The goal is to get 15 scholarship offensive linemen into the Wisconsin program, a goal that head coach Paul Chryst is one shy of achieving after inking three talented prospects in 2015. Dietzen and Moorman are the two highest rated recruit amongst the offensive line, as Dietzen ranks number 169 in the Scout 300 and Moorman is 290.
“Each position you kind of have target numbers and for us the o-line, it's 15 on scholarship,” said Chryst. “And hoping a Ricky Wagner (walk-on) comes in and all of the sudden adds to the numbers.”
Even though Estes doesn’t rank in the Scout 300, he rates as the number 10 offensive tackle in the West. Projected to be a left tackle amongst the offensive line, Estes has a great 6-6 frame and runs really well for his size. With Estes being effective in space, it will help him in situations in which he has to pull and help pave ways for the Wisconsin ground attack.
Estes will likely use his first year to redshirt to continue to get bigger, but he should be able to add weight without losing much athleticism or his speed. Tyler Marz is set to graduate after this year and Estes could be one of the likely candidates to become the starter in 2016.
Moorman and Dietzen also have the tools to succeed at Wisconsin. Dietzen is 6-6 and like Estes can move well for his size. In high school he could simply overpower people in the trenches, as the majority of run plays were directed towards his size. Dietzen, who enrolled early, won’t be able to consistently win his match ups like he did in high school, but he should be able to consistently win at the point of attack as he continues to get stronger.
“Jon being here is big, him having the opportunity to go through spring ball,” Chryst said. “But before that, the introductory meetings (in the fall), you've got Dan Voltz and Tyler (Marz), well they’re going to be in that first meeting with Rudy (Joe Rudolph) and going over, maybe some terminology change. Jon has been hearing it so I think that will be helpful for him and even just the workouts. Love his size only because he can move. I love the way that he plays. On tape he's got a mean streak that you like.”
Moorman, who is listed as the second best guard in the Midwest by Scout.com, isn’t as tall as Dietzen but is still is a big kid. Moorman is willing to get after players and plays to the whistle, evident by his high pancake blocking total in high school. When Gary Andersen left for Oregon State, Moorman picked up offers from Penn State and Purdue and considered taking other official visits. In the end Moorman knew Wisconsin presented the best opportunity for him.
”He's got good athleticism, good size,” said Chryst, “not as big as Jon but I'm not so sure you're going to bring in many high schoolers that are his same size.”
Heading into next year, only five of the 14 scholarship offensive lineman have seen playing time and only Marz and Voltz have seen serious playing time as starters the past two years. The lack of experience puts pressure on the veterans but opens up a lot of opportunities for younger players, especially Dietzen.Without much experience and still under in numbers, it’ll be important for the offensive line class from the past two years to step up and show, if needed, they can fill in and be reliable players.
“There is kind of a gap there and that's what it is, so we just got to go and that's why we coach, too,” Chryst said. “You've got to coach and develop them and looking forward to that … I like the group. Like a lot of the linemen here. They're going to have to work to develop it, and that's the fun part.”
Signing Day Grade: A