Nigel Hayes finds a new team

Nigel Hayes has found a new team.

Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony reported Wednesday that the former Wisconsin star has agreed to a deal with the Turkish team Galatasaray for the 2018-19 EuroCup that gets underway in October.

After going undrafted in 2017, Hayes spent much of last season in the G-League as part of the Westchester Knicks. He averaged 16.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, while also shooting an eye-popping 45.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Hayes also played in nine games with three different NBA teams — the Los Angeles Lakers, the Toronto Raptors and the Sacramento Kings. He averaged 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in those stints.

Wisconsin has a rich history of former players having successful careers overseas, including the likes of Brian Butch, Jared Berggren, Alando Tucker, Mike Bruesewitz, Jordan Taylor, Kam Taylor and Rashard Griffith.

Badgers fall camp: Practice No. 6

MADISON — The Wisconsin football team practiced under the lights Tuesday night for the first time this year, and the roughly two-hour session provided plenty of highlights.

* Wide receiver Aron Cruickshank has picked up where he left off in the spring, showing once again what a weapon he could be. In a night full of strong plays, the one that stood out came in 1-on-1 drills in the red zone. The true freshman ran a slant and put a move on the defensive back that left him on the ground. Cruickshank then hauled in the pass and celebrated with a backflip in the end zone.

* Redshirt sophomore Kendric Pryor continued his strong camp, teaming up with quarterback Alex Hornibrook for a 44-yard touchdown. Pryor had almost five yards of separation from the defender when he caught the ball. The wide receiver proceeded to dunk the ball over the goal post, drawing flags from multiple officials.

* We got our first extended look at Wisconsin’s nickel package, with senior Olive Sagapolu and redshirt freshman Matt Henningsen occupying the two defensive linemen spots, along with sophomore Madison Cone serving as the third cornerback and lining up in the slot.

Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard said Monday that they plan to rotate guys through that inside role, but acknowledged that Cone had the upper hand to grab the job.

“He didn’t necessarily get many reps in games, but he really worked there throughout the course of [last] season,” Leonhard said of Cone before telling reporters what he liked about him in that spot. “The way he moves is suited really well for the slot. [The] physicality he has, the twitch that he has [and] he’s willing to tackle. He showed that last year throughout the season. He’s willing to throw his body in there.

“The game looks a little different when you start getting closer to the ball. I think he’s got a good feel for that.”

* Jon Dietzen once again was with the first-team offense at left tackle, but the junior also saw time at right tackle. It’s part of a plan by the coaching staff to cross-train guys at multiple spots. For instance, junior Jason Erdmann has seen time at both guard spots and at center in camp. It’s really just mixing and matching to find the five best guys and then their backups.

* Outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel was up to his old tricks Tuesday. The senior, whose heroics kept Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game and helped jump start the team against Miami in the Orange Bowl, once again baited a quarterback into throwing a ball he probably shouldn’t have. Instead of a potential touchdown to Quintez Cephus in the back of the end zone, Van Ginkel jumped up and nearly pulled in the interception one handed.

* Opportunities are a bit scarce for wide receivers farther down the depth chart, but Taj Mustapha made the most of his. During a team portion of practice, the true freshman caught a fastball from quarterback Jack Coan over the middle and was immediately drilled by the safety. But Mustapha held on in impressive fashion.

https://twitter.com/ZachHeilprin/status/1027014149962981376

Injury report

LIMITED:
WR Jack Dunn (leg)
RB Garrett Groshek (leg)

OUT
LB TJ Edwards (leg)
CB Faion Hicks (leg)
FB Alec Ingold (leg)
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk (leg)
TE Zander Neuville (leg)
WR Emmet Perry (leg)
CB Cristian Volpentesta (leg)
CB Deron Harrell (leg)

OUT FOR THE SEASON
OL Blake Smithback (leg)
Garrett Rand (achilles)

Chryst speaks after practice:

Badgers found on cover of Sports Illustrated

With football season right around the corner and fall camp underway many outlets have started previewing the season and making predictions.

Sports Illustrated is no stranger to both those things and they’ve given high honors to the Wisconsin Badgers. Not only did the magazine select Wisconsin as one of the four teams expected to make the College Football Playoffs at the end of the year, but they’re also one of four schools gracing a cover of the magazine.

