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Wisconsin Badgers Bring in Blue-Chip USC LB Tackett Curtis: What It Means

The Badgers have finally landed LB Tackett Curtis.



Wisconsin Badgers football team lands USC linebacker Tackett Curtis from the transfer portal.
Oct 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Arizona Wildcats running back Jonah Coleman (3) runs the ball against Southern California Trojans linebacker Tackett Curtis (25) during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In a recruitment that spanned multiple years and two separate coaching staffs, the Wisconsin Badgers football program has landed their guy at inside linebacker.  

USC inside backer Tackett Curtis has announced his commitment to Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin Badgers over offers from Ohio State, Texas A&M, and Florida State, among others. He was considered one of the top-ranked linebackers in the transfer portal, according to On3 Sports. 

Curtis heard from countless programs after entering his name into the portal, and for good reason. He was considered the No. 9 linebacker in the 2023 recruiting class and saw the field as a true freshman for USC. 

“Wisconsin was the perfect fit for me and my future,” Curtis told On3. “I love the way that they use their LBs, and I could see myself being a dominant player in their defense. I want to play in a Defense where I can hunt and find the ball! I feel like Wisconsin is the best place to go do that. I feel like Wisconsin will get the best out of me, and I will become the best player I can be there.”

Curtis will join the Wisconsin football team with three years of eligibility. 

Wisconsin Badgers Welcome LB Tackett Curtis: Where Does He Fit? 

Luke Fickell and his staff saw an opportunity to improve this defense with players that better fit their preferred scheme through the transfer portal this offseason, and they’ve completely overhauled this linebacking corps.

A source shared with that Coach Fickell and Badgers Director of Scouting Casey Rabach stayed in constant contact with Curtis until Wisconsin football closed this one out.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound inside linebacker recorded 40 tackles, 16 stops, 10 total pressures, six hurries, two sacks, one forced fumble, and a pass deflection in 355 snaps at USC this past season.

Pro Football Focus graded Curtis out as a 44.5 this past season, which is considered below average according to their grading metric. However, the Wisconsin Badgers are bringing him in to play their Mike linebacker spot in Mike Tressel’s hybrid defensive scheme.

Someone close to the situation shared that aside from Tackett Curtis’s love for Madison, his greatest attraction came from his desire to play in a scheme that allowed him to use his athleticism to fly around and “hunt.”

Regarding the transfer portal addition of Arkansas linebacker Jaheim Thomas, the Wisconsin Badgers coaching staff sees a path for the two to play alongside one another on defense.

Spring practice will give us our first look at the Wisconsin football team’s new linebacking corps and how the crowded depth chart, which includes Jake Chaney, Christian Alliegro, Sebastian Cheeks, Jahsiah Galvan, Bryan Sanborn, and Tyler Jansey, will shake out.

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