Wisconsin had one of PFF’s highest-graded safeties in 2023

National recruiting news was made earlier today when star Alabama freshman safety Caleb Downs entered the transfer portal.

Downs is one of the best players in the country, even as a true freshman. His departure from the Alabama program is one of many since the retirement of college football legend Nick Saban a week ago. But that’s not exactly what the angle is here.

The news prompted ProFootballFocus to release its highest-graded safeties from the 2023 season — where the star safety Downs fell at No. 8.

Up at No. 3 on the list: Wisconsin safety Hunter Wohler.

Wohler finished the 2023 season with a team-leading 120 tackles, plus 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions and six passes defended.

The rising star was one of six Big Ten safeties in the top 10, joining Minnesota’s Tyler Nubin, Purdue’s Dillon Thieneman, Penn State’s Kevin Winston Jr. and Iowa’s Xavier Nwankpa and Quinn Schulte.

Wohler announced before Wisconsin’s bowl game that he would be returning for the 2024 season, which is critical news for a defense that needs a bounce-back campaign.

Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire