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6 maps showcasing Wisconsin football's recruiting efforts

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Luke Fickell and his University of Wisconsin football staff have reinvigorated the program's recruiting efforts over the last two classes, thanks in part to a few key states where the Badgers previously had success.

Fickell, who said during his introductory press conference in November 2022 that he preferred to develop high school players rather than rely on the transfer portal, has signed more scholarship players (37) than made scholarship transfers in the 2023 and 2024 classes combined (27). his time in Madison.

BadgerExtra plotted maps to show where Wisconsin was targeting their recruiting efforts under Fickell, former coach Paul Chryst and interim coach Jim Leonhard. We looked at both 247Sports (2024 and 2025) and Rivals (2024 and 2025) and then tried to check via social media to see if the recruits had announced offers that matched the outlets' lists.

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Where did Wisconsin recruit in the 2024 and 2025 cycles?

The map above shows the total announced Wisconsin offers of recruits who are part of the 2024 and 2025 classes. More than 220 recruits from the 2024 class have announced offers from Wisconsin, which is significantly more than the 137 offers in the 247Sports database of 2023 offers. Around 220 players from the class of 2025 have also announced offers so far, and the number is increasing.

The two maps above show the number of announced offers per class during each of the three coaches' respective tenures. The overwhelming majority of 2024 and 2025 offers came from Fickell's staff, but the program under Chryst and Leonhard also extended offers to some recruits who remained in Fickell's staff's sights.

  • During Chryst's tenure, 2024 signees Mabrey Mettauer (Texas), Grant Stec (Illinois), Anelu Lafaele (Hawaii), Omillio Agard (Pennsylvania) and Gideon Ituka (Maryland) were initially offered.

  • During Leonhard's tenure, 2024 signee Rob Booker II (Waunakee) and 2025 signees Cooper Catalano (Germantown) and Remington Moss (Virginia) were initially offered.

BadgerExtra reviewed a total of 34 offers between the 2024 and 2025 classes during the eight weeks Leonhard served as interim coach, 25 of which were for 2024 recruits.


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Key areas Wisconsin under Fickell targeted in the 2024 and 2025 classes

The map above shows which scholarship players signed or verbally committed to the Badgers during the Chryst years. That starts with the 2015 class, which originally began under former coach Gary Andersen, and continues through those in the 2023 class, who verbally committed to Chryst's release in early October 2022, although four 2023 recruits later decommitted and signed somewhere else.

Now let's compare Chryst's signees and 2023 commitments above with a map of announced Wisconsin offers through 2024 and 2025 recruits during Fickell's tenure. Fickell said during his introductory press conference as Wisconsin coach that a 300-mile radius would serve as the core of the program's recruiting efforts. He continued: “Then we can focus on the other areas and look at the history of what was really good here.”

BadgerExtra compared the 2024 and 2025 offers to 247Sports' database of offered players by state between the 2015 and 2023 classes. Where Fickell's staff made a significant number of 2024 and 2025 offers is consistent with some familiar areas where Wisconsin has previously committed recruits.

The regions that stood out the most in Fickell's staff offerings were:

  • Wisconsin

  • A region within a 300-mile radius of Cincinnati that includes the Chicagoland region, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and western Pennsylvania

  • The corridor in eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey

  • Normal recruiting centers in Florida, Northwest Georgia and Texas

States that have seen notable increases in offers announced by Fickell's staff over the past two cycles include:

  • Florida, where numbers reached their highest level since the 2018 vintage

  • Indiana, where eight 2025 offers are the most in a 2015 class

  • Pennsylvania, where both Chryst and Fickell hired in 2024, and Fickell's staff have double-digit offers for the 2025 class

  • Maryland

  • New Jersey in the class of 2025

  • Tennessee, where double-digit offers were announced for 2025 recruits

Fickell praised former co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Colin Hitschler in December for his work in the East, but Hitschler left for Alabama earlier this year. The question remains how recruiting strategies will change without him in the future.


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How these areas have paid off for the Badgers in the 2024 and 2025 classes

The map above shows where Wisconsin has signed or received commitments from scholarship recipients from the classes of 2024 and 2025. The program has committed 22 players to the 2024 class and currently has seven verbal commitments to the 2025 class. Three major recruiting agencies rated Wisconsin as a top 25 class for the 2024 cycle, and the Badgers are among those by both 247Sports and Rivals Top 25 of their group of 2025 recruits after recently decommitting two.

The states where Wisconsin has had the most success are: