Wisconsin Football: Freshman DE Isaiah Mullens

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 14: A group of Wisconsin Badgers players tackle D.J. Knox (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 14: A group of Wisconsin Badgers players tackle D.J. Knox (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Isaiah Mullens is an incoming freshman from Wisconsin’s 2018 recruiting class. He’s the newest player in the Freshman Focus series from Badger of Honor.

Recruiting profile

Mullens is a 6’6, 280-pound defensive end who was recruited out of Harvest Preparatory School in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Over his four years at Harvest Prep, Mullens racked up 199 tackles and 58 tackles for loss. With his imposing frame and athleticism, he was also utilized on offense at tight end (especially in the red zone) where he had 42 receptions with 19 touchdowns.

As you would expect from a Wisconsin recruit, Mullens complements his dominant play with his exceptional character, both on and off the field. He was a two-year team captain and four-year honor roll student.

A 3-star recruit, Mullens chose the Badgers over other offers from Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisville, and Purdue, among others.

What to expect

The Badgers look to be very thin on the defensive line as we look ahead to fall camp. The unit already was going to have to replace three players-Alec James, Conor Sheehy, and Chikwe Obasih-who saw most of the snaps at defensive end last season.

To make matters worse, injuries have already started to plague the returning defensive end group.

Garrett Rand will be out for the year with an Achilles injury, and Isaiahh Loudermilk has also been injured and could miss some time at the beginning of the season. They were the two presumed starters at the position.

Behind Rand and Loudermilk, the depth at defensive end consists mostly of young and unproven players such as Aaron Vopal, Kraig Howe, Keldric Preston, and David Pfaff.

Due to all of this uncertainty, the opportunity is there for Mullens to establish a role for himself in the rotation with a strong performance in fall camp. He has excellent size and strength and appears to be physically ready to compete right away in the Big Ten. If he adjusts well to the mental demands of playing at the college level, he has a great shot to make an impact on the defensive line for the Badgers in 2018 as a true freshman.

Next: Ten reasons Wisconsin is overlooked

If Mullens can separate himself in practice and earn a role in 2018, he could be well-positioned to become a four-year contributor and a mainstay on Wisconsin’s defensive line going forward. With his big frame and physicality, Mullens has the chance to make a significant impact as a run-stuffer at the strong-side defensive end position during his time in Madison.