As seen in Wisconsin’s game notes this week, two walk-ons have earned scholarships in kicker Zach Hintze and defensive end Matt Henningsen.
The Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway first noted the news on Monday, as confirmed by a UW official.
Both Hintze and Henningsen are significant contributors to the team this season. Wisconsin’s kickoff coverage has greatly benefited from the performance of Hintze, a redshirt junior from Fond du Lac, Wis. (St. Mary Springs). Out of 19 kickoffs, 17 have been recorded as touchbacks through three games, with the kicker averaging 64.8 yards per kickoff.
Last seven, Hintze connected on 54 of 79 kickoffs as touchbacks, ranking him 10th in the nation for those who attempted a minimum of 50.
A redshirt freshman from Menomonee Falls, Wis., Henningsen worked his way into the two-deep and a starting job on the defensive line to begin the 2018 season. He has started two games and played in all three so far, recording eight tackles, one for loss, and a quarterback hurry. He currently is listed as a second-team end as Isaiahh Loudermilk has returned from injury.
As noted by UW, nine players currently on Wisconsin’s team have earned scholarships after initially walking on. Five of them—Henningsen, Hintze, offensive lineman Jason Erdrmann, outside linebacker Tyler Johnson and running back Garrett Groshek—have been put on scholarship in 2018.
For Wisconsin’s Week 4 depth chart, six current or former walk-ons are included in the two-deep (11 including special teams). Hintze, inside linebacker Ryan Connelly, and tight end Zander Neuville are listed as first-team players.