2015 Intro: Zack Baun

With the University of Wisconsin welcoming its 2015 recruiting class to campus this week, BadgerNation looks at the new Badgers joining the program, like Brown Deer linebacker Zack Baun.

Commitment Date: 10/25/14

Accolades: Attended Brown Deer High School … ranked as the No. 2 outside linebacker in Wisconsin, No. 15 in the Midwest and No. 54 in the country by Scout.com … named 2014 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Offensive Player of the Year … first-team all-state by WFCA … second-team all-state by Associated Press … received 2014 Dave Krieg Award as state’s most outstanding senior quarterback … 2014 Woodland Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Year … as a dual-threat quarterback, averaged 167.0 rushing yards per game and 9.7 yards per carry as a senior, finishing season with 1,837 rushing yards and a state-leading 39 touchdowns … also completed 54.9 percent of his passes for 1,936 yards and 20 TDs … as a junior, rushed for 2,086 yards and 28 TDs, averaging 189.6 yards per game … qualified for Division 2 state track meet in four events as a junior, finishing fifth in the 100 meters and eighth in the 200 meters … also played basketball, helping lead Brown Deer to Wisconsin Division 3 state title as a junior in 2013-14.

Recruiting Competition: Zack Baun originally committed to a greyshirt offer from Wisconsin over a scholarship offer from South Dakota State and a preferred walk-on offer from Minnesota, meaning he wouldn’t enroll with the Badgers until January 2016. But once Paul Chryst was hired and took a closer look at the scholarship numbers, Baun was bumped up to a full offer.

Why Wisconsin? “He’s that ultra-competitor. He wants the ball in his hands and we want the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. He’s a tough man to deal with because he gives you that combination of power and speed. Then throw in his competitive ability, he gets the players around him to play.” - Brown Deer co-head coach Rob Green

Scouting Report: It’s hard to accurately judge Baun because of his role as his team’s starting quarterback, but a lot of the intangibles he shows at quarterback should carry over to outside linebacker.

He has a big frame and could easily add more good weight. His biggest strengths are his ability to make plays in the open field, read defenses, solid lateral movement and good acceleration. He also is a leader and can carry the workload, as evidenced by his performance against Pewaukee in the state playoffs, when he rushed for more than 400 yards on 27 carries and scored six touchdowns. Five of his six touchdown runs were over 39 yards, and he showed he only needs a sliver of space to find a gap.

Baun played on kickoff return and punt coverage, a little bit at defensive end and was the holder for extra points, versatility that shows he’s a natural athlete who can develop into any position on the field and succeed.

BadgerNation Prediction: This is a steal for Wisconsin to get an under-the-radar player who is a very versatile athlete. He should be a very good outside linebacker in Wisconsin’s 3-4 defense, which is recruiting kids with good instincts, speed and ball skills.

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