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2020 OLB Riley Nowakowski commits to Wisconsin

The in-state product will be joining the team as a preferred walk-on.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 13 Wisconsin at Michigan

The Wisconsin Badgers football team received some good news on Wednesday evening as 2020 OLB Riley Nowakowski (Milwaukee) of Marquette University High School announced that he would be accepting the Badgers’ preferred walk-on offer and attending Wisconsin next year.

Nowakowski had a whole host of scholarship offers including from: Central Michigan, Air Force, Army, Navy, Northern Illinois, New Mexico State, South Dakota State, Yale, Princeton and a number of other Ivies and FCS schools. He was also receiving interest from Stanford and Iowa, but neither school ever offered.

This is the second member of the Marquette University team to join the Badgers as a PWO in this class, as OL Sean Timmis will also be coming to Madison next year.

Landing Nowakowski is a good get for the Badgers due to his impressive production last season for Marquette. It is also impressive that Wisconsin is regularly able to get in-state kids who have scholarship offers elsewhere to walk-on at UW. The decades-long success of turning in-state walk-ons into NFL players probably helps, tbqh.

The 6-foot-4 and 230 pound linebacker will almost certainly redshirt during his first year at Wisconsin, although he has the frame to step on the field and play in the B1G right now. He was first-team all-state as a senior and received the John Anderson Award as the best senior linebacker in Wisconsin (Leo Chenal won the award in 2018 and 2020 TE commit Cole Dakovich was a finalist in 2019).

Here is what his coach had to say about him:

“Riley is a fierce edge setter that forces opposing running backs to cut up the alley to our safety for little gain or be tackled for a loss by him,” said head coach Jeff Mazurczak. “He also returns kicks for us, has an 85 yard kick return for a touchdown, a 90 yard interception return for a touchdown, and four rushing touchdowns. He is very explosive and could play multiple positions in college. His character and exceptional work in the classroom have earned him offers from all eight of the Ivy league schools and all three service academies.”

I’m feeling extra smart because I muttered to myself while watching his junior highlights “he’s great at setting the edge.”

His senior highlight film shows a player that moves SHOCKINGLY fast for someone his size and a guy who hits as hard as someone his size would be expected to hit.