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Does Wisconsin Football Need Another Running Back?



Wisconsin Football running backs Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi
Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) and Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (1) have a laugh as part of Wisconsin Badgers football media day at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.

Since taking over the Wisconsin football program in late November, head coach Luke Fickell has been chipping away at a mile-long to-do list.

Fickell spent time evaluating his inherited roster, built a coaching staff, and worked to salvage the 2023 recruiting class while scouring the transfer portal for potential fits.

These tasks are challenging in their own right, but now that the dust has settled and the roster is coming more into focus – it’s apparent that the team still has a few question marks.

Because of that, a reader recently suggested another possibility worth discussing. Should Wisconsin football consider adding a running back through the transfer portal?

What does Wisconsin football currently have at RB?

The Wisconsin football program is pretty top-heavy at running back entering 2023.

Star tailback Braleon Allen announced he’s staying with the program for what will likely be his last year in Madison. Additionally, UW returns RB2 Chez Mellusi – who helps round out one of the nation’s most formidable running back tandems.

Behind Wisconsin’s 1, 2 punch, there are serious question marks. Isaac Guerendo, coming off the best season of his career, entered the transfer portal and landed at Louisville in search of more carries. However, the depth behind him is unproven, to say the least.

In-state product Julius Davis, a once highly regarded recruit, has yet to work his way into the mix for carries during his four seasons at UW. Will the new coaching staff see something the previous regime didn’t? Only time will tell — but I have my doubts.

Wisconsin football is also transitioning fullback Jackson Acker and safety Cade Yacamelli to RB to improve depth at the position. Additionally, UW has walk-ons Brady Schipper and Grover Bortolotti round out the running back room.

Incoming Running Backs

Three-star in-state running back Nate White out of Milwaukee was the only scholarship commit in the 2023 recruiting class. UW initially had two players committed – but the new coaching staff was less enamored with Jaquez Keyes – ultimately leading to him re-opening his recruitment and committing to Wake Forest.

White is a raw talent at tailback with a high ceiling that will need some time to develop. However, he can potentially become a three-down, home-run hitter out of the backfield for the Badgers down the road.

Final Verdict

While I see the argument in Wisconsin football adding a running back via the transfer portal, It doesn’t seem necessary for the Badgers to add another body this season.

UW has the majority of next seasons carries spoken for, with Allen and Mellusi already in the fold. Between Davis, Acker, and Yacamelli, I’m confident Fickell and his coaching staff can get enough production from in-house options for its lightly used RB3 spot.

Having multiple backs to rotate in is essential, so Wisconsin football could certainly consider an addition with an eye on the future if the staff is underwhelmed with UW’s depth.

But the Badgers are already over the 85 allowed scholarships and need to get under by fall camp, so adding another player seems unlikely.

If Luke Fickell opts to roll with what they have next season, the 2024 recruiting class could become an easier sell to incoming recruits. Especially if Braelon Allen leaves early, plenty of carries and early playing time will be up for grabs.

In-state RB Corey Smith will undoubtedly be a high priority, as will several others such as Jordan Marshall and Darrion Dupree — so UW’s staff probably prefers to double down in next year’s class, hoping to add a blue-chip talent to add to the offense.

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Wisconsin Football Recruiting: Badgers Offer Trending 2025 TE



Wisconsin football tight end Clay Cundiff

Wisconsin football extended a scholarship offer to Da’Saahn Brame on Friday. The class of 2025 tight end prospect’s recruitment has heated up in the last couple of months. Although he has not yet received a rating from any of the major recruiting outlets, Brame’s athletic build suggests he will be a talented player at the next level.

Da’Saahn Brame Recruiting Profile

Brame, just a sophomore in high school, measures-in at six-foot-six-inches and 225 pounds. His long build gives him the ability to outstretch defenders with his extended catch radius. Although his blocking ability is still a work in progress from a technical aspect, Brame possesses the strength to outmatch many defenders.

The Derby, Kansas native has deep ties to the Kansas State Wildcats. His father, Da’Von, played defensive end for the Wildcats in 1996-2000. His mother, Nicky Ramage-Brame, played basketball at Kansas State during this same timeframe. In her senior year of high school, Nicky was Miss Kansas Basketball.

Da’Saahn Brame Highlight Reel

Brame has received ten FBS scholarship offers since January. All but one are from Power 5 schools. Brame’s other scholarship offers are from Michigan, Houston, Penn State, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and UAB. Brame has an unofficial visit to Oklahoma scheduled for March 25th.

Wisconsin Football Recruiting: State of the 2025 Class

Wisconsin football has yet to secure a commitment in its 2025 recruiting class. The Badgers have extended scholarship offers to nine tight end prospects in the class.

