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Wisconsin Football: Ranking the Top Five Transfer Portal Additions



Wisconsin Badgers Football

Ranking the Top Five Transfer Portal Additions for Wisconsin Football

The Wisconsin football program went through a complete overhaul following the 2022 season. From hiring Luke Fickell to new assistants to numerous transfer portal additions, the Badgers will be a revamped team headed into 2023.

After Fickell took over, UW brought in 13 transfers. Wisconsin is now seen as an attractive landing spot due to the surplus of talent and the high-level coaching. Each transfer addition will have an important role, but some stand out among the rest.

Here are Wisconsin football’s top five 2023 transfer portal additions.

No. 5 – Darian Varner

Darian Varner is one of the most underrated prospects in Wisconsin’s transfer class. The 6-foot-2, 260-pound lineman was a key piece to Temple’s defensive line and could be a potential Keeanu Benton replacement.

As a redshirt freshman at Temple, Varner led the Owls in sacks (3) and total sack yards (25). In his sophomore season, he received All-AAC recognition for a very productive year, where he posted 7.5 sacks and 12.5 TFLs. On top of that, Varner finished 16th in the nation and second in the AAC with 0.75 sacks per game in 2022.

Varner’s ability to play inside and outside makes him an intriguing addition. With his skill set, he’ll be an essential contributor in his first year with the team.

No. 4 – Jake Renfro

Former Cincinnati Bearcats center Jake Renfro is another addition poised to make a significant impact in 2023.

The 6-foot-3, 308-pound center started in 19 games for Cincinnati in his two years with the program. In 2021, Renfro started the final seven games of his freshman season and helped the Bearcats earn the most yards per carry and the least sacks allowed in the AAC. In 2022, he was named to the All-AAC First Team and was a critical piece to Cincinnati’s offensive line that finished with the 9th-most yards per play in the nation.

Renfro is a plug-and-play center that will fill Joe Tippmann’s spot. He was an anchor for Cincy’s offensive line and will be instrumental to Wisconsin’s.

No. 3 – Nick Evers

Evers, who transferred from Oklahoma, was one of the catalysts to Wisconsin football’s overhaul. After announcing his commitment in December, transfer additions came one after the other to Wisconsin. While he’ll likely sit in his first year with the program, Evers will be one of UW’s best options for the future.

Evers was a consensus four-star recruit in the 2022 class. Although he didn’t play in his freshman season at Oklahoma, his upside makes the addition one of the best. After getting a year to develop, he’ll be a frontrunner for the QB1 spot in 2024.

While Evers may not contribute this year, his upside and talents make him one of Wisconsin’s best additions through the transfer portal.

No. 2 – CJ Williams

Williams heads to Madison as the highest-rated wide receiver in the history of the Wisconsin football program. Although he sat in his first year at USC, he’ll be a frontrunner for a starting job at UW.

Williams was a consensus four-star recruit from Mater Dei High School who ranked in the top 100 players in the 2022 class. Additionally, he was the No. 10 receiver in the class and the No. 6 player in California. In short, he’s a damn good wide receiver.

Williams’ athleticism and route running ability make him stand out above the rest. He’ll be an excellent option for Wisconsin’s QB1, who we’ll get to next.

No. 1 – Tanner Mordecai

No surprises here; Tanner Mordecai is Wisconsin’s best addition through the transfer portal. The 6-foot-3, 214-pound signal-caller will be a one-year rental for Wisconsin, and he should thrive in Wisconsin’s revamped offensive scheme.

Mordecai was simply remarkable in his two years at SMU. As the Mustangs QB1, Mordecai threw for 7,152 yards and 72 touchdowns while completing 66.4% of his passes. He also used his legs well, rushing for 302 yards and four touchdowns in his two seasons with the team. Under Phil Longo’s air raid offense, Mordecai is poised to have a monster year.

Mordecai is undoubtedly Wisconsin’s top transfer addition. He’ll have one more year before taking his next step, and he could be the UW’s most important player in 2023.

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Jake Maier is the managing editor and publisher at He has provided coaching and editorial support to numerous writers in his role, contributing significantly to the platform's growth. His expertise extends to Wisconsin Badgers football, basketball, and recruiting coverage. Jake's previous bylines can be found at Fansided and Wisconsin Sports Heroics.