Danny Vanden Boom (Allen Trieu / Scout)

Badgers Football: A closer look at incoming Wisconsin freshman Danny Vanden Boom

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

Danny Vanden Boom


Commitment Date: 7/5/16



Gatorade Wisconsin Player of the Year … first-team all-state by Associated Press and Wisconsin Football Coaches Association … recipient of Dave Krieg Award as state’s top senior quarterback … led Kimberly to back-to-back Division 1 state championships and 28-0 record as starting quarterback … completed 146 of 218 passes for 2,366 yards and 31 touchdowns against just five interceptions as a senior … honorable mention all-state as a junior, completing 145 of 211 passes for 2,499 yards, 25 touchdowns and no interceptions … two-time all-region by WFCA … unanimous first-team All-Fox Valley Association as a junior and senior … Fox Valley Association Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. 

In baseball, first-team all-state and all-conference at shortstop as a junior … hit .330 with five home runs while posting a 4-1 record and 1.26 ERA on the mound ... in basketball, earned second-team All-Fox Valley Association and first-team all-defensive honors as a junior, averaging 15.0 points and 6.5 rebounds.

Recruiting Competition

Vanden Boom originally committed to Wisconsin as a preferred walk-on over offers from Eastern Michigan, Illinois State, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Western Illinois and Wyoming. Vander Boom was later told he would be on scholarship after paying his own way in 2017-18.

Why Wisconsin? 

“I had built strong relationships with many of the coaches from schools that offered and it was very tough to tell them the decision. I have always dreamed about being a Badger so I was very excited when the opportunity presented itself.

“I had grown up a big Badger fan, and I've always wanted to a part of the program. I feel very comfortable with the coaching staff and the campus and I think my strengths as a player would be magnified in the Wisconsin offense.

“Wisconsin's walk on program is great and I'm just excited to have this opportunity. I'll look to contribute in any way I can.”

Coach’s Comments

“There’s a three-sport athlete. Their football team won state, their basketball team was ranked high and a baseball player. He’s a really good athlete. When you watch his tape and his willingness to come join us, I think he’s got some really good skills as a quarterback. When he goes from three spots to one, it’ll be interesting how he grows with that. He’s absolutely a quarterback.” – Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst

“The thing about Danny and the thing we talked about a lot, we were pumped about Jack (Coan), but you see Danny and you go, ‘holy smokes, this guy doesn’t come along that often anywhere, let alone right in your back yard.’ We were low in numbers at the quarterback position and wanted to add another. He was someone who we would have pursued hard no matter what class he was in. The way this worked out we couldn’t be more excited for him. I think he’s going to have a great future.” – Wisconsin offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph

“Danny’s strength as a leader is he’s very poised and calm and collected, and our offense feeds off that. When everything is falling apart around you, you need that structure and foundation Danny is at. He’s somebody that we can rely on, he’s a fantastic player and I’m really going to miss coaching him. His best football is still in front of him. He’s still a little babyfaced. He’s a three-sport athlete, so he’s yet to have any real time in the weight room. He’s only going to get bigger and stronger and better. On top of that, they’re getting a really good person. I told him I hope my son grows up to be like him.” – Kimberly head coach Steve Jones following the 2016 state championship game.

Scouting Report

A talented three-sport athlete, Vanden Boom has excellent size, is a good athlete who can escape the rush and make throws on the move. He gets rid of the ball quickly from the pocket and makes excellent decisions, something he already showed during the 2015 season when he threw 25 touchdowns and no interceptions. His high school and his college are the same, programs with a physical identity that want to establish a power running game and build off of that. Vanden Boom is an ideal fit.

BadgerNation Prediction

Although Kimberly has won a lot of games with its running attack, Vanden Boom’s arm strength was on full display in his final high school game. The senior quarterback was terrific with his ability to make clutch throws in the pocket and outside the tackles. His 49-yard touchdown pass between multiple defenders was as good of throw made at Camp Randall in a game all last season.

One of the most complete athletes in this recruiting class, Vanden Boom follows in his dad’s footsteps of playing for the program, as Matt – a defensive back - earned first-team All-America (1981), first-team All-Big Ten (1981, 82) and Academic All-America (1982) honors before being selected by Buffalo in the 1983 N.F.L. Draft. 

While moving to another position down the road isn’t out of the question, Vanden Boom has earned the right to compete for snaps under center with the Badgers.

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