Featured on the cover for Wisconsin are offensive linemen Michael Deiter, Beau Benzchawel, Tyler Biadasz, David Edwards, and Jon Dietzen. Those are the five returning starters from last season, although there may be shuffling amongst them this year with Deiter moving from tackle to guard.

The other covers for this edition of Sports Illustrated feature Clemson, Houston, and Arizona.

The magazine picked the Badgers to be the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoffs with Clemson and Alabama finishing first and second while Washington was picked fourth.

Badgers fall camp: Practice No. 5

MADISON — Wisconsin hit the practice field for a fifth time in fall camp late Monday morning.

Here’s what we saw:

* With T.J. Edwards missing practice with a leg injury, junior Chris Orr was with the starting group at inside linebacker. He made perhaps the defensive play of practice, dropping into coverage and going up high to intercept a pass at the goal line.

That Wisconsin can lose an All-American like Edwards and still have the experienced Orr to fill in is an absolute luxury.

* It was a big day for redshirt sophomore Kendric Pryor. The wide receiver had at least three touchdowns, including on back-to-back plays during 7-on-7. On the first one, backup quarterback Jack Coan put nice touch on a post route that cleared the linebackers and found Pryor in the back of the end zone for an 18-yard score. They ran essentially the exact same play on the next snap and this time Can rifled one that Pryor hauled in for another touchdown.

Later, he pulled a Quintez Cephus, skying for a ball that seemed destined to be incomplete. Instead, it found Pryor’s hands. He punted the ball in the air and Cephus came sprinting over to celebrate.

* Wisconsin is, essentially, trying to replace five defensive ends from last season. The three that exhausted their eligibility, along with two more — Garrett Rand and Isaiahh Loudermilk — that are injured. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that redshirt freshman Aaron Vopal would be one of the starters after a strong spring. But on Monday, it was walk-on Matt Henningsen lining up with the first-team defense.

“First of all, understanding the defense. He knows what he’s supposed to do,” defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard said when asked what he liked about the redshirt freshman. “Going through last year, I think he took huge strides physically [and] got his body in a place where he’s going to put himself in a position to compete. [Because of] his consistency…he’s put himself in that conversation of earning big time reps and a big role this fall.”

Henningsen turned down scholarship offers from several programs, including Northern Illinois, to walk-on at Wisconsin.

“I think we definitely saw a guy that, down the line if he progressed the way you thought, was going to be a scholarship kid physically. There were a lot of programs that really liked him, ourselves included,” Leonhard said. “It doesn’t necessarily surprise us. It maybe surprises you that he may have the role he’s going to in year two. Traditionally, there’s guys that may get that role year three, year four, year five. But [he] just works. That’s a credit to the kid. To put in the work mentally and physically to give yourself a chance.”

Leonhard was also very high on what Kayden Lyles has done through the first five practices. An offensive lineman last year — and in the future — Lyles moved to defensive line this summer and has run with the first team every day.

“He looks like he’s been there for a while,” Leonhard said. “He’s still got a lot of stuff to clean up and will grow a lot, but he looks like he belongs. He’s not one of those guys that has a million questions [or] has that confused look on his face. He’s very sure of what he’s doing.”

* It was just one day of 1-on-1 pass rushing drills, but Jon Dietzen looks pretty comfortable at left tackle. The junior, who has spent his entire career at guard, went 4-1 against a variety of outside linebackers, with his only loss coming on a quick inside move by junior Zack Baun.

“I didn’t really know until this summer when we started doing drill work,” offensive line coach Joe Rudolph said about when he knew his decision to move Dietzen could work. “I watched the way he moves and I think he’ll be fine. He’ll have a learning curve, but I think he’ll do a real good job.”

Dietzen is battling redshirt sophomore Cole Van Lanen for the job, and the two have mostly split reps with the first-team offense, though Dietzen has usually been the first up.

* Wisconsin awarded a pair of scholarships to walk-ons this summer before camp.

Outside linebacker Tyler Johnson actually went on scholarship in the spring, taking the spot of cornerback Nick Nelson, who left early for the NFL. At that point, it wasn’t clear if he would stay on scholarship in the fall, but the numbers worked out in his favor.

