Wisconsin Badgers' football program is on display in Times Square with billboard images of new recruits joining the team

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Is Bucky Badger taking over New York City?

Not yet, but his presence was seen and felt Wednesday in Times Square.

Thanks to The Varsity Collective, Wisconsin’s football program was highlighted on a large billboard above The Yard House restaurant on West 41st Street between 7th Avenue and Broadway.

UW fans in New York – and those all across the globe – were able to see images of the 27 players joining the team for the 2023 season, Luke Fickell’s first as head coach.

According to The Varsity Collective, the idea was to give each player – transfers and high school signees – their 15 minutes of fame.

It is no coincidence the billboard went live Wednesday, the opening of the traditional signing period.

UW’s recruiting department employed a similar strategy last month when it paid for 11 billboards, 10 in Wisconsin and one in the Chicago area, to highlight current players.

The campaign Wednesday gave UW exposure on a national stage and while UW fans on social media were buzzing about the billboards, Luke Fickell and his staff secured another commitment for the 2023 class.

Badgers land commitment from defensive tackle

Jamel Howard, a defense tackle out of Marist High School in Chicago, announced his commitment to Wisconsin on the first day of the late signing period Wednesday.

Howard, listed at 6-foot-2 and 320 pounds, originally committed to Wisconsin early last year before opening up his recruitment after the Badgers' previous coaching staff was let go.

Howard chose Wisconsin over offers from Michigan, Miami, LSU and Illinois.

He became the 15th member of UW's incoming freshman class but the only defensive tackle, a position of need.

More:A running list of transfers and recruits into the University of Wisconsin football program

More:Three new Wisconsin football assistants to be paid a combined $1.375 million in Year 1

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin football recruits featured in Times Square billboard