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Wisconsin football: redshirt watch part III

The third, and final, installation of our trilogy: Which freshman have played some of their four allotted games already?

Wisconsin v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Since there are only two games left in the regular season (sad face), we should talk about redshirts again. The NCAA announced a new, and good, rule last year that stated a player could play in up to four games and still retain his eligibility to redshirt for that season. The NCAA doesn’t do much right so it is important to praise them when they do. GOOD WORK, IDIOTS!

Anyways, this is a very useful tool for coaches to get a look at their younger players in real game situations instead of the sanitized practice situations they’re used to. It is also nice for the players to know that their first year on campus will not just be learning the playbook and lifting weights. There is an actual opportunity for playing time!

Throughout the season we will check in on how many games each member of the freshman class of 2019 has played and speculate wildly on whether or not they’ll play more than four games or not. Here, after the season’s first ten games, is our updated list.

Scholarship players, ordered by 247Sports ranking

  • Logan Brown, OT: zero games played
  • Graham Mertz, QB: two games played, 9-for-10, 73 yards, two rushes, six yards
  • Joe Tippmann, OT: one game played, no stats
  • Spencer Lytle, OLB: zero games played
  • Rodas Johnson, DT: zero games played
  • Hayden Rucci, TE: zero games played
  • Titus Toler, S: zero games played
  • Maema Njongmeta, OLB: zero games played
  • Julius Davis, RB: zero games played
  • Leo Chenal, ILB: seven games played, will not redshirt, 14 total tackles, two TFL, one sack, one fumble recovery, one QB hurry
  • Semar Melvin, CB: two games played, two total tackles
  • Gio Paez, DT: zero games played
  • Dean Engram, CB: zero games played
  • Clay Cundiff, TE: one game played, no stats
  • Stephan Bracey, WR: zero games played
  • James Williams, CB: zero games played
  • Keeanu Benton, DT: nine games played, will not redshirt, 10 total tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, two QB hurries
  • Quan Easterling, FB: one game played, no stats


  • Jordan DiBenedetto, WR: zero games played
  • Cooper Nelson, WR: zero games played
  • Blake Wilcox, K: zero games played
  • Jackson Kollath, ILB: zero games played
  • Tatum Grass, ILB: zero games played
  • Logan O’Brien, OL: zero games played
  • Peter Bowden, LS: zero games played

Freshman CB Semar Melvin has been hurt for the past two weeks and hasn’t been playing due to a head injury. Head injuries are nothing to mess around with, so he may not see the field the rest of the year.

With starting NT Bryson Williams out with another injury, freshman Keeanu Benton has, again, filled in admirably in the middle of the defense. Benton has been a revelation this season and has exceeded even the wildest possible expectations Paul Chryst and Jim Leonhard could have had for him.

With only two games left in the regular season there are very few freshmen who are even able to play in more than four games, if you include the bowl, so maybe you’ll see some freshmen get game time against Purdue if things go as planned.