The team also placed offensive lineman Jason Erdmann on scholarship. The junior has played in all 28 games the last two years, including splitting time with Dietzen at left guard last fall. He’s worked at center and guard so far in camp, and would likely be called upon if center Tyler Biadasz were to go down.

* Senior Rafael Gaglianone got the day off from practice to rest.

Injury report:

LIMITED:
WR Jack Dunn (leg)
RB Garrett Groshek (leg)

OUT
LB TJ Edwards (leg)
CB Faion Hicks (leg)
FB Alec Ingold (leg)
WR Adam Krumholz (leg)
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk (leg)
TE Zander Neuville (leg)
WR Emmet Perry (leg)
OL Blake Smithback (leg)

INJURED IN PRACTICE
CB Deron Harrell (leg)
CB Cristian Volpentesta (leg)

Wisconsin lands 2019 linebacker commitment

The 2019 recruiting class for the Wisconsin Badgers grew to 13 members on Saturday afternoon as Spencer Lytle, a three-star linebacker, pledged to the Badgers.

Lytle had 41 offers from schools such as Arizona, Nebraska, Notre Dame and others. He ultimately picked the Badgers over Clemson after setting those as his top two schools.

The California native is on the Butkus Watch List as one of the top linebackers in the country. He becomes the first linebacker in the 2019 class as well as the first player from the state of California.

The earliest that members of the class of 2019 can sign a National Letter of Intent is on Dec. 19.

Badgers fall camp: Day 1

MADISON — Wisconsin held their first practice of fall camp late Thursday morning at Camp Randall Stadium.

Here’s a look at some of the things we saw.

* Wisconsin is wasting no time in throwing some of the guys that made position moves into the fire.

During the opening team period, junior Jon Dietzen was lining up with the first-team line at left tackle. A left guard his entire career, he’s expected to battle redshirt sophomore Cole Van Lanen for the starting job.

On the other side of the ball, redshirt freshman Kayden Lyles was lining up at defensive end with the first team. He was an offensive lineman until injuries to Garrett Rand and Isaiahh Loudermilk hit in the summer and he made the move to defense.

Here’s a look at the rest of the top units:

QB Alex Hornibrook
RB Jonathan Taylor
FB Alec Ingold
WR Quintez Cephus
WR AJ Taylor
TE Zander Neuville
LT Jon Dietzen
LG Michael Deiter
C Tyler Biadasz
RG Beau Benzschawel
RT David Edwards

DE Aaron Vopal
NT Olive Sagapolu
DE Kayden Lyles
OLB Andrew Van Ginkel
ILB TJ Edwards
ILB Ryan Connelly
OLB Zack Baun
CB Dontye Carriere Williams
CB Faion Hicks
S D’Cota Dixon
S Scott Nelson

There was a lot of mixing and matching in the second groups, so take the rest of this with a grain of salt.

QB Jack Coan
RB Chris James
FB John Chenal
WR Kendric Pryor
WR Danny Davis
TE Kyle Penniston
LT Cole Van Lanen
LG David Moorman
C Jason Erdmann
RG Micah Kapoi
RT Logan Bruss

DE Keldric Preston
NT Bryson Williams
DE David Pfaff
OLB Tyler Johnson
ILB Chris Orr
ILB Mike Maskalunas
OLB Arrington Farrar
CB Madison Cone
CB Casear Williams
S Eric Burrell
S Patrick Johnson

* Alex Hornibrook showed perfect touch on what would have been a 35-yard touchdown to Jack Dunn. The junior quarterback laid it just over the cornerback’s outstretched arms and Dunn grabbed it right before stepping out of bounds. Hornibrook also dropped a dime on a long ball to AJ Taylor for a score during 7-on-7.

With Wisconsin’s running game, there will be big plays down the field available and the players to make it happen, especially if Hornibrook can be on point.

* There was a large number of guys back returning punts, including Danny Davis, Aron Cruickshank, Cade Green, Jack Dunn, Kendric Pryor and Mike Gregorie.

* As he did in spring, Paul Chryst spent time during special teams drills working with the running backs on catching the ball out of the backfield. Jonathan Taylor, Nakia Watson and a limited Bradrick Shaw each got multiple reps and Chryst was teaching after each one.

