After taking two quarterbacks in the 2017 class, Wisconsin is again in the market for a pair of passers for the 2018 calendar. It’s an interesting move for the Badgers, who will likely only have 13 scholarship seniors (D’Cota Dixon and Rafael Gaglianone will likely be granted a medical redshirt). The Badgers currently have eight players committed in 2018, including a quarterback, and appear to have needs elsewhere.
It’s not a guarantee Wisconsin will take two but the Badgers hosted a couple talented prospects during spring football.
Taking a look at where things stand with each position on the recruiting trail over the next week, we first take a look at the quarterbacks.
Editor’s Note: Not all prospects who have offers from Wisconsin are listed
Where Things Currently Stand
For the second straight year, the Badgers landed a quarterback early in their recruiting cycle. La Grange (Ill.) Lyons Township junior Ben Bryant had long viewed the Badgers as his favorite after developing a strong relationship with the staff over the summer, especially since head coach Paul Chryst, offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph and/or quarterback coach Jon Budmayr watched him throw three separate times.
A dual-threat athlete, Bryant’s athleticism allows him to make strong throws that can stretch the defense and bring a zone-read element to the table.
"Wisconsin was the right choice for so many reasons," he told us following his commitment. "They have an offense that I would really fit well in. I love the coaches and the culture of Badger football. I've also never experienced the atmosphere that Camp Randall has on Saturdays. It is an eye-opening experience to say the least."
Bryant has had good showing at multiple camps throughout the spring season, including the United Stars Chicago Showcase and the Chicago Opening Regional. He also quarterbacks one of the top 7-on-7 programs in the country. Considering he only had an offer from Central Michigan, it appears the Badgers got a steal.
Chase Wolf threw for 1,249 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior, impressive considering he shared time with Penn State commit Sean Clifford. Wisconsin was his first power-five offer in November after being in contact with graduate assistant Pat Muldoon (a former St. Xavier alumnus) and Budmayr.
Wolf took a closer look at Wisconsin last week and walked away impressed with the campus, the facilities and he coaching staff.
“The people were great there, and the entire experience really impressed me a lot,” Wolf told Scout. “I got to sit down with the assistant coaches and watch film, and I also got to speak with Coach Chryst. He told me he wants me to be a Badger, and it was all great at Wisconsin.”
Speaking with Wolf again this week, the three-star quarterback said his top four is the Badgers, Boston College, Cincinnati and South Carolina. Wolf added that him being the second quarterback in Wisconsin’s class “doesn’t matter to me” and he might visit another one of his top schools again before deciding.
Budmayr made the move on Carter Bradley in January, telling him that he would be a perfect fit for what the Badgers like to do offensively. Getting a quarterback from Florida doesn’t happen for Wisconsin, but Bradley grew up in the Midwest, still has family in the region and an affinity toward the Big Ten, which he expressed to us following his visit for the spring game.
“The visit was great,” he said. “I loved it here. We got to see the campus with my mom. It was good to be here.”
The son of Gus Bradley, the former Jaguars head coach and current defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers, Carter said his relationship with the Wisconsin coaching staff is ‘phenomenal’ and furthered that relationship on Saturday.
“I talked with Coach Budmayr and Coach Chryst, mainly just telling me I'd be a great fit for Wisconsin and just go through this recruiting process to have the experience,” Bradley said. “I really respected that from them. I was very happy that I went back up (to visit). It was well worth it.”
Bradley holds 13 other offers, including Indiana, Louisville and Pittsburgh.
With the way Wisconsin has pursued Bradley and Wolf, it appears evident that the Badgers want a second quarterback in the fold, which would create a crowded quarterback room in 2018. After redshirt junior Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin would have five redshirt sophomore quarterbacks or younger.
Wisconsin has a great shot with both of these kids. The Badgers visit impressed Wolf but new Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell has certainly caught the attention of Ohio kids (he just landed four-star defensive end Malik Vann – a big Wisconsin target). Bradley has nothing negative to say about the Badgers and loved his visit. It appears like Wisconsin is in the driver's seat for him. UW will only take one of them, so it’ll likely be a race to commit. If for some reason UW misses on both of them, the Badgers will have to re-evaluate their recruiting board and decide if another QB is worth shortchanging another position.