We’re here. We finally made it. It’s officially Week 1 of the college football season and the true start of the Luke Fickell Era with the Wisconsin football program.
There’s a lot of buzz and excitement surrounding the coaching staff, players, and this program in general. Each week, we will bring you a stock report for the football team. We’ll talk about who is trending up, and on the flipside, who’s trending downward.
So with that in mind, here is the first installment of the Wisconsin Football Stock Report by BadgerNotes.
Wisconsin Football Stock Report: Stock Up
The new head coach for the Badgers comes to Madison with a ton of success. And with him comes a lot of change. The Wisconsin football team has been more or less the same kind of football team since Barry Alvarez brought this program to life. After a few down seasons (for Wisconsin’s standards), Fickell looks to bring them back to contenders in the Big Ten, and eventually, the College Football Playoffs.
Badger fans have gotten a taste of what Fickell and his staff can do. After being hired at the end of the Badgers’ regular season last year, the staff was put in a disadvantageous position recruiting-wise. Especially the 2024 recruiting class. But they made up a lot of ground, putting together what is currently a top-25 class in the country. Currently, they are sitting 23rd overall with 21 committed recruits. The 2025 class is off to a great start with two commitments already.
The expectations are extremely high, but Fickell has had success everywhere he’s been, including leading Cincinnati, a Group of 5 school, to the CFB in 2021. That’s something no other coach has done. Imagine what he will do in a program like Wisconsin.
Let’s get back to winning.
I mean, what more do I have to say? This dude is red-hot right now. He is racking up the preseason hype and accolades before what is likely his final campaign in Madison. He’s a preseason All-American, All-Big Ten, and Doak Walker Award candidate. He’s consistently included as a top-5 running back heading into next year’s NFL Draft.
It’s hard to get stock any higher than Allen’s.
When Phil Longo was hired as the Badgers’ new offensive coordinator, there was a pause for many Wisconsin football fans. How will our star running back be a featured player in the air raid offense? It’s like taking your best player off the field.
Not only have all the worries about the air raid been calmed, but it’s actually made fans feel even better about Allen’s production in 2023. If this offense can spread out defenses like it’s supposed to, Allen will have a lot easier time running the ball. Gone are the days of stacked boxes (supposedly). If teams want to continue to stack the box, then the Badgers should able to throw the ball all over. Pick your poison.
If all goes according to plan, Braelon Allen is going to have a monster season.
Wisconsin Football Stock Report: Stock Down
Tight End Room
We are all well-versed in what’s going on with the tight end room. But let’s do a quick recap.
Prior to fall camp kicking off, the tight ends considered to be 1-2 on the depth chart were missing from the roster. Jake Eschenbach moved on after practicing with the ones all spring. Clay Cundiff retired from football after back-to-back season-ending injuries.
That leaves the Badgers with a lot of inexperienced players to jump right into this new offense. Converted fullback, Riley Nowakowski, looked like he was going to be the next man up, but recent injuries have derailed that plan. Senior Hayden Rucci will likely play a role in the offense, but he’s never been much of a receiving threat.
Fickell has given freshman Tucker Ashcraft some praise ahead of the season, saying he will be getting some snaps this season. Cam Large continues to battle injuries, so that’s not much of an option at the moment either. Then there’s Cole Dakovich (RS Jr.), Jack Pugh (RS Soph.), JT Seagreaves (RS Fr.), and Angel Toombs (Fr.). Very little to no experience at all among those players.
I know this isn’t a pro-style offense anymore, but tight end is still an important and necessary position. This could be Wisconsin’s Achilles heel in 2023.
Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinions, and analysis. You can also follow Christian Borman on Twitter @ChristianBorman
Wisconsin Basketball to Lean on Core Contributors Down the Stretch
Wisconsin Football to Host 4-Star Two-Way Prospect on Recruiting Visit
Former Wisconsin Basketball Coach Named to Naismith Watchlist
Former Wisconsin Basketball Star Frank Kaminsky Inks New Deal
Wisconsin Football Student Section Was Embarrassing vs. Ohio State
Paul Chryst Emerging as Top Target for Big Ten Coaching Vacancy
Football2 days ago
Wisconsin Football Bolstered Its Secondary With a Top-Graded Transfer
FB Recruiting2 days ago
Wisconsin Football Recruiting Target Picks up Unfortunate Crystal Ball
FB Recruiting2 days ago
Source: Wisconsin Football Losing Ground in Pursuit of Top 150 Recruiting Target
FB Recruiting4 days ago
Wisconsin Football Falls Short in Recruiting Battle with Notre Dame