clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Badger Bits: Better recruiter for Wisconsin football: Gary Andersen or Bret Bielema?

We open up the conversation on UW's past two football coaches, who possess starkly different styles and personalities.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.


It's finally National Signing Day, one of the most anticipated days of the year in college football. The day is surrounded by much hoopla -- way too much, in my opinion -- but it marks the beginning of what is to come for so many college football programs.

While the official word quickly spread on recruits signing around the country this morning, I was reading a story by Dave Heller of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Heller conducted a Q&A session with Mike Farrell, the national recruiting analyst for

In the article, one question in particular stood out to me.

Q. (Dave Heller) Is Gary Andersen considered a better recruiter than Bret Bielema?

A. (Mike Farrell) He’s more personable. He’s certainly a guy that will be better in living rooms. And I think he’ll be more patient with the process. Bielema was more a guy who said, "You going to come here or not?" It wasn’t that cut and dry, but it was very … I want guys who want to be here. I think Andersen will put in little more work and a little bit longer on kids. But like I said, the key to Wisconsin football is finding kids that are fits. If they ended up with a bunch of four stars, I don’t think they’d be successful. I just don’t think that’s the model that works for them. They want those blue-collar, hard-working kids that really want to prove something. And I think that’s what Gary Andersen will continue to recruit.

This got me thinking, who will end up being considered the better recruiter at Wisconsin? Despite many fans' negative sentiments towards Bielema, you cannot underestimate what he did in terms of recruiting players at UW. And not just any players, but like Farrell said above, players who fit well in the system.

I side with Farrell in relation to what he said about Andersen being more personable than Bielema. I could sense that right from the start, when I attended Andersen's introductory press conference at UW. From what I've seen, I already prefer Andersen's recruiting style over Bielema's. But with that being said, it doesn't necessarily mean it'll translate to the same success Bielema had in his tenure at UW.

What do you think? It's unfair to judge Andersen merely on his first recruiting class in which he entered the game extremely late, but after a few seasons, who do you think will be considered the better recruiter of the two?

Wednesday's Links:

Jeff Potrykus questions if the Badgers will be ready for the Hawkeyes' aggressiveness this time around.

The Badgers added a couple more commits Tuesday, including junior-college safety Donell Vercher.

For the latest news and profiles on UW commits, see for coverage of National Signing Day (and B5Q's StoryStream here).

Some very interesting numbers on how many top national recruits don't pan out.

Tom Mulhern says why Gary Andersen is set for his 'first win' at Wisconsin.