"It's been real UW," Gillins posted. "I had fun playing a little WR and special teams this year. Now, I'm going back to what I do best. Unfortunately, that will not happen in Madison. I appreciate every opportunity I was given there. Created some lifelong friends and family. Thank y'all for everything."
Gillins joins redshirt freshman Celab Kinlaw as players to transfer from Wisconsin after experiencing a position change this season.
A former three-star quarterback out of Jacksonville, FL, Gillins committed to Wisconsin over offers from Arizona, Boston College, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Vanderbilt and West Virginia in July 2014. An early enrollee with the Badgers, Gillins took noticeable steps in his development this past season but had since been passed on the depth chart by true freshman Alex Hornibrook.
Head coach Paul Chryst announced him late October that Gillins approached him about working at wide receiver and special teams in order to contribute to the team. He played in six games and registered no stats.
“D.J. came to me and said, ‘I want to be able to help this team, and I don’t feel like I’m doing it right now,’” Chryst said. “I appreciate that. I told him, ‘It’s something I’m on board with for the rest of the season, and then let’s visit again.’ He’s a natural athlete. He was a heck of a basketball player, a heck of a competitor.”
A member of the 2014 signing class, Gillins was one of three quarterbacks recruited by previous head coach Gary Andersen. Tanner McEvoy (2013 class) struggled last season and lost his starting job after four games, while Austin Kafentzis (2015) transferred after this past spring’s practices.