If there’s been one glaring weakness of the Wisconsin offense the last handful of seasons, it’s been the depth and consistency of the wide receiving position.
Chaska (MN) High senior Sean Engel believes he can change that. The Badgers coaching staff is starting to consider that, too.
Engel is an intriguing prospect on Wisconsin’s recruiting board, especially since he showed his ability to create separation and consistently compete in drills during the Badgers’ one-day high school camp Sunday.
“I’m still trying to put on weight but I’ve come a long way since I was at 170,” Engel told BadgerNation. “I stopped growing in height, so I have a lot more coordination, too. I am moving around a lot better and running a lot smoother. That’s nice to have.”
During the two sessions, Engel was complimented by first-year wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore for his ability to get down the field, run good routes and make a lot of plays on the ball. While getting feedback that he needed to work on the first step coming out of his breaks, Engel was arguably the top player of that group.
“This was my first time meeting him in person,” Engel said of Gilmore. “He is probably one of the better wide receiver coaches I’ve ever met. He had us running full speed throughout the breaks, which was initially hard at first but throughout the camp I got a lot better at it. I feel like I learned a lot.”
Engel has been on Wisconsin’s radar for a little over the past month. He never really got much attention from the former coaching staff despite attending their camp last season but has pushed himself in the weight room and the practice field over the last year.
“I’ve grown as a player, even in the last couple of months,” said Engel, who finished his junior season with 27 receptions for 400 yards and eight touchdowns. “At the end of the football season, a 4.93 was my best 40. At camp I ran a 4.6. I’ve also put on about 30 pounds since the football season ended to get up to 202 pounds.”
Playing receiver in the Big Ten runs in the family. Engel is the younger brother of former Minnesota receiver Derrick Engel, who played his final two seasons with the Gophers (2012-13) after transferring from Winona State.
“We works with me a lot on techniques and route running,” said Engel. “He’s a huge impact on me, just the way I do things. He keeps me moving straight and away from all the bad stuff.”
Holding an offer from South Dakota, Engel said he was invited to 70 different college camps and had over 40 college coaches come in to talk to him and his school’s athletic director during the spring evaluation period. According to Engel, the schools appearing to be the most interested are Eastern Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota State, Northern Illinois, Northwestern and Purdue.
Wisconsin is also in the mix after Engel’s camp performance and an offer would certainly make an impact.
“If I got offered it would be huge because I feel like I can play at the Big Ten level,” said Engel. “Just knowing that another team like that believes in me would be awesome.”