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Former Wisconsin Football DE Finds New Home in FCS

Former Wisconsin football DE Tommy Brunner has found a new home.



Wisconsin Badgers football head coach Luke Fickell
Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell watches defensive end Tommy Brunner go though a drill during the team's first spring practice on Saturday March 25, 2023 at the McClain Center in Madison, Wis. Uw Football Spring Practice 5 March 25 2023

After exiting the Wisconsin football program at the beginning of January, former Badgers DE Tommy Brunner has found a new program to call home. 

Brunner took to social media to announce he would continue his playing career at Western Illinois. 

The former Badger will have one year of eligibility remaining with the Leathernecks. 

Former Wisconsin Football DE Tommy Brunner Finds a New Home in FCS

Coming out of high school, Brunner was a two-star prospect rated as the No. 288 OLB in the nation and the No. 30 player in Wisconsin.

Brunner began his collegiate career at Northern Illinois but did not see the field. He transferred to Wisconsin in 2021 to join his brother Joe but continued to see limited run. Brunner did not make an appearance in 2021 before appearing in two games in 2022. When Luke Fickell and company took over in 2023, Brunner was buried in the depth chart and did not see the field. 

Brunner was one of several defensive linemen to move on from the program after a 7-6 first season under Luke Fickell, joining Rodas Johnson (now at Texas A&M) and Darian Varner (Cincinnati). 

The Wisconsin football program will have James Thompson Jr, Curt Neal, Ben Barten, Cade McDonald, and Jamel Howard returning next season at defensive line, as well as incoming freshmen Ernest Willor Jr, Hank Weber, and Dillan Johnson.

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Jake Maier is the managing editor and publisher at He has provided coaching and editorial support to numerous writers in his role, contributing significantly to the platform's growth. His expertise extends to Wisconsin Badgers football, basketball, and recruiting coverage. Jake's previous bylines can be found at Fansided and Wisconsin Sports Heroics.