Luke Fickell and his staff have put Wisconsin Badgers football on the map. Recruits are now giving Madison a serious look. In the past couple of years, there is one state that the Badgers have been recruiting well and a pipeline is starting to develop. It is probably surprising to some fans that the state is Hawaii. The Badgers hope to continue the pipeline with the state of Hawaii.
For 2024 4-star LB @LafaeleAnelu, Wisconsin provides chance to expand Hawaii-to-Madison pipeline
(via @RohanChakrav) https://t.co/33JWQUHnfp
— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) March 6, 2023
Wisconsin Badgers Football: Recruiting The State Of Hawaii
The island state has become more known for football in the past decade. Wisconsin got their first big recruit from the state in 2020, four-star linebacker Nick Herbig. Herbig was a huge addition to the Badgers and was the defensive leader this past season. Then, wide receiver Trech Kekuhana committed to the team. He wavered when the coaching change happened but Fickell was able to convince him to stay in Madison. Now, the Badgers are working on another four-star recruit from Hawaii.
2024 Four-star LB Anelu Lafaele
Lafaele is a highly touted four-star outside linebacker. He currently has 16 Division I offers though according to 247Sports, three teams are in the lead. Wisconsin joins Notre Dame and Washington as the early leaders to land the recruit out of Honolulu. He is ranked as the no. 2 recruit in the state and would be a huge get for the Badgers if they were able to secure him. Lafaele seems very excited about the prospect of coming to Madison
“It would be amazing to continue the pipeline,” Lafaele told Bucky’s 5th Quarter. “Nick [Herbig] and Kamo’i [Latu] lit the path for me and it would be awesome to be able to show other kids from the islands that we can all make it out and be great!”
A lot of people are comparing him to Herbig which only strengthens the case for Lafaele to come to Madison. Herbig excelled at Wisconsin and it will likely earn him a spot on an NFL roster next season. Lafaele would be a perfect fit for the defense.
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Unlikely Pipeline State
The fact that prospects from Hawaii are giving Wisconsin a serious look is amazing to me. You could not have two different states in terms of climate. It speaks to the work that Jim Leonhard and his staff put in at the outset. Fickell and his staff are looking to continue the momentum. It is mutually beneficial for Wisconsin to continue to score these top recruits. A high-profile program like Wisconsin gives the players and the state exposure. In turn, Wisconsin gets high-quality players. One of the hardest things to do in college football is to establish a pipeline state. If the Badgers are able to keep this connection going, it would set the program up for long-term success.
What is cool about this connection is that it is not all Luke Fickell. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Fickell fan but this was an effort by the previous staff that is being continued by the current staff. Wisconsin is going to be a major player in the college football scene. I expect that Hawaii will not be the only pipeline state for Wisconsin in the next decade.
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