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Badgers swing and miss on Ford

5-star WR target Kyle Ford released a list of his top five schools on Sunday that did not include Wisconsin Football. Where do the Badgers go from here?

It was worth a shot, right?

Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA) wide receiver Kyle Ford, one of Wisconsin’s few remaining targets in the 2019 class, announced his Top 5 schools on Sunday. Unfortunately, the Badgers failed to make the cut.

The programs left in contention for the 5-star’s services are Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, and USC. He will announce his final decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 5.

While disappointing, Ford’s decision to spurn Wisconsin is not at all surprising.

When Wisconsin extended an offer to Ford back in September, we were a bit perplexed by the move. It certainly wasn’t a matter of his talent: Ford is one of the top players in the nation, an All-American that currently ranks as the No. 3 receiver and No. 29 overall prospect in the 2019 recruiting class. However, it was awfully late in the recruiting cycle for the Badgers to be offering a 5-star recruit with whom they did not have much, if any, of a previous relationship.

As a result, we felt that there had to be more to the Wisconsin staff’s decision than what met the eye. We held out hope that they had possibly heard that Ford, who formed a formidable connection with prized quarterback commit Graham Mertz at The Opening, would be receptive to an opportunity from the Badgers, or that the knee injury he suffered just before Wisconsin’s offer left them confident that some of the “blue blood” programs on his list were backing off of their pursuit of him.

However, in the end, it seems more likely than not that the Badgers saw a potential game-changing receiver, and with an understanding that there appeared to be a couple of factors that could possibly work in their favor in his recruitment, decided to just shoot their shot with the expectation that nothing was likely to come of it.

Now that Ford is off the board, what’s next for Wisconsin at wide receiver in the 2019 class?

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The Badgers hold one commitment there at the moment from East Kentwood (Grand Rapids, MI) speedster Stephan Bracey, but I think it is likely they will try to add at least one more. To do so, the staff will need to hand out a new offer or two. Personally, I would like to see them go after a big, athletic boundary receiver to compliment the speedy 5’9, 160-pound Bracey, who projects as more of a slot option.

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