
“I haven’t grown up near Wisconsin, obviously, but it’s a school I’ve noticed and been intrigued by because of their playing style and tournament success,” Hemphill told McNamara. “If they were to offer, I would possibly commit on the spot. But it would depend on how comfortable and stuff I feel on the visit.”
Hemphill posted video highlights of his junior season, and here was my evaluation of the tape from last month:
“He appears to be a skilled big man with good post footwork, a solid mid-range jump shot and a deft passing touch around the block for kick-out 3-pointers or layups underneath. But he also is significantly taller than his opponents in high school, which surely would change at the college level.”
Wisconsin’s top remaining target in the 2018 class still appears to be forward Nate Laszewski, a 6-10, 190-pound senior from Northfield, Mass. Laszewski took in a Badgers basketball practice with his father on an unofficial visit in August. He set up official visits to three ACC schools on successive weekends this month: Notre Dame (Sept. 9), Wake Forest (Sept. 16) and North Carolina (Sept. 23). He has not yet scheduled an official visit to Wisconsin.
Nine out of 10 recruiting experts in the 247Sports Crystal Ball predict Laszewski will choose Notre Dame. Wisconsin appears ready to move on, if necessary, and the weekend of Sept. 29 could represent a big step in that direction.
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