Committed Over: La Grange (Ill.) Lyons Township quarterback Ben Bryant committed to Wisconsin over an offer from Central Michigan. He was also receiving interest from Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue and Syracuse, among others.
Rated: Bryant is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com
On Film: Bryant had a fantastic junior season. He led his team to an 8-2 regular season mark and took them two rounds deep into the playoffs while facing a schedule that is littered with great teams. An athletic quarterback, Bryant has the ability make tough throws that can stretch the defense, make plays on the run through the air or on the ground and bring a zone-read element to the table.
Possessing good size at 6-3, 190 pounds, to go along with that athleticism, Bryant is a tough competitor who has delivered for his high school team.
Recruiting Story: On the radar of schools since his sophomore season of high school football, Bryant’s recruitment fell largely under the radar. That was good news for Wisconsin, which offered him in late June and instantly became his favorite school.
“I am truly just speechless,” Bryant told BadgerNation after the offer. “I had no idea they [Wisconsin] were going to offer me, so when they did I was speechless! It feels great because I really like Wisconsin and their coaches. It also feels good to know that I will be playing football in college.”
Bryant camped with Wisconsin twice at two different locations. He first threw for Chryst and graduate assistant Jon Budmayr in Madison and then attended a satellite camp the Badgers had outside Chicago.
He visited other schools throughout the season but he was always a presence at Wisconsin, attending nearly every home game from mid-October.
With Wisconsin as his leaders and seeing no reason to wait, Bryant pulled the trigger.
Recruiting Impact: This is expected to be another small recruiting class coming up for Wisconsin with only a projected 15 scholarships available, so the notion of the Badgers taking more than one scholarship quarterback seems unreasonable. I’d beg to differ.
Wisconsin has addressed needs at every position in the 2017 class, which allows them to hone its focus in 2018 on safety (none in the 2017 class), defensive line (losing three seniors) and receiver (losing two). And while the Badgers aren’t losing a quarterback, there’s not a lot of experience – or bodies – in the room. Entering next season, the main quarterbacks UW will have are Alex Hornibrook (redshirt sophomore), Kare Lyles (redshirt freshman), Jack Coan (true freshman) and Danny Vanden Boom (true freshman). As you can see, there’s not a lot of depth in the room.
Even with Bryant in the mix, UW will continue to kick the tires on New Jersey four-star Artur Sitkowski and California four-star Jack Tuttle. Sitkowski will likely visit UW this spring and Tuttle has visited the Badgers twice, including last month. UW has also offered Chase Wolf out of Cincinnati, and he says he’d like to visit the Badgers next year.
Quote: “I really like the offense that Wisconsin runs. It fits me well as a pocket passer, so I like how they do things. Also Wisconsin is close to home, so I really like that as well.” – Bryant
Final Thought: While there was some mobility in the Wisconsin quarterback room with Bart Houston, there wasn’t a ton. UW has been its best in past years with either a strong armed quarterback, a mobile quarterback or a Russell Wilson who could do both. Not saying Bryant is Wilson, far from it, but the Midwestern quarterback has done a lot of really nice things that could impact the Badgers. While it may seem like a reach for some, especially with bigger fish out there, Wisconsin did its due diligence with Bryant. Considering how knowledgeable this staff is with quarterbacks, accepting Bryant’s commitment shouldn’t bother anybody.