Wisconsin commits are stunned by the reports from Hawgs247, Yahoo and ESPN that Bret Bielema is leaving the Badgers program to be the next head coach at Arkansas.
Wisconsin assistant coach Chris Patridge visited CB commit Sojourn Shelton's school this morning and will be at his home tonight. Shelton was shocked by the news.
“I just found the news myself right now,” Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Plantation cornerback Sojourn Shelton said as the story broke. “All I can say is wow. I don’t really know where I’m at right now. One of my coaches at Wisconsin just left minutes ago. I don’t think even he knew. It’s crazy.”
With 19 prospects currently pledged to Wisconsin in the class-of-2013, the Badgers currently have the No. 3 ranked recruiting class in the Big Ten and the nation’s No. 25 class overall according to 247Sports.
Shelton wasn’t close to the only caught off guard by the news.
“Shocked,” offensive tackle Jackson Keeler stated.
Expect many of the prospects in Wisconsin’s recruiting class to take a step back and see what develops over the next few days, with seven members currently hailing from in-state. The Badger assistant coaches will also be working the phones and still making visits to see the players that are in the fold.
“I just talked to some of the coaches this morning,” Toledo (Ohio) St. John’s Jesuit two-way lineman Matt Miller said. “I’m going on my official this weekend. I’m still very excited about the Wisconsin opportunity that I have. I don’t know any of the stuff. It just kind of hit me.”
“I’ll just see where everything is,” Shelton added. “I actually have a home visit tonight with Coach (Charlie) Partridge, so we’ll talk about it and see where everything is from there.”
No question as the news broke about Bielema leaving Wisconsin, other coaching staffs broke for a computer to take a look at the Badgers commit list to see who could possibly be poached.
Top100 RB Corey Clement says he's still on for Wisconsin regardless of who the coach is.
A glance at some of those names.
-Glassboro (N.J.) High Top100 running back Corey Clement, who has already decommitted from one school in Pittsburgh. Notre Dame was Clement’s runner-up.
"Regardless of the coach, I'm still on for Wisconsin," Clement sent to 247Sports in a text message.
-Four-star safety Tyler Foreman, out of Encino (Calif.) Crespi chose Wisconsin over Oklahoma and many other scholarships.
-Brookfield (Wis.) Central Top247 defensive end Chikwe Obasih is a national-level recruit.
-Eagle River (Wis.) Northland Pines four-star athlete Austin Ramesh thought long and hard about Michigan State before choosing Wisconsin.
-Touted in-state defensive end Alec James of Brookfield East gave his word to the Badgers in a tight recruiting race over Michigan State and Notre Dame.
-Saint Paul (Minn.) Tartan cornerback Keelon Brookins was a one-time Minnesota commit.
Expect every member of the Badgers class to get at least one feeler in the very near future from another school.
Same goes for the class-of-2014 where Wisconsin is off to a fantastic start. The five-player class currently ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 4 nationally according to 247Sports.
"I was just shocked,” Sturgis (Mich.) High Top247 quarterback Chance Stewart said. “I saw it go on Twitter and I didn't believe it at first. It just kept going and going. From what I was told when I visited there, it was shocking. As of now I'm committed to Wisconsin, but as of now I'm not sure what the future holds."
In-state defensive tackle Craig Evans of Sun Prairie is the jewel of the 2014 class and will be sought after nationally. Stewart, George Panos, Conor Sheehy and Jaden Gault are also high-end recruits.
Badger247 reporter Evan Flood contributed to this report.