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Introducing the Hidden Gem of the Wisconsin Football Defense



Wisconsin Badgers Football...recruiting

Madison, Wis. – While the Wisconsin football team may have a deep, extensively talented roster, there’s one player on defense in particular has stood out thus far.

Jeff Pietrowski Jr, the Michigan State Spartans transfer defensive end, is one of the most intense players in the NCAA. Intensity has long been the name of the game for head coach Luke Fickell, which is exactly why he brought in the veteran player.

Pietrowski, a red-shirt Junior, started three games last season before suffering a season-ending injury against Maryland. The veteran has big shoes to fill on the Wisconsin defense, but comes with the confidence and experience needed to succeed.

Wisconsin Badgers OLB Jeff Pietrowski Has the Experience to Help Lead a Top Defense

As a three-star recruit in the 2020 class from Ohio, Pietrowski caught the eye of a certain local Head Coach. Cincinnati Bearcats coach Luke Fickell took a particular interest in the talented defender.

However, Fickell ultimately lost the battle to the Spartans, as Pietrowski committed to Michigan State over Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Notre Dame. In his original scouting report out of high school, Pietrowski was described as “tenacious” and displayed incredible “…explosiveness and very good play speed…” according to 247 Sports.

The former three-star recruit displayed exactly what coach Fickell wanted to see on the field. So, when Fickell had the chance to re-recruit Pietrowski years later, he pounced on it. The new Wisconsin football head coach landed the recruit with ease, adding to a phenomenal transfer class. Clearly, landing the transfer is amazing and all, but why did Fickell look specifically for one person?

In high school, the linebacker played against top competition in the state of Ohio and made big-time plays. Along with his play and production on the field, Pietrowski was also dominant in the weight room, putting up a 400-pound squat and 225-pound clean. Once the linebacker made his way to the Spartans, it was more of the same intensity. The 2021 season in particular was the best Pietrowski had to date, notching 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

Can Pietrowski Return to Form for Wisconsin Football Following a Nine-Game Injury Layoff?

The biggest question surrounding the transfer had been whether or not he can return to his full health in the future. One of the key aspects of football for Pietrowski and coach Fickell is intensity. This factor is exactly why the linebacker will certainly return stronger. Between Fickell and Brady Collins, the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, Pietrowski is in great hands. Both Collins and Fickell are known for pushing players mentally and physically, which is just the environment Pietrowski thrives in.

Each Wisconsin Badgers football analyst has talked about Fickell’s drive to find his “Guys” when recruiting. The talented coach has done just that, surrounding himself with a team built around their dynamic play-style. It is because of the environment Pietrowski is in, as well as his intense nature, that the linebacker will return to his former self.

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Jarrett Guerrera is a graduate of Western New England University with a Bachelor's in English. Jarrett played rugby at the collegiate level, and has been a sports fanatic all his life. Jarrett is also a contributor for Wisconsin Sports Heroics.