Destinations that make sense for former Wisconsin RB Jalen Berger

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Former Wisconsin running back Jalen Berger has officially entered the NCAA transfer portal after being dismissed from the Wisconsin program earlier this week.

The former four-star recruit is now in search of a new location to play out the final years of his eligibility. It’s likely he’ll be a highly-touted player in the portal, as it isn’t often someone with his talent, proven production and recruiting profile becomes available.

Related: Five keys to a Wisconsin victory over Army on Saturday

Berger’s transfer portal process has just begun, so there isn’t much out there about schools reaching out or any favorites to land a commitment.

But there are two schools that make a lot of sense. Here are those two programs and why they should already have a leg-up on the competition:

Rutgers

Greg Schiano after Isaih Pacheco of Rutgers scored a fourth quarter TD as Rutgers crushed Temple 61-14 in their season opener at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ on September 4, 2021. Credit: Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com-Imagn Content Services, LLC

Rutgers was among the favorites to land Berger during his recruitment a few years ago, though Wisconsin obviously won out.

The position would be there for Berger to win if Greg Schiano is able to land him, as Isaih Pacheco is Berger’s level of talent—nor that of those in the Wisconsin running back room.

Rutgers is Berger’s home state school and he already has a relationship with head coach Greg Schiano and his staff. I assume the Scarlet Knights will soon emerge as the favorite to land Berger as a transfer.

Kentucky

Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson makes a quick catch against LSU. Oct. 9, 2021
Kentucky. Credit: Scott Utterback/Courier Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK

Who was Berger’s primary recruiter a few years ago? Former Wisconsin runnning backs coach John Settle.

Where does he now coach? Kentucky.

This fit would make a lot of sense given Settle’s relationship with Berger.

The running back room is a bit more crowded at Kentucky compared to Rutgers with redshirt juniors Christopher Rodriguez and Kavosiey Smoke. The former Badger running back has years of eligibility left, though, so he could find his way into a starting role once those two backs graduate.

Other schools that recruited Berger two years ago

  • UCLA

  • Alabama

  • Baylor

  • Florida

  • LSU

  • Maryland

  • Michigan

  • Michigan State

  • Minnesota

  • Ohio State

  • Oregon

  • Penn State

  • Tennessee

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