* Zander Neuville is less than nine months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL, but he doesn’t look it. The senior tight end took part in a number of team drills and 7-on-7. He was wearing a bulky brace on the knee, something he’ll probably have to play with this season, at least for a little bit. But he seems further along in his rehab than expected.

Injury report

LIMITED
RB Garrett Groshek (arm)

OUT
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk (knee)

OUT FOR SEASON
DE Garrett Rand (leg)

OL Patrick Kasl leaves the Wisconsin football program

MADISON — Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Patrick Kasl has left the Wisconsin football program.

“Patrick has decided not to play football, and he’s going to focus on his academics,” coach Paul Chryst said Wednesday during the team’s local media day. “I had a really good conversation with him about it. He was involved with a really dynamic summer program and I think it got him in a spot where…he wants to focus on that.”

A 3-star recruit out of Minnesota, Kasl was expected to compete for the left tackle job this fall and was pegged as a potential replacement for David Edwards at right tackle if he were to leave after this year.

Kasl didn’t make the decision final until recently, though there were signs he was leaning that way.

“I think it’s something that I felt a little bit as it went along,” offensive line coach Joe Rudolph said. “And it wasn’t like the academic things [were things] he needed to take care of to graduate. There were things above and beyond that…he’s into and loves. As it got down to that, I think it reached a point where he felt like, ‘I just want to dive into all of this.’”

Kasl’s decision leaves Rudolph with two options to replace Michael Deiter at left tackle — redshirt sophomore Cole Van Lanen and junior Jon Dietzen.

Van Lanen spent all of spring with the first-team offense and figures to have a leg up, but Rudolph was very complimentary of Dietzen, who had spent his entire career at left guard before this summer. When it was mentioned in the spring that he would be in the competition, it raised quite a few eyebrows, with some questioning whether he had the athletic ability to play at that spot.

“Dietz is very sneaky athletic. If you look at the numbers from coach Ross (Kolodziej) in the weight room, he’s probably as quick as any guy that we have in that group,” Rudolph said. “I didn’t really know until this summer when we started doing drill work. I watched the way he moves and I think he’ll be fine. He’ll have a learning curve, but I think he’ll do a real good job.”

The key for Dietzen will be to stay healthy. He told the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway that he played last season with torn labrum’s in both of his hips. But he’s feeling good now and ready to show it.

“I haven’t put out a season of tape that’s what I would like to call the best I can play,” Dietzen said. “I definitely want to be able to do that this year.”

Rudolph said Dietzen main competition, at least initially, will be with himself and his ability to stay on the practice field. If he does that, his coach sees big things for him.

“We haven’t seen the best of him yet,” Rudolph said. “I think he can be a really special football player.”

Depth chart:

With Kasl leaving, Brett Connors graduating and Kayden Lyles moving to the defensive line, the depth chart has changed pretty significantly from the spring. After talking to Rudolph on Wednesday, here is what we know.

The starters will include David Edwards at right tackle, Beau Benzschawel at right guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Michael Deiter at left guard and either Dietzen or Van Lanen at left tackle.

Replacing Kasl as Edwards’ backup will be redshirt freshman Logan Bruss, who Rudolph seems high on. Senior Micah Kapoi, along with junior Jason Erdmann, will take reps at both guard spots and at center, though Rudolph said Erdmann would be the No. 2 center right now. Junior David Moorman will split his time between the two guard spots as well.

What that information leaves us with is a two-deep that will look something like this heading into camp:

LT: Van Lanen or Dietzen
LG: Deiter, Moorman
C: Biadasz, Erdmann
RG: Benzschawel, Kapoi
RT: Edwards, Bruss

Wisconsin’s youthful secondary can thrive with Dixon’s leadership

CHICAGO – Continuity in college football is something that can be hard to find, for a number of reasons. Whether it’s coaches getting fired or moving on to greener pastures, players transferring or exhausting eligibility, it’s rare to see in today’s game. And that’s true for Wisconsin as well. Because while the offense returns nearly intact from 2017, the defensive side of the ball is a different story.

