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Northwestern-Wisconsin Recruiting Battles

How has the Northwestern-Wisconsin series been shaped by recruiting leading up to Saturday’s matchup?


Average Recruiting Class Rank Since 2014

Northwestern: 52.6

Wisconsin: 38.2

Best Recruiting Class Finish Since 2014

Northwestern: 47

Wisconsin: 35

Series History

Wisconsin leads 59-35-5

Streak: Wisconsin – 2


Paddy Fisher

Inside Linebacker

Katy, Texas.

Probably one Wisconsin would like to have back. Fisher was part of a trio at Katy High School, which included Wisconsin safety Colin Wilder and Northwestern safety Travis Whillock. The Badgers hosted all three for an unofficial visit, but only Wilder ended up being a take and even he went to Houston initially.

Fisher was a freshman All-American and the Big Ten Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2017 after racking up 113 tackles. Through seven games in 2018, he’s second on the team with 54 tackles.

Others: Travis Whillock, Devin O’Rourke, Jango Glackin, Tommy Carnifax, Jake Saunders


Jack Coan


Sayville, N.Y.

Coan was a top priority for Northwestern and the former three-star quarterback visited Evanston around the same time as Wisconsin. The Wildcats could see UW’s backup quarterback on Saturday if Alex Hornibrook is not cleared to play.

Others: Jack Sanborn, Jaylan Franklin, Danny Davis, Scott Nelson, Griffin Grady, A.J. Taylor, Kraig Howe



Just an hour away from Evanston is Lake Villa, Ill., the home of T.J. Edwards. Like Illinois, Northwestern also missed on the former two-star athlete. Edwards, a two-time All-American and All-Big Ten performer, leads Wisconsin with 43 tackles.


The Badgers gave Flynn Nagel a hard look, but passed on the former three-star wide receiver. Nagel has nearly 1,700 yards receiving and six touchdowns over his career. This season, he’s also racked up 56 receptions for 693 yards and two scores.


Wisconsin has already beaten out Northwestern for three-star 2020 offensive guard Dylan Barrett.

Other potential battles to watch in 2020 include: Xavier Watts (Omaha, Neb.), Lukas Ugnar (Morristown, N.J.), Kevin Pyne (Millford, Mass.), Michael Carmody (Mars, Pa.), and Rylie Mills (Lake Forest, Ill.).


Northwestern and Wisconsin are generally going to battle for high academic kids in the Midwest. Although the Badgers have had the much more successful football program, NU’s academic reputation is going to allow them to win a good share of head-to-head battles.

Of Northwestern’s six head-to-head wins, UW also pulled out of three of those races. Two of their victories, Fisher and Whillock, were a rare occurrence of two Texas prospects looking to head to north for college.

The Wildcats also only have one head-to-head win in Illinois. Aside from O’Rourke, Wisconsin has been able to do a good job at grabbing a few high academic prospects in the northern part of the state/Chicago.

Due to their academic standards, Northwestern is even more handicapped in recruiting than Wisconsin. However, this series has tightened up as of late. Like the Badgers, the Wildcats have been able to develop three-star prospects and find diamonds in the rough.

In the last 16 meetings, UW holds just a 9-7 edge in the series.

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