The Wisconsin badgers signed 14 scholarship players during the early signing period of the 2022 recruiting cycle this past Wednesday. And while that number could change, Wisconsin’s class currently ranks 44th in the country, and 11th in the Big Ten – with an average recruiting ranking of (0.87), per 247 sports.
In part two of a position by position recruiting evaluation series, I will be handing out grades for each position from the early signing period. So, without further ado, we will evaluate the running back position.
RUNNING BACK: F
I understand that Wisconsin feels good about what they have at running back, especially after a breakout freshman season from Braelon Allen.
However, the program also saw the departures of Jalen Berger, Antwan Roberts, and Loyal Crawford all in the same season – putting a serious dent in the program’s overall depth.
Sep 11, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (6) rushes with the football during the first quarter against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Not to mention, Wisconsin’s depth was severely tested after losing both Chez Mellusi and Isaac Guerendo to season ending injuries. And while they’re expect to be back and healthy for next season, there are never any guarantees that they’ll return to form. Isaac Guerendo in particular has been an injury concern for the better part of his Wisconsin career.
Julius Davis is still a relative unknown at this point, and walk-on Brady Schipper has been counted on to play meaningful snaps at times this past season – which is less than ideal.
Wisconsin did make a late push for Jaydn Ott and even got him on campus, but ultimately wasn’t able to secure his services.
I feel as though Wisconsin would be wise to pursue an addition via the transfer portal/graduate transfer, if for no other reason than to add depth.
I feel as though this position was a total whiff by Paul Chryst and his staff. I understand that the dismissal of three scholarship running backs is impossible to plan for, but this just goes to show that you can never become complacent when it comes to recruiting.