Wisconsin looks outside its state borders

Originally Published: August 25, 2008
By Bill Kurelic | Special to ESPN.com

Bret Bielema
David Stluka/Getty ImagesWisconsin coach Bret Bielema has 12 prospects committed to his 2009 class.
The state of Wisconsin is not known for producing a large number of major college prospects. In a typical year, the Wisconsin Badgers will sign only about a half dozen players from their home state.

The 2006 Wisconsin Badgers' recruiting class contained six players from in-state, 2007 had five and 2008 had seven.

The state of Wisconsin's Class of 2009 is a bit weaker than usual. Bielema has offered a scholarship to just four senior in-state prospects, and all four have committed to the Badgers. Unless someone steps up and has a big senior season, Bielema will sign just those four prospects from his home state this recruiting season.

With it being a lean year in-state, Bielema has gone outside the state borders to land eight of his 12 commitments to this point. The headliners of the 12 prospects from out-of-state are quarterback Jon Budmayr from Woodstock (Ill.) Marian Central Catholic, tight end Brian Wozniak from Loveland, Ohio, and running back Montee Ball from Wentzville (Mo.) Timberland.

At this point the group of 12 Badgers commitments would rank in the middle of the Big Ten recruiting rankings. Where it ends up in the conference standings will depend for the most part on how many additional highly-rated out-of-state prospects Bielema can convince to join him in Madison.

Midwest Notes

• The top prospect from the state of Ohio that has yet to select a college is Cleveland Glenville offensive lineman Marcus Hall. Hall plans to take at least some of his official visits before he selects a college, but don't be surprised if his decision ultimately comes down to either Ohio State or Illinois. Those two and Michigan are Hall's current top three choices, ahead of Miami and LSU.

• One of the country's top Class of 2010 tight end prospects also happens to be an outstanding basketball prospect. Johnsburg, Ill., star C.J. Fiedorowicz has a scholarship offer on the table from Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis. He also has basketball and football scholarship offers from Indiana. Among the many other football programs showing strong interest are Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arizona and UCLA.

The 6-foot-7, 240-pound Fiedorowicz caught 63 passes for 1,072 yards and 15 touchdowns during his sophomore season. He also averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds on the basketball court. Fiedorowicz says he will play football in college.

Fiedorowicz is one of the Class of 2010 prospects to watch in the Big Ten region. Some others include offensive lineman Christian Lombard from Palatine (Ill.) Fremd, offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson from St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham, linebacker Jamel Turner from Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline, offensive lineman Matt James from Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier, running back Corey Brown from Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara, quarterback Robert Bolden from Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary's and quarterback Devin Gardner from Inkster, Mich. All of those prospects already have Division I scholarship offers on the table.

Bill Kurelic covers recruiting in the Midwest for ESPN.com.

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