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Badgers Football: A closer look at incoming Wisconsin freshman Alex Fenton

With Wisconsin football set to begin summer conditioning June 18th, we profile some of the new scholarship players set to join the program.

Alex Fenton

Offensive Line

Commitment Date: 2/22/16 

http://www.scout.com/player/204987-alex-fenton?s=193

Accolades

First-team all-state by Associated Press and Wisconsin Football Coaches Association … finalist for Joe Thomas Award presented to state’s top senior offensive lineman … first-team All-Big Rivers Conference as a senior … part of offensive line that allowed just 1 sack on 265 pass plays during senior season … moved to offensive line full time as a senior after playing defensive tackle and tight end as a junior … honorable mention all-conference as a junior … named team’s Most Valuable Underclassman as a junior … also lettered in hockey and track.

Recruiting Competition

Fenton committed to Wisconsin over an offer from Michigan and interest from Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and several others.

Why Wisconsin? 

“He’s a very coachable kid and a really intelligent kid. Both of his parents are engineers, which was why Wisconsin was a good fit for him. He’s a good student. He’s a 3.4 GPA. He’s come so far since his freshman year. He’s still growing into his body and has done it as a result of hard work. He’s spent a lot of time in the weight room and done a lot of extra work to get his feet where they are. He’s a pretty self-driven kid.” – High School Coach Joe LaBuda

Coach’s Comments

“He’s the most raw to the o-line (from our group of commits), but he is pretty mature from a strength standpoint. That’s what attracted you. He’s 6-5, 290, really long, played defense and tight end and even did some of that in camp going to his junior year. The learning, the technique, the fundamentals of o-line play will be where he’s got to make the biggest jump. From a strength standpoint, you rarely walk in and see a guy benching 350 and squatting 500 in high school. He’s a strong, athletic man. That’s what he liked about him.” Offensive coordinator/line coach Joe Rudolph

Scouting Report

Although a little raw with his technique (in large part to being a tight end his junior year), Fenton has the right size for an offensive lineman and a frame that can easily carry over 300 pounds without a problem. More importantly he has a lot of attributes college programs look for – good arm length, good flexibility in his hips and good balance. As a blocker, he keeps his feet and drives on contact but can finish blocks stronger. He will have to learn pass protection, something he's not well-versed in yet, but has a ton of potential with all the right physical tools.

Fenton’s footwork still needs some tweaking, as there are times that his flat-footedness made him susceptible to pressures and blitzes. He appears to have the toughest time blocking players who were lined up against him on a severe angle, coming at him with some speed or had some pass-rushing moves. Any of those instances caused Fenton to be slow to react and put his quarterback at risk.

Like any young lineman, technique, hand placement and finishing plays consistently will be a big key for him as he develops.

BadgerNation Prediction

When we saw Fenton during one of Wisconsin’s high school summer camps, he looked rough, sluggish and a multi-year project. When I saw him again to begin his senior season, it was evident that Fenton took the coaching given to him by Rudolph and has worked on shoring up his game. Other things that stood out was Fenton playing both left and right tackle (sometimes interchanging during a series), defensive end and some nose tackle. Wherever he was on the field, especially in the second half, his aggressiveness blocking at first contact stood out. It was evident that he can handle being a pulling guard in college.

He’s still a work in progress, and while he didn’t face any division 1 talent on the defensive side of the ball, it’s evident that the groundwork has been laid for Fenton to be a success lineman at Wisconsin, part of the reason the staff has been recruiting him since Fenton’s sophomore year of high school.


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