Badgernotes.com received a variety of questions about the Wisconsin Badgers football program from our dedicated readers earlier this week.
So, without further adieu, Let’s jump into your mailbag questions…
I don’t understand why the Badgers didn’t roll with Braedyn Locke at QB. What’s the appeal of adding Tyler Van Dyke?
There is a perpetual tug-of-war between immediate success and long-term development across college football. Wisconsin football head coach Luke Fickell wants to build a program that recruits and develops their own guys. But he’s also under pressure to win games immediately.
So, anytime the Badgers have an opportunity to bolster the team’s depth at the game’s most important position through the portal, that’s a temptation you’d be foolish not to explore.
That said, the Badgers needed to add an experienced arm for a few reasons. Having an upperclassman helps counterbalance the uneven scholarship distribution in the quarterback room.
Behind Tyler Van Dyke, is a massively inexperienced group of QBs: Braedyn Locke, Nick Evers, Cole LaCrue, and Mabrey Mettauer. His addition will allow them time to develop behind him and, ideally, push for the starting job the following season.
Delving deeper, the Wisconsin Badgers offense performed poorly last season. They averaged 23.5 points per game, marking its lowest scoring total in 19 years—while ranking poorly in most key offensive metrics.
Setting it and forgetting it at quarterback would’ve been malpractice, even if you view Locke as the future QB1, in my opinion.
While Van Dyke might not have been the most exciting addition, he comes to Madison with 28 starts at a Power 5 program under his belt.
Over his career, Van Dyke has amassed 7,469 passing yards, along with 54 touchdowns to 23 interceptions, and compiled 11 career games with 300+ passing yards. That’s something that only happened once last year.
That’s all a long-winded way of saying that Van Dyke has plenty of experience, a big arm, and can push the ball downfield in the passing game, which is an element of the air raid offense that was missing.
You could do much worse than adding someone like Van Dyke into the mix. Plus, if Locke proves to be the better option during camp, he’ll earn the job—it’s a win-win situation for Wisconsin.
Do you think more Wisconsin football players will leave in the transfer portal after spring practice? If so, who?
In a word, yes.
There’s no use in speculating who those players will be, but NCAA rules dictate a maximum of 85 scholarship players on the roster. By my count, the Wisconsin football team is over that mark.
Right now, the transfer portal window is closed. That means nobody on the Badgers can transfer until the next window opens in April. When that window re-opens, there will be movement once players can reassess their spot on the depth chart following spring practice.
In fairness to your question, two position groups where attrition could make sense are running back and cornerback.
Wisconsin football has eight scholarship running backs on the roster: Chez Mellusi, Tawee Walker, Jackson Acker, Cade Yacamelli, Nate White, Darrion Dupree, Dilin Jones, and Gideon Ituka.
That feels like way too many for the Badgers to justify carrying.
Cornerback is another spot that could change between now and fall camp. There are 11 scholarship corners on the roster. Once the depth chart starts coming into focus, I envision a few departures after spring ball.
Starting roles seem spoken for between Ricardo Hallman, Nyzier Fourqurean, and RJ Delancy who they added from the portal. Behind them is a room primarily consisting of Luke Fickell recruits.
They’ll make the numbers work one way or another, but spring practice reps will help make those decisions easier for a few players.
What offseason transfer portal addition was your favorite?
I appreciate you asking a question that I can’t be dead-ass wrong about a few months from now. While there are many good candidates, my favorite Wisconsin football transfer portal addition is Tackett Curtis.
Wisconsin Badgers fans who follow recruiting are all well aware of who Curtis is. I’m so pumped that Wisconsin’s staff found a way to land him despite schools like Ohio State, Texas A&M, LSU, and Florida State being in the mix.
He’ll bring three years of eligibility after working his way onto the field as a true freshman at USC. The 6-foot-2 linebacker finished with 40 tackles, 10 pressures, two sacks, one forced fumble, and a pass deflection in 355 snaps.
This is all projection on my end, but I think Wisconsin football found a Mike linebacker that they can build this defense around. Mike Tressel and company intend to cut Curtis loose, let him play fast, and lean into his playmaking ability. I can’t wait to watch Curtis play this fall.
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