The Badgers bring back just four starters — linebackers T.J. Edwards and Ryan Connelly, nose tackle Olive Sagapolu, and safety D’Cota Dixon — from a unit that ranked third in the country in points allowed per game — its third-straight year of finishing in the top-5.

Wisconsin’s secondary took an especially hard hit, as defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard lost starting cornerbacks Nick Nelson and Derrick Tindal, as well as starting safety Natrell Jamerson. Tindal and Jamerson exhausted their eligibility, while Nelson chose to forego his final season of college to enter the 2018 NFL Draft where he was selected in the fourth round by the Oakland Raiders.

Dixon is the lone returning starter on the back end, leading a group that is sure to be tested often through the air by opposing offenses.

“Our secondary is kind of like our wide receivers was last year,” coach Paul Chryst said Tuesday at Big Ten Media Days. “[They are] young and they’ve got to grow, but there’s talent there and you can go across the board on that.”

Last season the wide receiving corps entered with a few unproven guys behind Jazz Peavy, who left the team mid-season. The group of Quintez Cephus, A.J. Taylor, Danny Davis, and Kendric Pryor stepped up and heads into 2018 as one of the most explosive on the team, and the best group Wisconsin has had in quite some time.

The defensive backs will hope to replicate that formula of success.

Throughout his time in with the Badgers, Dixon has been a defensive leader, both vocally and emotionally. His biggest fault has been his ability to stay on the field due to injuries. Dixon suffered a season-ending injury in his freshman season and has missed time due to both leg and shoulder issues since then. Last year he played in 12 games for the Badgers, starting nine of them.

“I need to stay healthy. That’s my goal. That’s my biggest goal,” Dixon said Tuesday. “That is my objective for 2018. I want to be there for my teammates. I’m going to always be there to support them, but I want to also support them on the field.”

The secondary certainly has potential, just as the wide receivers did prior to last season, but much of it is unproven. Dontye Carriere-Williams and Madison Cone will both be entering their sophomore seasons, with Carriere-Williams being in his third-year on campus. Each of them played at times during 2017, including five starts for Carriere-Williams.

The other starting safety position is up in the air, although there is a strong possibility that Scott Nelson is opposite of Dixon. Those two are close friends and Dixon has taken Nelson under his wing. During the 2017 season, Nelson redshirted, but whenever Dixon was not on the field, Nelson could be found not far behind.

“Scott is like a brother [to me],” Dixon said. “I think he will be a leader here…As far as [the media], you guys will get to know him once you see him make a few plays. He’ll get some acknowledgement off of that, I think. You’ll start to see his personality and the character he really has as a person.”

Nelson figures to fight with redshirt sophomore Patrick Johnson, and Dixon would be just fine with that. But he also believes in Nelson’s talent.

“I would like to see him on the field with me,” Dixon said. “Obviously, as a player, there’s a lot of things you bring to the table and to the field as an individual. There’s a lot of attributes you can bring. But I think what makes me a better player is the guy next to me. I don’t make plays on my own. It’s the communication, it’s the pre-play recognition. Can you disguise? Can you talk coverage? Things of that nature. I would love to be on the field with him and compete with him more on a consistent basis.”

Dixon isn’t solely the leader of the secondary. He’s also one of the leaders of the team. He has an even-keeled demeanor but has always been the heartbeat of the back end.

His leadership has been best shown in his ability to bond with other players. The relationship with Nelson is one that the Badgers will need to see translate to the field.

“I think he knows that Scott Nelson is going to have to be a big part of what we do this year,” Edwards said of Dixon. “Literally, those two are inseparable. He’s with him all the time. They’re talking film, talking just off the field stuff.”

Obviously, Nelson won’t be the only fresh face in the mix for playing time in the secondary. Carriere-Williams saw extensive action as the third cornerback last year and that will expand. Cone was the fourth cornerback for much of the season, but he’s now in position to earn a starting spot. Injuries led Faion Hicks to redshirt in his first year and will almost certainly factor in as well.

Spring practice saw those players and a number of others get a massive number of snaps, especially with Dixon forced to sit out while recovering injuries that limited him as a junior.

“It was fun and cool to watch them actually communicate and create chemistry,” Dixon said. “I think it was actually easier because they all [were] kind of new in it together, as far as not starting in a game or anything like that. They approached it well. I think they handled it well. They’re growing [fast].”