RELATED: Wisconsin Football Is a Destination for Mettauer, Mordecai, Top QBs

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Wisconsin Football in the Drivers Seat for Another 2024 Recruit



Wisconsin football
Sep 22, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers helmets sit on the field during warmups prior to the game against the UTEP Miners at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated UTEP 37-26. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Madison, Wis. — Since taking over the Wisconsin football program, Luke Fickell and his coaching staff have injected some much-needed life into the Badgers, particularly on the recruiting front. 

As it stands, UW has the No. 24 ranked recruiting class in the country, currently holding commitments from four-stars Grat Stec (TE), Mabrey Mettauer (QB), and three-star tight end Rob Booker. 

Now it appears that things are quickly moving in the right direction with another 2024 prospect the Badgers coaching staff has had their eyes on. 

Wisconsin Football Picks Up Crystal Ball for 2024 OT

Earlier this week, 247Sports recruiting insider Evan Flood put in a crystal ball prediction on 2024 offensive tackle Marcus Harrison out of Hamburg, New York, to wind up with the Wisconsin football program. 

The 6-foot-8, 295-pound picked up a scholarship offer from UW back in February and has quickly made their way to the front of his list. 

Currently rated as a three-star prospect by the Rivals recruiting database, Harrison holds offers from Buffalo, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, West Virginia, and UW. 

You can watch his HUDL film here.

Harrison visited Madison last September under the previous coaching staff and intends to take an official visit to UW sometime in June — at which point I’d put the giant offensive tackle on commitment watch. 

“I would say Wisconsin is my number one, ” Harrison told 247Sports. “I love their style of play. They run the ball, run the ball. That’s what I want to do.”

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Wisconsin Football: Latest Recruiting Roundup



Wisconsin football

Wisconsin football recruiting roundup

It’s been a busy few days on the recruiting front for the Wisconsin football program. Badger Notes has you covered on all the latest offers as Wisconsin continues to truck along the recruiting trail.

Owen Strebig

The Badgers handed out an in-state offer to 2025 offensive tackle Owen Strebig.

Strebig, who attends Catholic Memorial in Waukesha, joins the long list of Big Ten teams to throw their hat in the ring for the Wisconsin native. Other conference opponents to offer the 6-foot-7, 285-pound lineman include Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois, Penn State, Indiana, Minnesota, and Purdue.

Strebig will visit Madison on March 30th as the Badgers attempt to bring in a young prospect who has recently picked up plenty of interest.

Ousmane Kromah

Wisconsin football offered 2025 running back Ousmane Kromah on Monday afternoon. The Georgia native took to Twitter to announce the offer.

Kromah holds offers from high-profile programs, including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Colorado. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound running back has elite speed and strength, making him one of the top options in the 2025 class. 

The Badgers are up against tough competition to land the young tailback, but they have thrown their hat in the ring.

Zy’Marion Lang

The Badgers dished out another offer on Monday, this time to 2024 wide receiver Zy’Marion Lang. 

A three-star recruit out of Florida, Lang holds ten division one offers, with notable offers from schools such as Tennessee, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Indiana.

According to the 247Sports Composite, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound receiver is the No. 74 WR in the class and the No. 81 player in Florida.

The Badgers have offered plenty of receivers in the 2024 class, and Wisconsin looks to be one of Lang’s most attractive offers as it currently stands.

Marquise Davis

Versatile athlete Marquise Davis received an offer from Wisconsin on Monday and took to Twitter to announce the offer.

Davis, an Ohio native, currently holds 17 division one offers. Other Big Ten schools have offered the 2025 athlete, including Ohio State, Penn State, and Minnesota.

Davis plays running back and linebacker for Cleveland Heights high school. His versatility makes him an intriguing option, but he’ll likely play as a running back at the collegiate level.

With a long list of offers, the Badgers will have an uphill battle to secure the young athlete. 

Daniel Freitag

Finally, Wisconsin football’s most recent offer comes in 2024 WR Daniel Freitag.

If the name rings a bell, Freitag is one of Greg Gard’s top options in his 2024 recruiting class. Freitag is a two-sport athlete, playing point guard for Jefferson Senior High School basketball and wide receiver in football.

According to the 247Sports Composite, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound receiver is a three-star recruit. UW joins Notre Dame and Minnesota as the three schools offering Freitag in basketball and football.

Now with two offers on the table from UW, will Fickell land the two-sport athlete, or will Gard? Only time will tell.

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Jake Maier on Twitter. @JakeJMaier.

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