Wisconsin recruiting: Walk-on QB Nate Carter commits, 8 new offers, battle for Bryson Williams continues


Nate Carter-Wisconsin-Recruiting

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2018 walk-on QB Nate Carter calls playing for Badgers ‘a dream’

Quarterback Nate Carter has the decorations in his room to prove just how big of a Wisconsin football fan he is. He played high school ball at Waunakee, just 12 miles north of Camp Randall Stadium, and has attended at least a couple Badgers games each season.

So when Carter earned a preferred walk-on spot with the Badgers in their 2018 recruiting class, it didn’t take long before he realized the offer was too good to pass up. On Tuesday, Carter announced his commitment to Wisconsin via Twitter.

“Just growing up a Badger fan, it was always kind of a dream to play for the Badgers,” Carter told Land of 10. “And then also academically, I take my schooling pretty seriously. To be able to get an education at a school like UW-Madison was pretty important to me throughout the process.

“That’s something that I was looking for. When I go to college, obviously it’ll be fun to play football. But ultimately if I didn’t get a good education, then I would view college as kind of a failure. So to be able to set myself up for life after football was just as important to me as the fit football-wise.”

Carter joins a walk-on class that includes linebacker Marty Strey (Sun Prairie, Wis.), linebacker/fullback John Chenal (Grantsburg, Wis.), running back Brady Schipper (Stoughton, Wis.), tight end Jack Eschenbach (Lisle, Ill.) and offensive tackle Andrew Lyons (Kenosha, Wis.).

Carter, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound senior, is rated as a 2-star prospect, according to 247Sports. According to WisSports.Net, he completed 130 of 208 passes this season (62.5 percent) for 2,240 yards with 25 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He carried the ball just 3 times for 15 yards with 1 touchdown.

This season, Carter helped lead Waunakee to the Division 2 state championship with a 14-13 victory against Brookfield Central. Carter completed a 36-yard pass on a critical third-and-15 play on the game-winning drive. Later in the drive, he threw a 7-yard pass on third-and-8, which allowed Waunakee to convert on fourth-and-short in the run game.

Waunakee finished the season 14-0 and continues to be a powerhouse program under coach Pat Rice. He has made 21 playoff appearances, won six state titles and finished second three times in his 26 seasons.

Carter said he had an opportunity to play football at FCS school Davidson College in North Carolina and was talking to other FCS programs. NCAA Division II school Sioux Falls in South Dakota offered him a chance to play, and other D-II schools in Minnesota were expressing interest. Carter noted that he sent his senior highlight film to some schools but didn’t hear back before ultimately deciding Wisconsin was the right place for him.

Nate Carter’s senior season highlights

Carter said he had spoken to former Badgers quarterback Jon Budmayr, who is a quality control assistant at Wisconsin and works with the quarterbacks. Carter attended a Wisconsin camp before his junior and senior seasons. After he sent coaches his midseason game film, he earned a preferred walk-on opportunity.

“Obviously they didn’t promise anything,” Carter said. “Like they tell all the walk-ons, if we come in and work hard and play well, there’s a chance to earn a scholarship down the road.”

Carter joins a competitive quarterback room that will include four scholarship quarterbacks next season: redshirt junior Alex Hornibrook, redshirt sophomore Kare Lyles, sophomore Jack Coan and freshman Chase Wolf. Walk-on Danny Vanden Boom will be a redshirt freshman as well.

While Carter recognizes there are long odds of him earning playing time, he pointed to former Badgers walk-on quarterback Joel Stave, who became the starter and left after the 2015 season with more career wins than any starting quarterback in school history (31).

“I used to be a pretty big fan of him, just knowing his story starting out as a walk-on and playing pretty early in his career,” Carter said. “I kind of have a similar play style to him. Just in the fact that I’m not really the type of guy that’s going to go out there and run all over the field. I’m not necessarily a running quarterback. I’m mobile, but I’m more of a pocket passer.”

What else can Badgers fans expect from Carter when he arrives on campus?

“I have a pretty good work ethic, just coming from the high school program in Waunakee,” Carter said. “Coach Rice and all the other coaches, they really preach working hard and working for everything that we achieve. I think that’ll help me fit in. And then I’m also a pretty natural leader. Obviously playing quarterback, that’s a trait that you essentially have to have, as well as being able to make a lot of the throws.

“I’m still developing as a quarterback, getting a stronger arm, working on my accuracy. I think as time goes on and I improve in that area, that can help me out a lot, too.”

Wisconsin offers scholarships to 8 prospects

Wisconsin’s recruiting success in Michigan has been remarkable, and the Badgers aren’t done trying to pull more prospects from the state. On Tuesday, Wisconsin offered a scholarship in its 2019 class to outside linebacker Lance Dixon from West Bloomfield High. If that school sounds familiar, it’s because the Badgers already have two commitments in their 2018 class from West Bloomfield in wide receiver standouts Taj Mustapha and A.J. Abbott.