Wisconsin is counting on that to be the case. If Dixon is proven right, and the young guys come along quickly, then the Badgers will have a great chance to show that even a lack of continuity can’t disrupt the standard the secondary has set in what have become the glory days for defense in Madison.

Injury reports and gambling the talk of Big Ten Media Days

CHICAGO – Earlier this summer the United States Supreme Court ruled that sports gambling could be made legal on a state-by-state basis. This ruling forced stances to be taken by all major leagues across the country. The Big Ten had an opportunity to comment on the matter Monday morning when commissioner Jim Delany spoke.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion about the changes in gambling that will obviously occur in the coming years,” Delany said. “I think that we would prefer a federal framework that either omits college sports from gambling at the state level.”

With the rules and regulations moving forward still fuzzy in many areas, it’s not known how possible this would be to make happen. Currently, there are no states with teams in the Big Ten in which sports betting is legal, however that may change soon.

Michigan, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all are projected to have legalized sports betting within the next two years according to a report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. Those five states hold a total of seven Big Ten schools. There’s no promise that all of those states legalize gambling, but it’s certainly a possibility.

One of the things that has been requested is a league-wide injury report. An injury report is not a league-mandated memo at the time being, but some schools, such as Wisconsin and Northwestern, release one anyways.

Those releases aren’t always very specific or accurate. There have been instances where a player’s injury is made to seem less serious than it actually is. The reports aren’t necessarily very specific, either.

“We have an injury report at Northwestern that we’ve done for a number of years,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said Monday. “I’ve been accused of sometimes being honest and sometimes being less than honest. I would agree with that.”

If there is an injury report that is done across the league, there would need to be some type of accountability to ensure that teams are using it properly.

“I’m all for it,” Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. “Now, the specific reason why somebody’s not playing, I don’t agree with. I think there’s a lot of things that our university and our policies that we have to protect with the student athlete’s rights.

“I’m a huge advocate. I’d love to be able to see who is going to be able to play and not play. I think that creates different game-planning. It gives you a better advantage. But you’re also giving somebody an advantage, so it’s an equal playing field. I think teams have the right to know that.”

The injury report would not only help each team in the conference, but it would also help out those looking to wager on games, both legally or illegally. While Delany called for protection regarding gambling, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was more blunt with his words.
“As far as gambling, don’t associate with gamblers, avoid it like the plague,” Harbaugh said. “Don’t walk away from that, run.”

Harbaugh, like the commissioner and most everyone else did agree with the injury report idea, however. The man of few words at the podium said he would support it.

“I don’t call it an injury report as much as I think about it as player availability,” Delany said. “Whether that comes out of an injury or whether it comes out of eligibility or comes out of some transgression of one kind or another, I think we need to do that.

“I think we need to do that nationally. And I think the reason we need to do that is probably with the exception of the home field, the availability of personnel is critical to people who are interested in gambling legally or illegally. And therefore, when players are unavailable, we should know that, if they’re probably or likely, I don’t have the model code, but I do think it’s something that we should do and probably should have done it before, but certainly should do it now.”

Pair of Badgers given preseason honors

CHICAGO — With the start of football season just around the corner and the 2018 Big Ten Football Media Days underway the conference announced the preseason All-Big Ten team on Monday morning.

The team of ten returning players features three returning All-Americans and nine former All-Big Ten selections. The Wisconsin Badgers were one of only two teams to feature two players. Running back Jonathan Taylor and linebacker T.J. Edwards were both honored as two of the five players from the Big Ten West to make the list.

Last season Taylor had a stellar freshman campaign finishing just shy of 2,000 yards. He totaled 299 carries for 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. He broke the FBS record for most yards in a season by a freshman which was previously held by Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson and was named an All-American by numerous outlets (AP, FWAA, Sporting News, Walter Camp).

Edwards returns for his final season of eligibility after declining to enter his name into the 2018 NFL Draft following last season. In 2017 he started all 14 games for the Badgers totaling 73 tackles, including 11 for loss and a pair of sacks.

Ohio State was the other program that had two players honored, with running back J.K. Dobbins and defensive end Nick Bosa being named.