During the 2019 early signing period in December, Wisconsin welcomed 19 scholarship players and six walk-ons to its program. Now a few start their collegiate journey early.
UW confirmed with B5Q on Tuesday what we had heard previously from players and that was noted earlier by us and others as well, that four signees will start their time at Wisconsin early as mid-year enrollees. Those are quarterback Graham Mertz, outside linebacker Spencer Lytle, inside linebacker Leo Chenal and walk-on wide receiver Cam Phillips.
The advantage for these young Badgers coming in during the 2019 spring semester will be taking part in Wisconsin’s winter conditioning and the 15 practices that will start in a couple of months (official dates for spring ball not yet known).
This weekend, the newest Badgers to step foot at UW announced their arrivals to Madison as well.
January 12, 2019
Finally Home!! #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/Rq0vzrUlhL— Cam Phillips (@camcap0202) January 13, 2019
Made it #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/YqT3kl6ZI4— Spencer Lytle (@_SpencerLytle_) January 12, 2019
Chenal did not technically check in from Madison, per se, but he did send this sendoff-like Instagram post.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mertz announced he would wear No. 5, the same number he wore during his prep quarterbacking days at Blue Valley North in Kansas. Departing running back Chris James held the number last season on offense, while rising sophomore cornerback Rachad Wildgoose wore it as a first-year player on defense in 2018.
It has been seen that two players can don the same jersey number on a team so long they do not play on the same down together. Aside from James and Wildgoose, quarterback Jack Coan and outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel both wore No. 17, while punter Anthony Lotti and quarterback Danny Vanden Boom were both No. 15 last season.