Analyzing what Wisconsin is adding to its program with the commitment of Menomonie (WI) High linebacker Mason Platter

Wisconsin taps into Menomonie (WI) High for the third straight season for a scholarship player. What are the Badgers getting in outside linebacker Mason Platter? We examine the commitment impact.

Committed Over: Menomonie (WI) High School outside linebacker Mason Platter committed to Wisconsin over an offer from Northern Illinois.

Rated: Platter is not currently rated by

On Film: On film, he is a long, lanky athlete who can bend around the edge and rush the passer. He actually is physical despite not being a big kid weight wise yet. That will be the biggest key for him is getting bigger and stronger, but the upside is there with his frame. He says Wisconsin is looking at him as an outside linebacker or defensive end, that will all depend on how much weight he can add but it certainly looks like he has the frame to do so. – National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu

Recruiting Story:  While some football athletes spend the summer prior to their junior season going to college campuses and camps around the country, using that opportunity to introduce themselves to coaches and add skills and traits to their game, Platter chose not to attend a camp at Wisconsin last season.

He still was on the radar of the coaching staff in large part due to Wisconsin’s recruitment of offensive lineman Alex Fenton, who took Platter to a Wisconsin game in October. With the staff studying Fenton, who had committed to the 2017 recruiting class in February, the Wisconsin coaches started to take notice of Platter.

“I had a good season by junior year, but I really got my foot in the door because of Alex” Platter said. “I wasn’t a standout my sophomore year. I didn’t even play any varsity, so it was a nice surprise to be successful my junior year and be recognized by some schools.”

After his high school season ended in the state semifinals, Platter’s recruitment was fairly quiet until late January. He took an unofficial visit to Wisconsin for the school’s junior day and picked up his first scholarship offer from the Huskies on Feb.1. He was invited back to the Wisconsin campus Sunday for the Wisconsin-Maryland basketball game. Not only getting the offer, but getting a chance to see the electric atmosphere at the Kohl Center was a tipping point that ended his recruitment.

“It’s just an incredible college town,” Platter said. “The support there is incredible. The coaches are great guys and second to none, but you learn a little more each time you talk to them and learn who they are. It’s nice.”

Recruiting Impact: In less than 12 hours, Wisconsin went from having no linebacker commits to having in the 2018 class, creating a tight pinch for those remaining linebackers out there who are thinking about playing for Wisconsin.

The commitments of Waukesha Catholic Memorial’s C.J. Goetz and Platter give the Badgers a projected 15 scholarship linebackers on the roster in 2018. Right now the Badgers have roughly seven spots available to them with having only 13 scholarship seniors on the roster. That number will likely go up, but probably not by many. And considering UW has needs elsewhere, can the Badgers afford to take a third linebacker?

As I wrote in Goetz’s commitment impact story, Wisconsin extended an offer to Brookfield Central’s Reggie Jennings last spring but the raw prospect remains uncommitted, without other known offers and – it appears – not in a hurry to make a decision. Is he still coveted by the staff and/or does he still have a spot available to him?

Looking out of state, the Badgers have developed good relationships with Lake Zurich (Ill.) prospect Jack Sanborn, Deerfield Beach (FL) coveted four-star Kenny Bastida and Macon (GA) Stratford Academy’s Tobe Umerah, who loved his UW visit in the fall and his good friends with current UW sophomore receiver Quintez Cephus. Sanborn appears the most likely of the three, as he spoke highly of his “electric” visit to Madison for the Ohio State game.

Whether the Badgers take another linebacker depends on where that player is projected moving forward, as UW will likely take an inside linebacker over an outside one.

Quote: “It’s a dream come true, it totally is. I knew from the second I stepped on the campus that that’s where I wanted to go. What really made my decision with Wisconsin was the coaching staff. That was the biggest, more important part, and the coaching staff was huge.”  - Platter

Final Thought: Just as important as Platter’s skill set and intangibles is his background, a high school football program that has produced a Wisconsin commit each of the last two seasons and a quarterback two years ago that committed to Iowa.

“They know what they are getting when they get a Menomonie kid,” Platter said. “It’s the hard work and dedication.”

In addition to his long arms and his length, Platter is solid in pursuit and gets after players with a high motor. Pass rushing and run defense is definitely a strength of his currently, making him a good fit as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme.

“I’m definitely going to work on developing myself as a person and a football player,” Platter said. “It’s a big change, so it’s a lot of work to be put in, but I’m ready.”

Monday was a heck of a day for the Wisconsin staff, locking up three in-state prospects that will help fortify their front seven in the coming years.

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