Committed Over: Iowa Western C.C. defensive end Andrew Van Ginkel committed to Wisconsin over favorites Iowa and Nebraska. He also had offers from California, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas State, Louisville, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia.
Rated: Van Ginkel is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com.
On Film: Listed at 6-4 and 240 pounds, Van Ginkel is listed as a defensive end on Iowa Western’s roster, but his pass rush skill makes him a good fit as a stand-up outside linebacker in the Badgers' system. He’s a sound tackler, squaring up his shoulders, keeping his head up and driving through the player. Van Ginkel reads the play well and had good lateral movement, allowing him to move sideline to sideline and fill his gap assignments to make plays against spread teams. His spin move once he’s engaged with an offensive linemen might not work at the Big Ten level, but he shows a decent job disengaging from contact and with his bull rush to make plays in the backfield.
Van Ginkel posted nine sacks and 18.0 tackles for loss as a true freshman last season before transferring to Iowa Western Community College in hopes of attracting attention from power five schools. Turns out it was a smart move.
Recruiting Impact: Van Ginkel grew up an Iowa fan and his friends with current Hawkeyes from Northwest Iowa, so this recruiting win is a little bit of a surprise. Even so, Wisconsin is bringing in a player for two years who has experience across the board, which will likely be needed next year. Vince Biegel for sure is graduating and junior T.J. Watt is a possibility to leave for the N.F.L. a year early. If that’s the case, UW’s outside linebackers would be senior Garret Dooley, redshirt sophomore Zack Baun and Jake Whalen and redshirt freshmen Noah Burks, Christian Bell and Keldric Preston. Obviously not a lot of depth here. Even with small numbers, and UW getting a commitment from Izayah Green-May, it’s a move that made sense and one that could pay off for Wisconsin next season.
Final Thought: Things will get quite interesting at Wisconsin over the next few months. Why? By our unofficial tally, Wisconsin is four scholarships over the allotted 85 limit, and the Badgers still want to grab a defensive back in this class (either Denver’s Christian Cumber or Detroit’s Scott Nelson and both took an official visit to Wisconsin last weekend). If UW is fortunate to get one of them, Wisconsin will have to figure out how five scholarships are going to come off the books by either players leaving early, transfers or retirements.
Regardless of what happens with the roster, Van Ginkel is an intriguing prospect who will join the program in January and get a jump on learning the defense. No matter who is or isn’t at the outside linebacker when he gets here, he had a chance to make an early impact.