University of Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard and cornerbacks coach Hank Poteat continue to restock their secondary on the recruiting trail within the class of 2023.
Jace Arnold, who plays for Marietta High School in Georgia, announced his engagement on Wednesday.
Arnold took an official visit last weekend, and he told Poteat and UW coach Paul Chryst about his decision on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
“Really, it was just a great fit for me,” Arnold said. “I think, going out there and being able to see the city, that’s what I needed. Great coaching staff. Coach Chryst put together a great coaching staff up there. The players are very family-oriented, and it’s a close-knit group. I feel like they’re gonna put me in situations to where I can better myself and become a way better player, especially in coach Leonhard’s defense. So really, that was the reason.
“Of course, getting my mom on board with everything as well. I’m an only child, so once I saw her comfortable with it, I knew I could go ahead and get this out of the way.”
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He also announced previous Power Five offers from Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisville, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt among other FBS programs.
Arnold’s Hudl profile lists him as a 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback and free safety. Rivals and 247Sports composite rankings designate Arnold as a three-star cornerback, though 247Sports’ standalone rankings view him as a four-star prospect.
Arnold told the State Journal on Wednesday he is planning to graduate early to enroll at UW for the spring semester. He also noted how he will head to UW with potential roles as a cornerback and in the nickel.
Five players announced commitments in the month of June: Arnold, Dixon, Kekahuna, Mayer and Tisdell.
Get to know Wisconsin football’s 2023 recruiting class
Consensus three-star linebacker Tyler Jansey became the first member of the Badgers ’2023 recruiting class when he announced his commitment on Jan. 28, 2022.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound inside linebacker ranks as the 10th-best player in his class in Illinois, per Rivals. He had 36 tackles and 5 sacks in a six-game season as a sophomore and followed that up with 88 tackles and 16 tackles for loss in 11 games as a junior, according to MaxPreps. Jansey chose UW over offers from Eastern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Miami (Ohio) and others.
I want to thank basha football and basha high school. I want to thank Coach Kelly for everything. Lastly my family. I’m beyond excited to say that I have committed to further my education and football career at the University of Wisconsin! Joshua 1: 9 Romans 11:36 #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/kob6QX1wnb
– James Durand (@ JamesDurand17) May 6, 2022
James Durand became the first offensive lineman in the 2023 class when he committed on May 6, 2022.
The Chandler, Arizona, product is a 6-foot-6, 285-pound tackle / guard who had a number of offers. Arizona, BYU, California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa State, Oregon State and Utah were among his suitors. Durand visited UW in late March and received his offer that weekend.
Durand has quick feet and good balance, which allow him to wall off defenders in pass blocks.
JUSTIN ‘JT’ TAYLOR
Consensus three-star defensive back Justin Taylor became the first member of the secondary to join the class when he orally committed on May 13, 2022.
Taylor is a 6-foot, 185-pound athlete who could play cornerback or safety at the next level. He held offers to Kansas State, Army, Air Force and others before committing to UW. The Nazareth Academy (La Grange Park, Illinois) product is a native of Broadview, Illinois.
His tape shows good speed and instincts when playing the ball in the air.
The Badgers dipped into the talent-rich state of Ohio for talented running back Jaquez Keyes. Keys is a four-star prospect according to Rivals, but a three-star in 247Sports’ rankings.
Keyes’ relationship with UW moved quickly. He took a visit to UW on April 16 and tweeted he received an offer the next day. Keys orally committed to UW on May 13, 2022.
He’s listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds and his Twitter states he can run a 4.5-second 40-yard dash.
RODERICK ‘TREY’ PIERCE III
UW recruiting success in Illinois continued with the commitment of three-star defensive lineman Trey Pierce. Pierce joined the class on May 19, 2022.
Pierce is listed at 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds and his recruitment was heating up when he committed to UW. He held offers from Iowa State, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue and others. His highlight tapes show good upper-body strength and the ability to stay low and not get moved off his spot.
Three-star tailback Nate White from Milwaukee Rufus King became the sixth recruit in the 2023 class when he announced his decision in late May.
The 6-foot, 175-pound speedster had offers from Iowa State, Minnesota, Purdue, Kansas and others before choosing UW. White averaged 8.6 yards per carry and had 20 touchdowns as a junior, according to WisSports.net statistics.
I couldn’t wait any longer, no other place like Madison. I am officially Home‼ ️ To my TJ teammates, Let’s go win another RING! Recruitment Closed🦡@MrMurrayTJ @CoachAprilUW @ MikeCaputo_7 @jimleonhard @ 210ths @ Evolve2tenths @wpialsportsnews @ BREAL412 pic.twitter.com/0lOWWuHkXB
– Jordan Mayer (@ Jordanmayer33) June 12, 2022
UW added long and strong outside linebacker Jordan Mayer to the recruiting class on June 12, 2022.
Mayer, a three-star prospect listed at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, played defensive end in high school but will join the Badgers’ outside linebacker room. The former Boston College commit was choosing between UW, Cincinnati, West Virginia and Virginia Tech. Mayer hails from Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania.
Three-star athlete Collin Dixon had chances to play wide receiver and safety in college, but chose to join UW’s wide receiver room.
The Tallmadge, Ohio, product had almost 1,500 receiving yards as a junior and had offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Purdue and others. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound receiver committed June 13, a day after his official visit to UW.
UW defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard and cornerbacks coach Hank Poteat dipped into Texas to secure a commitment from rising cornerback prospect AJ Tisdell.
The College Station native is a three-star recruit according to Rivals and he held offers from Baylor, California, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt and others before choosing UW. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, Tisdell shows fluidity in his hips and strong hands at the point of attack.
Three-star receiver prospect Trech Kekahuna added another member to the Hawaii to UW pipeline when he orally committed on June 19.
Kekahuna, listed at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, attended St. Louis High School in Honolulu, the same program that produced UW outside linebacker Nick Herbig. Kekahuna is slated to play his senior season at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.
Kekahuna has the agility to contribute as a returner.
The Badgers pulled four-star cornerback Jace Arnold out of Georgia to secure their 11th commitment of the class on June 22.
Arnold, a 5-foot-11, 184-pound prospect from Marietta, had offers from Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt, among others.
Arnold is a willing tackler whose speed will be an asset for UW defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard.