Connect with us

FootBall

Wisconsin Football: 3 Players Who’ll Benefit From Phil Longo’s Offense

Published

on

Sep 17, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) carries the football during warmups prior to the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Madison, Wis. – As if the hiring of Luke Fickell as head coach of the Wisconsin football program wasn’t shocking enough, he wasted little time choosing a transformative offensive coordinator of his own.

Coach Fickell convinced Phil Longo, who led four consecutive top-15 offenses (nationally) at North Carolina, to leave Chapel Hill and take the same position at the University of Wisconsin.

With him, coach Longo brings a modified air-raid offense. He’s done a terrific job adapting to his personnel at every stop – so UW traditionalists can relax – the Badgers won’t be throwing the ball 50+ times a game.

Even though the Badgers will have a dual-threat quarterback, Wisconsin football will still be a power running team – they’ll simply do it from a spread formation.

Here’s a look at three in-house players who should benefit from Phil Longo taking over as offensive coordinator of the Wisconsin football program.

Braelon Allen, RB

Nov 26, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) during the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all of the rumors surrounding Braelon Allen, he confirmed he’s returning for his junior season in Madison. He’s coming off back-to-back All-Big Ten second-team performances, but the best is yet to come for the 6-foot-2, 238-pound running back.

How does adding an offensive coordinator that runs an air-raid offense benefit a bruising runner like Allen? By spreading out the opposing defense – that’s how. The sophomore tailback faced more eight-man boxes than any other Power 5 school – all because teams didn’t respect the Wisconsin football passing attack.

Next season that should all change. With an improved offensive line and better spacing on the field, I suspect that Allen will see the biggest running lanes of his young career. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him wind up on the All-Big Ten first team with a clean bill of health.

Skyler Bell, WR

Oct 22, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Skyler Bell (11) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Redshirt freshman Skyler Bell parlayed a breakout spring ball into a better fall camp and an honorable mention freshman all-American season for the Badgers.

The former three-star recruit caught 29 passes for 439 yards and five touchdowns. Additionally, Bell was UW’s fourth-leading rusher, adding 116 yards on 12 carries via jet sweeps.

Bell offers a unique skill set despite a surplus of talented options in the WR room. 

His speed is a weapon someone like coach Longo knows how to unlock and utilize. Bell has big play potential and has nowhere to go but up in what will hopefully be a much more dynamic Wisconsin football offense.

Jack Nelson, LT

Nov 26, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive linenam Jack Nelson (79) during the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who reads my work knows I have a ton of love for the Wisconsin football team’s offensive lineman. In coach Longo’s offense, Jack Nelson will have a chance to flourish/increase his NFL draft stock in 2023.

According to Pro Football Focus, Nelson played 676 snaps this year, 314 of which came as a pass-blocker. The junior offensive tackle was the Badgers’ highest-graded lineman in pass protection (83.1), allowing nine pressures and two sacks on the season.

Nelson, an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick, has proven to be a rock-solid pass protector – and I thought he improved in the run game as well. His athleticism is impressive for someone his size, and he, in my opinion, does his best work in space.

Under Longo, opposing defenses will be more spread out, so Nelson should face considerably less pressure on a down-to-down basis and do what he does best.

Jack Nelson might be the biggest in-house winner of this coaching change.


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 Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

Join the Badger Notes watch party and stream Wisconsin Badgers games by following this link.

FB Recruiting

Wisconsin Football: An Early Look at the 2024 Recruiting Class

Published

on

Wisconsin football completed its 2023 recruiting class just a few days ago. After putting together a top 40 class, UW has set its sights on 2024.

The Badgers have already secured multiple recruits for the 2024 cycle and are currently among the top choices for multiple recruits. Here’s an early look at Wisconsin’s 2024 recruiting class.

Mabrey Mettauer

Mettauer, a four-star QB, committed to UW on Christmas Eve, making him the first recruit of the 2024 class.

According to the 247Sports Composite, Mettauer is the No. 21 quarterback in his class and the No. 43 player in Texas.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound QB is a gunslinger through and through. In 2022, the Texas native threw for 2,621 yards and 32 touchdowns. Mettauer has excellent pocket presence and arm talent, making him a seamless fit for the air raid offense.

Mettauer is among the best in his class at quarterback, and he’ll have the opportunity to fight for the starting job in his first year on campus.

Grant Stec

Stec, a top tight end in the class, was UW’s second commitment for 2024. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound tight end has the attributes to make an immediate impact when he heads to Madison in 2024.

According to the 247Sports Composite, Stec is the No. 10 tight end in the class and the No. 4 player in Illinois. He also ranks inside the top 200 players in the class. In 2022, Stec hauled 17 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns.

The Illinois native is a do-it-all tight end. His size makes him a tough matchup in run block situations, and his pass-catching ability is among the best at his position.

With Clay Cundiff and Hayden Rucci entering their senior seasons, Stec could be a contributor on day one. His talent makes him an option to take the reigns as a potential freshman starter in 2024.

Rob Booker

Booker, a Wisconsin native, is the third committed prospect for 2024.

According to the 247Sports Composite, Booker is the No. 23 tight end in the class and the No. 5 player in Wisconsin. In 2022, Booker hauled in 27 catches for 380 yards and six touchdowns. After his impressive year, he was given an All-State First Team selection.

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound tight end is a mismatch nightmare. Booker’s frame makes him a big-bodied player who can do damage in the red zone, and he’ll be a red zone threat at the next level.

Other notable prospects for Wisconsin football

Jordan Marshall

The Badgers landed in top running back Jordan Marshall’s top four choices. He took to Twitter to announce his remaining choices.

