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Wisconsin football: potential transfer portal targets

Are the Badgers looking to add any veterans to their team for 2020?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Belk Bowl - Virginia Tech v Kentucky Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Friday afternoon, the Badgers Twitterverse was set aflutter by a #BadgerBoiz20 tweet being sent out by Wisconsin’s recruiting team. This, if you aren’t fluent in ‘crootin talk, means that there is a new commit for the Badgers in the class of 2020 and it always gets people talking about who is next to join the team.

With national signing day coming up in early February it’s not crazy to think that teams are still recruiting even though most kids sign their national letters of intent during the early signing period now. The Badgers, for instance, are hoping to nail down 4-star RB Jalen Berger’s signature in a few weeks.

But, that was thought to be the only new addition to the class for Wisconsin. Sure, names like 4-star Texas RB Kevontre Bradford were still out there but since Berger verbally committed to UW all reports were that the Badgers had backed off of Bradford.

Outside of Bradford, there weren’t too many players that Wisconsin had even recruited that weren’t signed to a team yet, let alone ones that may be leaning towards Wisconsin. The message boards were stumped and the recruiting reporters haven’t even hinted at any names of who it might be.

So, that got us thinking here at B5Q (which is usually dangerous) that maybe we should explore the ol’ TRANSFER PORTAL and see if there is anyone on there that Wisconsin might be bringing on board. This thought was only solidified when my brother-in-law and unofficial B5Q ‘Crootin Coordinator texted me a picture of inane importance...if you don’t care about college football recruiting that is.

To was quite important. Jon McNamara of Rivals/BadgerBlitz, Saeed Khalif the Wisconsin director of player personnel and Jensen Gebhardt the quality control man for Wisconsin recruiting had all started following Damon Hazelton Jr.


As an avid watcher of the Belk Bowl (RIP) I had heard Hazelton’s name before but I did not know it off the top of my head. He is a Virginia Tech wide receiver who just entered his name into the transfer portal as a grad transfer.

Well holy shit! Maybe we are on to something here! Let’s take a look at Hazelton and two other names that the Badgers might be interested in bringing to Madison.

Damon Hazelton Jr., WR, Virginia Tech

As mentioned above, Hazelton is a WR who previously played at Virginia Tech and Ball State. He is a grad transfer which normally means he’d be eligible immediately but since he has already transferred once he may require a waiver from the NCAA.

Those always go well so nothing to worry about there.

The 6-foot-2 and 215 pound WR would be a big body to add to the receiver’s room and would slot nicely into the Quintez Cephus role of large and fast and good wideout. He has 133 receptions, 1,834 yards and 20 touchdowns across his two stops at Ball State and Virginia Tech. Last season for the Hokies he caught 31 passes for 527 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Towson, Maryland native was a 2-star recruit coming out of high school and was the No. 319 WR in the nation. He was named 2018 Second-Team All-ACC and 2019 Honorable Mention All-ACC as a Hokie.

Brittain Brown, RB, Duke

Brown is a 6-foot-1 and 205 pound RB from Canton, Georgia who has graduated from Duke and was a 3-star prospect coming out of high school. He was ranked the No. 29 RB in the country. His freshman year her had 130 carries, 701 yards and seven touchdowns but has since been passed over on the depth chart and only notched 12 carries in three games for 56 yards this past season.

Brown missed four games in 2018 due to injury and missed most of the 2019 season due to shoulder surgery. Before the 2019 season, however, Brown was on the Doak Walker Award watch list so there is clearly a talented RB there.

Brown would be immediately eligible and add a nice, veteran presence for John Settle and the running backs. With Jonathan Taylor going pro, there is definitely room for another talented back to push Nakia Watson, Garrett Groshek and Berger.

Chris Murray, OG, UCLA

Murray, a 6-foot-2 and 298 pound sophomore offensive guard, is a native of Palmdale, California and was a 4-star recruit coming out of powerhouse Mater Dei High School. He was ranked the No. 9 guard and the No. 232 player overall in the country before enrolling at UCLA.

He started all 24 games of his Bruins career (three at center and 21 at right guard) and will have to sit out a year before playing at his new school since he is not a graduate transfer. Murray is one of 11 (!) UCLA players in the transfer portal this off-season.

The highly touted guard would be a great addition for any team, but with the offensive line depth that the Badgers already have it would be tough to see him choosing Wisconsin unless he’s ok being in a stiff competition for playing time.

Badgers in the transfer portal

As far as players leaving Wisconsin via the transfer portal, WR Aron Cruickshank is on an official visit to Rutgers this very weekend and everything points to him going there.

LB Christian Bell, who transferred to Wisconsin from Alabama, is in the portal as well and will be immediately eligible as a grad transfer at whichever school he chooses.