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Wisconsin Football Among Biggest Winners in the Transfer Portal



Wisconsin Football

Madison, Wis. — When Luke Fickell became the 31st head coach of the Wisconsin football program, he made it clear he didn’t intend to build his team through the transfer portal. 

And while I believe what he said long-term, it was never going to be that way in year one. There were too many holes on the roster, and it’s abundantly clear that Fickell agreed. So, he and his staff have hit the portal hard to find players that fit his vision and complimented the current roster so UW can field a competitive team in 2023 and beyond.

Coach Fickell and his staff have exceeded the expectations of Badger nation. But it’s not just Wisconsin fans that have taken notice.

According to On3Sports, Wisconsin football currently has the No. 8 ranked transfer class in their 2023 team transfer portal rankings.

Their rankings system was designed to weigh the difference between the players lost to the portal and the ones they’ve gained. And Wisconsin’s 13-player haul has been wildly impressive, to say the least.

Here’s a Look at the Wisconsin Football Transfer Portal Class:

  • QB Tanner Mordecai – SMU
  • QB Braedyn Locke – Miss St. 
  • QB Nick Evers – Oklahoma
  • WR C.J. Williams – USC
  • WR Bryson Green – Oklahoma St. 
  • WR Will Pauling – Cincinnati
  • WR Quincy Burroughs – Cincinnati
  • C Jake Renfro – Cincinnati
  • OT Joe Huber – Cincinnati
  • DE Jeff Pietrowski – Michigan State
  • DE Darian Varner – Temple
  • DB Jason Maitre – Boston College
  • K Nathaniel Vakos – Ohio 

That’s quite the haul for the Wisconsin football program. Especially considering Graham Mertz, Isaac Guerendo, and Semar Melvin are the only significant contributors lost to the portal since Luke Fickell became head coach.

Need another opinion?

Per 247Sports, UW has the No. 8 ranked class in their offseason transfer portal rankings.

If somebody told you back in October/November, when Wisconsin football was struggling mightily, that UW would be having this kind of offseason, you would have accused them of using illicit drugs.

Obviously, nothing Wisconsin has done this off-season means anything if they don’t produce on the field. But man, what Luke Fickell and his staff have accomplished on the recruiting trail is a 99th-percentile outcome for the Badgers.

What a time to be alive.

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Dillon Graff is a Substack Newsletter Best Selling Author and the Owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His writing has been featured in top media publications like USA Today, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, and Fansided.