Dixon, a 3-star prospect, is rated as the No. 11 player in his class in Michigan. He has 17 scholarship offers, including from Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State. Michigan and Michigan State are considered Dixon’s top two schools at this stage, but Wisconsin has shown it can compete for top talent in the state.

Wisconsin has five committed players in its 2018 class from Michigan, with Mustapha, Abbott, offensive lineman Michael Furtney (Milan), safety Reggie Pearson Jr. (River Rouge) and tight end Jaylan Franklin (Rockwood). The Badgers recently secured a commitment for 2019 from offensive lineman Logan Brown (Grand Rapids, Mich.), who picked Wisconsin over Michigan.

Wisconsin also has offered scholarships this week to 2018 wide receiver John Jackson (Gardena, Calif.), 2019 running back Derrian Brown (Buford, Ga.), 2019 cornerback Nyquee Hawkins (Orange, N.J.), 2020 wide receiver Porter Rooks (Charlotte, N.C.), 2019 offensive lineman Jonathan Allen (Dayton, Ohio), 2019 defensive end Colby Wooden (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and 2021 defensive end JC Latham (Waukesha, Wis.).

Jackson, a 6-1, 180-pound senior, has 13 scholarship offers, including from BYU, Oregon and Tennessee. His scholarship offer is intriguing because it means Wisconsin may not be done in its 2018 recruiting class, which already has 19 commitments. The Badgers appear to have one spot remaining. Jackson told Evan Flood of Badger247.com that he would visit Wisconsin on Dec. 19-20.

“I’ve always wanted to spread my wings across the country,” Jackson told Flood. “I’m definitely willing to play far from home. It’s definitely going to be a process getting used to the weather, but I’m not opposed to it. I’m actually looking forward to it.”

One other potential candidate to fill that scholarship is cornerback Jairus Brents (Louisville, Ky.), who earned a Wisconsin scholarship offer back on Sept. 21, 2016, and visited for the Badgers’ home finale against Michigan on Nov. 18.

Brown, a 4-star prospect, earned scholarship offers on consecutive days this week from Ohio State and Wisconsin and has 20 total offers. Auburn appears to be a front-runner, according to 247Sports.

Hawkins, a 6-foot, 180-pound junior, has 19 scholarship offers and is considered a Penn State lean. He is a 4-star prospect and rated as the No. 5 player in New Jersey.

Rooks already has 20 scholarship offers, including from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Michigan and Notre Dame. According to MaxPreps.com, he recorded 66 catches for 810 yards with 11 touchdowns this season.

Allen, a 6-6, 315-pound junior, received offers from Wisconsin and Michigan State on Thursday. He also holds scholarship offers from Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Ohio and Toledo. Allen earned honorable mention Division III All-Ohio honors this season.

Wooden received a Wisconsin scholarship offer Thursday. Wooden has 15 scholarship offers and also earned a South Carolina offer on Thursday. Duke and Georgia are in the lead for him at this stage, according to 247Sports. He is a 3-star prospect rated as the No. 48 player in Georgia, per the 247Sports composite rankings.

Latham, a 6-6, 233-pound freshman, already has scholarship offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota and Wisconsin. He plays at Catholic Memorial, which is the same school as linebacker CJ Goetz, a 2018 Badgers commit.

Badgers battling for 2018 DL Bryson Williams

As Nebraska coach Scott Frost assessed the Cornhuskers’ 2018 recruiting class, he made it clear immediately that defensive lineman Bryson Williams — a Wisconsin commit — was a top priority.

Williams, who played his high school football in the shadows of Memorial Stadium at Lincoln (Neb.) Southeast, didn’t earn a Nebraska scholarship offer from previous Huskers coach Mike Riley. But Frost made an in-home visit with linebackers coach Barrett Ruud to see Williams on Sunday night and offered him a scholarship. That move prompted many Badgers fans to express concern that Nebraska might be able to flip Williams before signing day.

Williams has told multiple media outlets that he remains committed to Wisconsin, but the Badgers aren’t taking any chances. On Wednesday, Wisconsin defensive line coach Inoke Brechterfield made an in-home visit to speak with Williams, who tweeted a photo of them.

Wisconsin has an important recruiting weekend ahead, as members of the 2018 class are expected to be on campus for their official visits. Williams will be among those in attendance, which could go a long way toward solidifying his commitment to the Badgers.

In other Wisconsin recruiting news, Badgers coach Paul Chryst and running backs coach John Settle visited 2018 Badgers cornerback commit Donte Burton (Loganville, Ga.) before Chryst flew to Florida to attend an Orange Bowl news conference.

Wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore visited 2018 cornerback commit Travian Blaylock (Humble, Texas).

On Thursday, wide receiver commit Aron Cruickshank (Brooklyn, N.Y.) tweeted a photo of himself posing with Chryst and tight ends coach Mickey Turner.

The post Wisconsin recruiting: Walk-on QB Nate Carter commits, 8 new offers, battle for Bryson Williams continues appeared first on Land of 10.


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