When the offer from the University of Wisconsin came for Menomonie (WI) offensive lineman Alex Fenton on Jan.20, there was no post on social media or boasting to the media. When Michigan offered, it was the exact same response.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Fenton decided to commit to Paul Chryst and the Badgers on Monday without much fanfare.
“He is not big into the self-promotion stuff,” Menomonie coach Joe LaBuda told BadgerNation. “He had a ton of traffic and narrowed it down to Michigan and Wisconsin. He didn’t want to have any outside pressure.”
A 6-5, 283-pound prospect, Fenton played offensive line, defensive line and tight end for the Mustangs, even catching two touchdown passes last season. He projects as an offensive tackle for the Badgers and is the third lineman in the 2017 class, joining four-star Kayden Lyles and three-star Logan Bruss (who also committed on Monday).
“His ceiling is really high,” LaBuda said. “He’s got some improving to do, and he knows that, but he has all the tools. He’s very athletic. He played tight end for us because he’s got good hands, runs pretty good routes, but we mainly had him there because he’s a good blocker. He’s effective enough to be successful there.”
LaBuda said a number of other Big Ten schools were involved with Fenton, but the Badgers current coaching staff had been recruiting him since his sophomore year of high school. Visiting the school for a pair of unofficial visits, including Sunday for the Wisconsin basketball game, Fenton felt comfortable with Chryst, offensive line coach Joe Rudolph and special teams coach Chris Haering and the direction the program was heading. According to LaBuda, he felt he had no need to wait any longer.
“He’s been getting quite a bit of attention for quite a while,” said LaBuda. “He’s just what they (Wisconsin) are looking for. Some kids are tall but they have a long torso. He had really high hips, which is one of the things you look for. He’s got great flexibility. They never want to take a kid who is stiff. He can bend, has good feet and his potential down the road is really high.”
Fenton will likely benefit from a year in a college weight room, which should suit him just fine. According to LaBuda, Fenton has put in a lot of time and effort working on agility drills and jumping rope to improve his footwork.
“He’s a very coachable kid and a really intelligent kid,” said LaBuda. “Both of his parents are engineers, which was why Wisconsin was a good fit for him. He’s a good student. He’s a 3.4 GPA. He’s come so far since his freshman year. He’s still growing into his body and has done it as a result of hard work. He’s spent a lot of time in the weight room and done a lot of extra work to get his feet where they are. He’s a pretty self-driven kid.”