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Wisconsin football: Jim Leonhard brings NFL experience, intrigue as college assistant to Badgers

The Badgers are bringing in a former legend to coach defensive backs, but what will this hire bring?

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Often, when you have a hire of an assistant coach, the analysis is simple. They were probably really good at a lower level, and you can see what they've done on the trail. You'll know what you're getting.

If not, they'll get no expectations coming in and we'll see what they can do. It's a no-pressure situation when you find an assistant coach getting their first job.

With former Wisconsin Badgers All-American safety and NFL veteran Jim Leonhard, who was officially introduced as UW's new defense backs coach on Saturday? There's going to be an expectation.

That's not to say that I can't see the quality in this  hire. You have the personification of just what can happen for the Badgers if you take the walk-on offer, and someone who had an NFL career that lasted a decade (427 tackles, 14 interceptions) where you played for five teams definitely will get his foot in the door on the recruiting trail. When it comes to tangible experience? There's a question that's yet to be answered.

Was he a coach on the field before his career ended? Yes, and he seemed to do well according to reports from his final NFL stop with the Cleveland Browns.

There is a major difference between getting your foot in the door on the recruiting trail and closing on the recruiting trail. I'm not telling you that Leonhard won't be a potentially massive assistance on the trail, but the information that we have is pretty close to zero.

This is probably going to be one of the assistant hires that has the most attention paid to it -- and teaching wise, I'm willing to say that the Leonhard has a chance to be great.

On the recruiting trail, we'll see.

With that said, however, reactions to the Leonhard hire from former NFL teammates and others' with football experience show confidence in his abilities to get the job done in Madison.