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Wisconsin Football Cornerback Room Season Outlook & Player Expectations

A quick look at the Wisconsin football CB room heading into fall camp and analyzing their individual expectations for the season.



Wisconsin football cornerbacks Ricardo Hallman and Max Lofy
Sep 10, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers cornerback Ricardo Hallman (2) celebrates with cornerback Max Lofy (12) following an interception during the first quarter against the Washington State Cougars at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

With fall camp just around the corner for new head coach Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football program — BadgerNotes continues our rollout of position previews. We’ve already done QB, RB, WR, TEs, DL, OLB, ILB, and safeties thus far. 

But I want our position previews and season outlook write-ups to be different than a regurgitated version of what every outlet is putting out. 

I want to approach this breakdown by establishing individual player expectations heading into the season so we can more effectively evaluate each player at the end of the season—that way, we can avoid being a prisoner of the moment. 

So, let’s review the breakdown of how we define player expectations:

  • No expectations (walk-ons, true freshmen, practice bodies).
  • Low expectations (roster fillers, third team players, next man up situation).
  • Moderate expectations (key backups & role players *how well are you playing the role asked of you).
  • High expectations (core players of the team you expect to make a big impact in their role or statistically). 

Let’s wrap up our series with the Wisconsin football cornerbacks. 

High Expectations 

  • Alexander Smith (RS SR)
  • Ricardo Hallman (RS SO)
  • Jason Maitre (RS SR)

I’m placing Alexander Smith, Ricardo Hallman, and Jason Maitre in the high-expectations group for the Badgers this season because all three players are the sure-fire starting cornerback trio entering fall camp.

Entering his sixth season with the Badgers, Alexander Smith could be among the most impactful players on the entire defense–even if he doesn’t fill up a stat sheet. According to PFF, Smith was the highest-graded cornerback on the Wisconsin football team last season (72.8) and only gave up 14 catches in 185 coverage snaps.

Smith is the clear-cut CB1; if he can stay healthy, he could be in line for a damn good final season.

Then there is spring practice darling Ricardo Hallman, who established himself as the starting boundary corner opposite of Smith.

This past season, the 5-foot-10 defensive back appeared in nine games, starting eight, played 341 total snaps, and registered 9.0 tackles, 3.0 pass deflections, and one interception while playing on the boundary.

Hallman, a former three-star recruit, only allowed a 41.4 REC% — giving up 12 catches on 29 targets, per PFF. Unfortunately, his one tough outing against Michigan State, where he was targeted eight times and allowed 3TDs, seems to overshadow an otherwise impressive redshirt freshman season. Because of Smith’s ability to erase most teams WR1 — Hallman will have an opportunity to be a real playmaker for the Badgers secondary.

Finally, we have Boston College transfer Jason Maitre, who will be the starting slot corner for the Wisconsin football team.

According to Pro Football Focus, Maitre has logged 2,155 career snaps across five seasons. Of those, 179 came in the box, 700 at free safety, 824 from the slot, and 438 came as a boundary corner — so he has plenty of versatility.

This past season, Maitre registered 42 tackles, seven stops, six pass deflections, four pressures, one sack, and one interception while splitting time between free safety and the slot. He also allowed a 55.2 REC% — giving up 16 catches on 29 targets, per PFF. His physicality and experience will be critically important for UW’s new look secondary in 2023.

Everyone in this grouping needs to maintain their starting roles and play above average cornerback to meet expectations.

Wisconsin Football CBs With Moderate Expectations

  • Nyzier Fourqurean (JR)
  • Mike Mack II (JR)
  • Jonas Duclona (FR)

I’m putting transfers Nyzier Fourqurean, Mike Mack II, and true freshman Jonas Duclona in the moderate expectations group because this is the trio, as of today, is the most likely to round out the two deep.

Fourqurean was a former D2 All-American at Grand Valley State and joined the Badgers with multiple years of eligibility and a chance to fill out the two-deep as a boundary corner. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound CB is coming off a sophomore season where he registered 28 tackles, 14 pass deflections, and four interceptions.

If all goes well — he’ll rotate in plenty this year and establish himself as the favorite to start in Alexander Smith’s spot next season.

Then comes late transfer portal addition Mike Mack II from Air Force.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound cornerback was a pre-season All-Mountain West selection before entering the portal and has 20 career games under his belt. For his career, Mack has tallied 69 tackles, four pass deflections, 2.5 TFLs, and an interception.

According to Pro Football Focus, Mack finished last season with a 64.3 grade (slightly above average) but is known for his physical style of play and being a sure tackler (78.2-high quality). The most likely outcome is for Mack to be another rotational player with experience that can help solidify a young, promising group of defensive backs for the Wisconsin football team.

Finally, fair or not, I’ve got Duclona listed in the moderate expectations group because of his standout performance during spring practice. He was a high-priority target on the recruiting trail for the new coaching staff. Even though Wisconsin brought in some experienced options, I could see him cracking the rotation. My projection may be too optimistic, but he’s talented enough.

To meet expectations, Fourqurean and Mack must crack the two deep and see plenty of backup snaps, and Duclona must position himself not to need a redshirt season in Madison. This trio could take on prominent roles next season if all goes as expected.

Wisconsin Football CBs With Low Expectations

  • Max Lofy (RS JR)
  • Amare Snowden (FR)
  • Jace Arnold (FR)
  • Amaun Williams (RS JR)

In this low-expectations group, I will put redshirt junior Max Lofy, freshman corners Amare Snowden and Jace Arnold, and walk-on Amaun Williams.

Lofy played 150 snaps last season, 125 of which came from the slot — but graded out below average (54.3). I could see him competing for a spot in the two-deep, maybe even as a slot CB, but the new staff brought in some exciting young players they hand-picked, so I wouldn’t bank on it.

Arnold got some action this spring since he enrolled early and left a member of the two deep. Since then, Wisconsin football has added some vets that push him down into this category. He’s someone I’m excited about in the future — but I won’t write him off as someone that could maintain his redshirt but see some game action.

Then there’s Snowden — the player in the 2023 class with the highest upside. At 6-foot-3, he can be a plus height and length boundary corner that sees the field early. If not for the late portal additions, I’d list Snowen in the tier above — I’m that high on him for the future. Anything is possible for the Michigan native.

To meet expectations, this tier of players must establish themselves as the clear third-team cornerback options capable of seeing the field if/when injuries occur. Perhaps someone from this group could sneak into the two-deep.

No Expectations 

  • AJ Tisdell (FR)
  • Lee Hutton (RS FR)

Finally, I’ve got freshman AJ Tisdell and walk-on Lee Hutton in the no-expectations group.

Tisdell is a three-star incoming cornerback prospect who was recruited by the previous Wisconsin football staff. He looks like someone who could play the slot with some time to develop.

To meet expectations, this group needs to focus on the weight room, learning the playbook, and continued development.

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Dillon Graff is a Substack newsletter best-selling author, publisher of AllBadgers, and the owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today's BadgersWire, Athlon Sports, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, Bucky's 5th Quarter, and FanSided.