Marshall is the No. 12 running back in the class and the No. 4 player in Ohio, according to the 247Sports Composite. UW will have a tough recruitment battle with other Big Ten schools in the race, but the Badgers are a top choice for the dynamic tailback.

Kari Jackson

Wisconsin landed in four-star LB Kari Jackson’s top seven choices. Jackson announced his final seven schools on Twitter.

Jackson is the No. 21 linebacker in the class and the No. 7 player in Michigan, according to the 247Sports Composite. UW offered Jackson in the fall, and he recently visited campus on Junior Day.

 

Wisconsin football is just starting to put is 2024 recruiting class together, and they’ve already secured multiple four-star recruits. We will have to wait and see if they can bring in other top targets, but regardless, UW is shaping up to have an excellent class next year.


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.

Join the Badger Notes watch party and stream Wisconsin games for FREE by clicking this link.

*Chat about this article over at Badgers After Dark

Continue Reading

FootBall

Wisconsin Badgers: Keeanu Benton Boosts Draft Stock at Senior Bowl

Published

on

Wisconsin Badgers Nose Tackle Keeanu Benton

Madison, Wis. — Anyone who has closely followed the Wisconsin Badgers football program knows that Keeanu Benton is an exceptional talent on the defensive line. 

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound nose tackle is coming off his most productive season at UW in 2022, where he registered 35 tackles, 28 pressures, 10 TFLs (2nd amongst B1G interior linemen), and added a career-high 4.5 sacks en route to third-team All-Big Ten honors.  

According to Pro Football Focus, Benton finished with the Wisconsin Badgers third-highest pass-rushing grade (83.6), trailing only linebackers Maema Njongmeta and Nick Herbig. 

The talented defensive lineman received an invite to play in the Reeces Senior Bowl this past week, and let’s just say he boosted his NFL draft stock quite a bit during the process. 

Senior Bowl Recap

The first significant event of the NFL draft season wrapped up on Saturday with the conclusion of the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

And now that Wisconsin Badgers DL Keeanu Benton had the chance to put his talent on full display in front of NFL talent evaluators, his draft stock is undoubtedly on the rise.

The Janesville native put his athleticism on full display and reportedly impressed all week long with his power, speed, and motor as a disruptive pass-rusher.

Keeanu Benton also received high praise from The Athletic’s Dane Brugler:

“Wisconsin’s Keeanu Benton entered the week as my clear No. 1 senior defensive tackle, and he backed that up. A nose tackle in the Badgers’ scheme, Benton is a stout run defender, but his potential as a pass rusher is intriguing,” said Brugler. “Using both quickness and power, he consistently won his one-on-one reps and showed why he landed in the second round of my latest mock draft.”

The former Wisconsin Badgers standout will likely be a top-100 selection in April. Still, regardless of where Benton winds up, I have little doubt he’ll become a damn good NFL player – I’m just happy other people are finally putting some respect on his name.


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 Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

Join the Badger Notes watch party and stream Wisconsin Badgers games by following this link.

Continue Reading

FootBall

Wisconsin Football News: Badgers Make Cut for 4-Star RB, NSD Surprise, More

Published

on

Wisconsin Football
Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; General view of Camp Randall Stadium prior to the game between the Illinois State Redbirds and Wisconsin Badgers. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a busy couple of days for the Wisconsin football program, ladies and gents, but fear not because BadgerNotes can help get you back up to speed with a roundup of some important news you may have missed.

Wisconsin Football Makes the Cut for Four-Star RB Jordan Marshall

Earlier this week, four-star running back Jordan Marshall out of Cincinnati, Ohio, who recently visited Madison for junior day, trimmed his list of schools in consideration down to four.

Although the 5-foot-10, 193-pound RB accumulated more than 25 offers–he’s now down to a final four of Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee, and the Wisconsin football program.

Marshall, a standout at Archbishop Moeller High School, registered 1,961 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns en route to being named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Ohio.

According to the 247 composite rankings, Marshall is the No. 105 prospect in the 2024 recruiting class, the No. 8 RB in the country, and the No. 2 player in Ohio.

You can watch his HUDL film here.

The top 10 running back wants to commit sometime this summer, but I’d be shocked to see Wisconsin football pull this one off.

Wisconsin Football Lands Commitment on National Signing Day

Since taking over the program, Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football coaching staff fought tooth and nail to get three-star nose tackle Jamel Howard out of Chicago, Illinois, back into the fold.

Thankfully, on National Signing Day, the hard work paid off when Howard, who was trending towards the Michigan Wolverines, announced in front of friends and family that he was (re)committing to the University of Wisconsin and putting a cherry on top of the 2023 class.

Per the 247sports Composite, Howard is the No. 1,168 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting class, the No. 124 DL in the country, and the No. 25 player in Illinois.

The 6-foot-3, 320-pound defensive lineman finished his senior season with 53 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble, according to MaxPreps.

Jamel Howard’s fit with the Wisconsin football program isn’t worth speculating about — he’s coming in to play nose tackle at the next level and provide immediate depth on the Badgers’ defensive line.

You can read his full recruiting breakdown here.

Wisconsin Football Announces Spring Game

You’ve been asking for it, and the Wisconsin football program heard you loud and clear — there WILL be a spring football game in 2023. 

The UW Athletic Department announced the Badgers will hold a spring game open to the public on April 22nd – helping usher in a new era of Wisconsin football in what they’re calling “The Launch.” 

UW’s spring game will be an open practice with drills and a live scrimmage toward the end of the event. It will give Badgers fans their first look at the team’s new direction under Luke Fickell and his coordinators, Phil Longo and Mike Tressell. 


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 Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

Join the Badger Notes watch party and stream Wisconsin Badgers games by following this link.

Continue Reading

Trending