One of handful of in-state recruits that Gary Andersen landed during his time at Wisconsin was Grafton offensive tackle Beau Benzschawel in the 2014 recruiting class, flipping the 6-6, 291-pound prospect during his senior season.
Considering how Benzschawel has developed during his redshirt season, first-year head coach Paul Chryst would possibly be looking to add his younger brother to the mix in junior tight end/defensive end Luke Benzschawel. The hometown Badgers have been the only school to show interest early on, but it is the one school high on his list, especially if given that chance to play with his brother.
“They want me to get up on campus as soon as possible, and they said I had a really great upside,” Benzschawel told BadgerNation. “I'm actually heading down there this Sunday to watch their spring practice. I'm very interested mostly because of the tradition there with all my family ties, especially my brother Beau playing there now.”
The family connections to Wisconsin run deep. Not only does the 6-6, 230-pound younger Benzschawel have his older brother on campus, but his dad, Scott Benzschawel, played at Wisconsin from 1983-87. It’s a tradition that influenced Beau to flip his commitment from Syracuse to Wisconsin shortly after receiving his offer.
“It would mean a lot to me and my family (if Wisconsin offered),” said Benszchawel. “If I got to play with Beau again, that would be incredible especially because when we played together in high school my sophomore year. It was great having a role model that you can work hard with at practice, then go home and just joke around and have a good time.”
A talented two-sport athlete for Grafton, Benzschawel was a consistent mismatch on both sides of the ball, earning second team all-conference honors for defensive end and honorable mention at offensive line. A jack of all trades, Benschawel also scored 31 points for the school’s varsity basketball team in its first round playoff victory.
“Our (football) season went pretty good,” said Benzschawel. “Our team usually struggles pretty bad being a D3 school in a conference full of Division 1s, but I think we earned a lot of respect from the larger teams the way we battled against them.
“I led the team in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, and forced fumbles. I'm going to be playing tight end this year and defensive end. I'd say I'm pretty sneaky quick in my game. I don't look like the fastest guy, but coming off the ball and chasing down ball carriers is where I believe I thrive.”