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Wisconsin Football: How Luke Fickell Intends to Recruit at UW



MADISON, Wis. – It’s been a whirlwind month and some change since Luke Fickell was introduced as the 31st head coach of the Wisconsin football program back in late November. 

During his introductory press conference, coach Fickell covered a myriad of topics surrounding his vision for the program, schematics, and everyone’s favorite, recruiting.

“I do not want to be a transfer team,” Fickell told UW reporters. “I’m a high school recruiting guy that says it’s about the development of young men.”

How Does Wisconsin Football HC Luke Fickell Intend to Recruit at UW? 

Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program and, in many ways, comes down to building relationships, trust, and a track record of helping young athletes attain their goals.

More than that, recruiting also comes down to geography and a player’s proximity to home.

“Within a 300-mile radius, that will be the core of what we do here,” Fickell said in his introductory press conference. “I have a good grasp on that; obviously, I have to learn a lot more about the 50-mile, 60-mile, 100-mile radius, but I know that as you get into Chicago and the areas where you have done an unbelievable job, there’s a lot of roots that have built there. I know that if we can kind of capture that like we did, with that 300-mile radius where the core of the program is, then we can extend to the other areas.”

While simplistic, his process for team building makes a ton of sense, especially for the Wisconsin football program. The Badgers state doesn’t churn out a plethora of four and five-star prospects, but the Badgers must keep a proverbial fence around the state to ensure their top in-state kids stay home.

“My job is to figure out what’s been real successful here,” Fickell said. “I’m still in that process, but I know that the 300-mile radius is an opportunity to make this program, this team, a championship team.”

Final thoughts

Coach Fickell has a strong track record of player development, so it’ll be important for fans to give him time to mold and construct the roster in his vision.
He had a player/s selected in every NFL draft since taking over at the University of Cincinnati, including several early-round picks – so Fickell knows what he’s doing.

Like we’ve seen from Wisconsin football over the years, he’s trying to create something sustainable. Coach Fickell deserves the time and patience required to build this program the right way – so please, don’t get hung up on recruiting rankings, because as we’ve seen in the past, they’re not the end all be all.

Wisconsin Badgers HC Luke Fickell Is a Helluva Salesman

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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 work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, B5Q, Saturday Blitz, and Fansided.