Top 25 rated Wisconsin football offensive recruits of all time

Top 25 rated Wisconsin football offensive recruits of all time

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Wisconsin has always recruited well close to home, and that is reflected when looking back on the highest-ranked offensive recruits to ever commit to the Badgers.

The Badgers have never been a place known to rack up five-star prospects, but at certain positions they are up there with anybody in the country in terms of recruiting history and on-field performance. The offensive position that unsurprisingly leads the way in the rankings of top Badger recruits? The offensive line, and more specifically midwest natives along the line.

Going strictly off of 247Sports’ composite rankings, here are the top 25 rated Wisconsin football offensive recruits of the modern recruiting era:

No. 25: RB Melvin Gordon III

Sep 14, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) carries the ball as Arizona State Sun Devils players defend during the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Badger State native was a four-star prospect in the class of 2011, and the No. 2 player in the state of Wisconsin per 247Sports.

No. 24: WR Nick Toon

Jan 2, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Nick Toon (1) runs for an 8-yards gain during the first half in the 2012 Rose Bowl against the Oregon Ducks game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Middleton, Wis. native was a four-star prospect in the class of 2007. He was the No. 3 player in the Badger State per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 23: RB Lance Smith

November 10, 2007; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Lance Smith (5) carries the football against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers defeated the Wolverines 37-21. Credit: Photo By Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports Copyright (c) 2007 Jeff Hanisch

The Ohio native was a four-star prospect in the 2006 class. He was the No. 25 overall running back in the class per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 22: RB Vonte Jackson

Nov 12, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin logos on flags during player announcements prior to the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 48-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson was the No. 2 player in the state of Wisconsin in the class of 2012 per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 21: WR Danny Davis III

Oct 16, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Danny Davis III (7) catches a pass against Army Black Knights cornerback Julian McDuffie (3) during the second quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio native was a four-star recruit in the class of 2017. He was a top-ten player in the state per 247Sports’ composite rankings.

No. 20: LB* Braelon Allen

Dec 30, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) runs up field against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the 2021 Las Vegas Bowl at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, Allen was technically recruited as a defensive player but he quickly transitioned over to running back as a true freshman and the rest of the 2021 season was history. The Fond Du Lac, Wis. native was the No. 3 player in the Badger State class of 2021 per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 19: OG Kayden Lyles

Sep 21, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Kayden Lyles (76) during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Middleton, Wis. native was the No. 1 player in the Badger State class of 2017 per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 18: QB Bart Houston

Jan 2, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Bart Houston (13) in action during the game against the Western Michigan Broncos in the 2017 Cotton Bowl game at AT&T Stadium. The Badgers defeat the Broncos 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The California native was the No. 6 quarterback in the class of 2012 per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 17: WR Lance Kendricks

Nov 14, 2009; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers tight end Lance Kendricks (84) holds out the football as he dives for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium. The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Michigan Wolverines 45-24. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Kendricks was the top player in the Badger State class of 2006 per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 16: RB Corey Clement

Oct 1, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Corey Clement (6) rushes in the second half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 14-7. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey native was the No. 12 overall running back in the class of 2013 per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 15: RB Jalen Berger

Dec 5, 2020; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Jalen Berger (8) rushes with the football during the second quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Although now at Michigan State, Berger was the No. 3 player in the New Jersey class of 2020 (per 247Sports) when he initially committed to Wisconsin.

No. 14: OL Riley Mahlman

Mahlman was the No. 1 player in the state of Minnesota last season per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 13: OL Cole Van Lanen

Cole Van Lanen (71) and his Badgers teammates on offense celebrate touchdown by Jack Coan during the first half. Credit: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-Imagn Content Services, LLC

Van Lanen was the No. 2 player in the Badger State in the 2016 class per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 12: OT JP Benzchawel

Benzchawel was part of Wisconsin’s outstanding 2021 class, and the four-star prospect was the No. 1 player in the Badger State last season per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 11: OT Joe Thomas

Joe Thomas Wisconsin

Joe Thomas Wisconsin

AP Photo / Reinhold Matay

One of the greatest offensive tackles to ever play the game, Thomas was once a four-star recruit out of Brookfield, Wis. in the class of 2003.

No. 10: OT Jaden Gault

Nov 11, 2017; Madison, WI, USA; The Wisconsin logo at mid field prior to the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Gault was the top player in the Badger State per 247Sports composite rankings as part of the 2014 recruiting class.

No. 9: OT Jack Nelson

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 30: Offensive linemen Tanor Bortolini #63, Jack Nelson #79 and Cormac Sampson #62 of the Wisconsin Badgers walk to the line of scrimmage during the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Allegiant Stadium on December 30, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Badgers defeated the Sun Devils 20-13. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Nelson was the No. 2 player in the Badger State per 247Sports composite rankings in the class of 2020.

No. 8: OG Dan Voltz

Oct 3, 2015; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Dan Voltz (70) during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Camp Randall Stadium. Iowa won 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois native was a top-100 player nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings of the 2012 class.

No. 7: OT Joe Brunner

Whitefish Bay junior Joe Brunner holds scholarship offers from Michigan, Ohio State, LSU, Penn State, Wisconsin and others. Credit: Curt Hogg / Now News Group-Imagn Content Services, LLC

Brunner is the No. 1 player in the Badger State class of 2022 per the 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 6: OT Trey Wedig

Kelli Steffes, UW Athletics

Wedig was the top player in the Badger State according to the 247Sports composite rankings for the 2020 class.

No. 5: QB Graham Mertz

Dec 30, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) warms up before facing the Arizona State Sun Devils in the 2021 Las Vegas Bowl at Allegiant Stadium. Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin’s current starting quarterback was the top 2019 prospect in the state of Kansas according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. He is the highest-ranked Badger quarterback commit in program history.

No. 4: RB John Clay

Nov 15, 2008; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back John Clay (32) rushes with the football during the first quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 35-32. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Clay is the highest-ranked running back recruit of the modern era for Wisconsin.

No. 3: OT Logan Brown

Brown is one of three five-star recruits on the offensive side of the football in Wisconsin history. The Michigan native was the No. 17 overall prospect in the class of 2019 per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 2: OT Nolan Rucci

Rucci is the most recent of Wisconsin’s five-star commitments, as the class of 2021 product followed in his brothers footsteps. He was the No. 16 overall player in the class of 2021 per 247Sports composite rankings.

No. 1: OT Josh Oglesby

Sep 1, 2011; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive tackle Josh Oglesby (67) during the game against the UNLV Rebels at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers defeated the Rebels 51-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The 6-foot-7 offensive tackle was the No. 13 overall player in the class of 2007 per 247Sports composite rankings. He was also the top player in the Wisconsin state class of 2007.

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