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Wisconsin Football News: Badgers Land Top C in Portal, B1G DE, More



Wisconsin Badgers Football

It’s been a busy couple of days for the Wisconsin football program, ladies and gents, but fear not because BadgerNotes can help get you back up to speed with a roundup of some important news you may have missed. 

Wisconsin Football Lands Top C From Transfer Portal 

On Sunday evening, the Wisconsin football program landed a big fish in the transfer portal. After making several visits to Madison, former Cincinnati center Jake Renfro committed to the University of Wisconsin over what was reportedly a significant NIL offer from LSU.  

Renfro, a former All-AAC first-team member, was a multi-year starting center for the Bearcats but missed all of 2022 due to a season-ending injury. 

According to Pro Football Focus, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound linemen logged 1,126 snaps, all at center, and has allowed only four sacks in 602 pass-blocking sets. 

The former Cincinnati Bearcats addition is significant because Joe Tippmann is off to the NFL – which created a vacancy in the heart of the offensive line. Renfro should slot in as the immediate starter – giving Wisconsin football a proven option and allowing Tanor Bortolini to slide back over to guard, where he’s best suited. 

The Illinois native comes to Madison with up to three years of eligibility. 

Wisconsin Football Adds Former Michigan State DE

Luke Fickell made it clear he intended to add bodies in the trenches, specifically on the defensive line. After adding Darian Varner from Temple, the coaching staff found another experienced option from inside the conference.

Wisconsin football landed Michigan State defensive end Jeff Pietrowski from the transfer portal on Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-1, 250-pound defensive lineman has 23 games of experience under his belt but appeared in only three games this past season because of a lower-leg injury he suffered in September.

In 2021, Pietrowski registered 33 tackles, 24 pressures, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery as a sophomore. Per PFF, he earned a 78.7 defensive grade as a run-stopper, which for reference, would have been the highest among Badgers DL in 2022.

I anticipate he’ll provide depth on the defensive line but also get a look at outside linebacker, given the lack of proven options remaining after Nick Herbig declared for the NFL draft.

The Talented QBs Just Keep Coming 

Just when you thought the Wisconsin football program had everyone they’d need at quarterback, Phil Longo adds another talented arm to the QB room.

UW landed former four-star QB Braedyn Locke, who played one season at Mississippi State before entering the transfer portal.

Per the 247Sports Composite, Locke was the No. 383 overall prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, the No. 22 QB in the country, and the No. 54 player in Texas.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound quarterback became the third transfer signal caller to join the Badgers this offseason, joining Tanner Mordecai and Nick Evers in a completely rebuilt QB room. After this coming season, competition for the Wisconsin Badgers’ future QB1 spot will be a dog fight.

Locke joins the Wisconsin football program with four years of eligibility remaining.

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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.