Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football program have made improving the Badgers’ pass rush a point of emphasis this offseason. Now, the Wisconsin Badgers have officially landed a commitment from one of the most productive edge rushers in the FCS from the transfer portal.
Following an official visit, William & Mary outside linebacker John Pius announced on social media that he was committing to Wisconsin over reported scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Ball State, Coastal Carolina, Marshall, and UCONN.
— John Pius (@john_pius8) December 11, 2023
“I chose Wisconsin because of their high academics and is a great opportunity to develop at a place that produces linebackers,” Pius told BadgerNotes. “The coaches see me coming in and making an immediate impact on this defense.”
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound FCS All-American joins the Wisconsin football program with just one year of eligibility remaining.
Wisconsin Football Lands OLB John Pius From the Transfer Portal
Wisconsin football coaches are making a clear shift in preferred body type at outside linebacker, trending towards lighter pass-rushers who can move well in space. The Badgers also need some additional competition in the OLB room after producing just 9.5 sacks as a unit this past season.
John Pius has 38 games worth of experience from his time at William & Mary, where he recorded 171 total tackles, 133 pressures, 40.5 tackles for loss, 24.5 sacks, three pass deflections, and two fumble recoveries.
According to Pro Football Focus, Pius finished with a grade of 85.1 and an elite pass-rushing grade of 90.8 in 2023. He’s also registered at least 39 pressures in each of the last three seasons.
Pius is now the second addition the Wisconsin football program has made at outside linebacker this offseason, the other being Syracuse EDGE Leon Lowery Jr. They’ll presumably join returning talent like Darryl Peterson and Jeff Pietrowski at the top of the depth chart in 2024.
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