The Wisconsin football team added some new members on the early signing period. Meet the newest Wisconsin Badgers.
The early signing day is upon us and there are officially new members of the Wisconsin football program. There is plenty to be excited about with this 2021 recruiting class. They are the highest-rated class in the history of Wisconsin recruiting (since they started keeping track of recruiting rankings in 2000).
According to 247Sports, Wisconsin has a composite score of 239.86, which places the Badgers as the 16th-best class in the country, the highest rank they’ve ever received. They are ranked third in the Big Ten, behind just Ohio State (2nd overall) and Michigan (10th).
So let’s meet the newest Badgers who signed on the dotted line for the early signing period with a brief intro to each player. We’ll start with the offense.
Nolan Rucci – OT – Lititz, PA
Nolan Rucci is considered the crown jewel of this already loaded class. Rucci is the younger brother of the current tight end, Hayden Rucci. Nolan is a 5-star offensive tackle and the 5th tackle and 15th overall recruit in the country. Rucci has first-round potential in the future and will likely see the field sooner than later, no matter how loaded Wisconsin’s depth is at offensive tackle.
JP Benzshchawel – OT – Grafton, WI
Before Rucci committed to the Badgers, JP Benzschawel was the highest-rated recruit for the Wisconsin football team. Benzschawel will add even more depth to the offensive line. He plays tackle, but I’m sure he could play guard as well. His older brother, Beau Benzschawel played guard for Wisconsin and is now on the Houston Texans. This is a player people aren’t talking near enough about. He’s going to be a dude and another excellent product of O-Line U.
Riley Mahlman – OT – Lakeville, MN
The third and final offensive tackle of the class is also very highly-rated. In fact, Mahlman was the highest-rated recruit out of the state of Minnesota. Mahlman, along with Rucci and Benzschawel, will make up a hell of an offensive line in the future. Mahlman also earned a spot on the All-American Bowl roster.
Markus Allen – WR – Clayton, OH
Markus Allen was committed to Michigan earlier, but de-committed and eventually chose Wisconsin as his future home. Allen is 6-2 and 190 pounds. He is a big and physical receiver that, in my opinion, is what Wisconsin was missing this year. Depending on what Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor do, we could see Allen join Dike Chimere early in his career.
Jack Pugh – TE – Hilliard, OH
Jack Pugh was a big get for this Wisconsin football team. With Jake Ferguson likely to be gone this year or next, the Badgers will need to add some depth to the position. He will join Hayden Rucci, Clay Cundiff, and Cam Large in the tight end room.
Deacon Hill – QB – Santa Barbara, CA
Deacon Hill was the first commit of the 2021 class and should earn some credit for helping put this group together. He was constantly recruiting other players to join him in Madison and it paid off big time. Hill has been criminally underrated and will likely be Mertz’s replacement when the time comes. Since his commitment to Wisconsin, he has blown up a bit, earning offers from bigger schools, including his dream school, UCLA. Hill remained solid to his commitment and signed with the Badgers.
Jackson Acker – RB – Verona, WI
Jackson Acker is a big running back. He stands 6-2 and 195 pounds. What’s impressive with Acker is the speed he has to go with his size. His 40-yard dash time is 4.63 seconds. I think Acker will develop into a nice change-of-pace back, but won’t likely be the bell-cow for the offense, especially with two other running backs joining him in this class.
Loyal Crawford – RB – Eau Claire, WI
Loyal Crawford will come to Madison as a 3-star running back from Eau Claire, WI. Crawford put up some big numbers while in high school. He rushed for over 1,700 yards and 18 scores in just 18 varsity games. He was the second running back to commit to Wisconsin in this class.
Skyler Bell – WR – Watertown, CT
Skyler Bell is a 3-star receiver out of Connecticut. He chose the Badgers over the Iowa Hawkeyes. As a junior, he caught 36 passes for 549 yards and 8 touchdowns. He and Allen will make a nice pairing at receiver in the future for the Badgers.
Antwan Roberts – RB – Hendersonville, TN
I think Antwan Roberts is a perfect example of a classic Wisconsin recruit. He won’t come to Wisconsin as a highly-rated recruit, but I bet he produces if given the chance. In high school, he ran for 3,442 yards and 49 yards in three seasons.