Class of 2013: Defensive Tackles

West Des Moines (IA) DT Sam Raridon

With less than a month until national signing day, BadgerNation breaks down the 2013 recruiting class position by position as it stands today. In this edition, we break down the defensive tackle committed to Wisconsin.

Number of Scholarship Players added: 1 (Sam Raridon – rated three starts and No.58 overall)

Number of Scholarship Players lost: 1 (Joe McNamara)

Who did the Badgers beat? Raridon spurred in-state Iowa, his only other offer.

Recruiting Story Like many other good football playing Iowa natives, Raridon caught the eyes of the Hawkeyes coaching staff early, developed a good relationship and earn a scholarship offer early into his junior year. Looking to expand his skills at his scholarship count, Raridon hit camps at Iowa City, Nebraska and Wisconsin last summer.

Working with Charlie Partridge for the first time, Raridon – who visited Wisconsin last fall for the Badgers' conference opener against Nebraska - said he fed off the high energy that UW's defensive line coach was bringing into his group and responded by being aggressive, physical and one of the best interior linemen the Badgers had at their camp.

"The coaches said I played very aggressive and they liked the way I was able to split double teams," Raridon told us. "They were very impressed with that and my pass rushes. I think they mostly just liked how powerful I was in my drills."

Knowing spots were at a premium at Wisconsin, Raridon took a week to evaluate his two options. Citing the better city atmosphere, his relationship with Partridge and the overall fit, Raridon pulled the trigger for UW.

Raridon's Scouting Report: Raridon is tenacious and relentless, which can be seen by the way he always stays in the play and never quits. He is a solid tackler, using good technique that helps him stay discipline in his assignments. At Wisconsin's high school camp, Raridon was aggressive at the point of attack and often was pushing back the linemen before they were even out of their stances. He recognizes the need to add weight, which is why he's spent the offseason building his frame (up to 270) while doing speed training to not lose a step.

How the position could change: Even with Raridon's close relationship with Partridge, the defensive tackle has announced his intentions to stay at Wisconsin.

Under the former regime, Wisconsin was actively targeting Detroit Cass Tech's Kenton Gibbs and Plantation's (Fla.) Monty Nelson to help fill the void of losing four-star Darius Latham. Gibbs expressed a lot of interest in Wisconsin after he de-committed from Illinois, but had a strong relationship with Bielema and tight end coach Eddie Faulkner. Nelson's Wisconsin contact has been up-and-down from the beginning, but is more likely to still look at Wisconsin because of his relationship with 2013 commit Sojourn Shelton.

There is also a possibility that new defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a could lure some targets. One of those players is three-star defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei. The top defensive lineman in Utah, Lotulelei is a good athlete with very good agility for his size and was one of Kauha'aha'a main targets. Lotulelei has good lower body strength and pretty good get-off with some more room to grow and could end up as a 3-tech/nose in college. It'll be interesting to see if Wisconsin makes a move here.

Sam Raridon Junior Highlights

For more information on the 2013 Wisconsin verbal commits, sign up for a three-month or year subscription with Badgernation.com in time to get the 2013 Wisconsin Recruiting Yearbook that includes breakdowns, features and interviews of the entire class

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