Committed Over: Menomonie (WI) offensive tackle Alex Fenton committed to Wisconsin over an offer from Michigan and interest from several other Big Ten schools. Kimberly (WI) offensive guard Logan Bruss picked the Badgers over offers from Buffalo, Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska and North Dakota State.
Rated: Both Bruss and Fenton are currently ranked three-star prospects by Scout.com.
On Film: Logan plays a lot of tackle in high school, but projects at guard in college. If you lined up across from him last season, you probably ended up on the ground a lot. He finishes his blocks. He drives and runs his feet to the whistle. There are still some minor technical things I think he can work on. I'd like to see him at some camps to get a better read on his pass pro, but he certainly put together a dominant junior tape and has the type of nastiness and toughness you like in an offensive lineman.
Fenton hasn't played offensive line yet, truly, but the way he was used as a blocker at tight end, there is enough there to evaluate him and his traits for the position. He has the size (6-5, 283) and he's a nimble kid for being that big. You can see that in his defensive film, too, as he plays with good balance and is light on his feet for a kid who looks like a wider bodied kid.
As a blocker, Fenton keeps his feet and drives on contact. He still doesn't finish his blocks quite like a guy like Bruss does just yet, but I like his skill set otherwise. He will have to learn pass protection, something he's not well-versed in yet. Obviously he has to learn a lot of technique, but in terms of the tools for the position, I'd say he definitely has good physical traits. He's a tougher eval beyond that because he hasn't played the position. Hopefully we get a chance to see him at Wisconsin's camp in the summer.
– National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu
Recruiting Impact: This has been a tremendous recruiting job by the University of Wisconsin, identifying and offering its top four offensive line targets before national signing day 2016. It wasn’t too hard, really, as three of the prospects reside in-state and the other – Kayden Lyles – has a dad who played for the school and brother who is currently at the school.
UW was shooting between 3-4 offensive linemen in the class and have three commits before the start of spring practices. Both Bruss and Fenton were identified early by the staff, earning offers within a few days of each other, and were aggressively recruited. Both were invited to campus on Jan.23 and Feb.21, the latter of which sealed the deal for each of them.
In reality, all that’s really left for Wisconsin is Port Washington (WI) Tyler Beach, another prospect that is ranked an early three-star prospect. Like Bruss and Fenton, Beach holds an offer from Michigan, as well as other offers from Illinois, Northern Illinois, Syracuse and a handful of others. Unlike Bruss and Fenton, Beach has said he wants to go through the recruiting process and visit schools. He visited Syracuse last weekend and will likely see Michigan in the spring. The Badgers, however, are still considered the favorite.
Quotable: "Everything about Madison makes me want to be a Badger. It is close to home, (they’re) a great program and school to get an education. My family and I love all of the coaches there as well." – Bruss
“Fenton has a lot of the attributes recruiters are looking for in a college lineman. High hips, long arms, good length and great bend. He moves extremely well for his size. He knows he has some work to do yet, but has a ton of potential, as he has all the tools. He has a lot of upside, and because of his length and frame, after a redshirt year and working with the Badgers strength coach, he could easily play at over 300 pounds. Alex getting to this point is no accident, as he has put in a ton of time in the weight room and does a lot of extra jump ropes and agility work on his own to keep improving his feet. He has a tremendous work ethic." – Menomonie head coach Joe LaBuda
Final Thought: Wisconsin has built really good depth along its offensive line, meaning both Bruss and Fenton can benefit from a redshirt season to grow into their frames, refine their technique and learn the playbook. After a handful of years being extremely low on scholarship offensive linemen, Wisconsin should likely hit its target of having 15 scholarship linemen in camp by the time fall 2017 comes. Even better news, Wisconsin is back in the business of keeping the best in-state players in the state.