UW outside linebackers coach Bobby April is sure to be a happy man this afternoon, as Wisconsin has added yet another highly-touted linebacker to their program. 2021 3-star OLB Jake Ratzlaff, (Rosemount, Minn.) committed to Wisconsin as reported on Monday by 247Sports’ Evan Flood.
BREAKING: Four-star outside linebacker Jake Ratzlaff has committed to Wisconsin, he tells @Badger247 https://t.co/ayH8ibpybO #Badgers pic.twitter.com/O1eaY8lAc4— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) November 30, 2020
Ratzlaff, being recruited as an outside linebacker by the Badgers, was also a highly-regarded hockey prospect. As his name didn’t called in the NHL Draft, the decision was made that football would be the sport he’d pursue. Reportedly between Minnesota as hockey prospect, where he was once committed, and Wisconsin, Ratzlaff decided to join fellow Minnesotan 4-star OL Riley Mahlman as top Minnesota prep products taking their talents to Madison.
Ratzlaff chose Wisconsin over offers from Iowa, Iowa State and Minnesota, though he had interest from Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State.
Ratzlaff plays outside linebacker and safety for Rosemount, and you see why Wisconsin is intrigued immediately. An athletic kid who has the size at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds to continue to grow and a big hitter who doesn’t shy away from physicality. He has experience in coverage, but has a nose for a football in run support as well. Ratzlaff will also now be able to exclusively focus on football, which should theoretically speed up his development as a football player.
Ratzlaff joins an outside linebacker room that’s losing it’s only senior after this season in Noah Burks, but is loaded with youth and talent. Not only is there a bevy of talent currently on the roster in Izayah Green-May, Nick Herbig, Spencer Lytle, CJ Goetz, Kaden Johnson and Aaron Witt, but also is now a part of an incoming class including 4-star pass rusher TJ Bollers from Tiffin, Iowa, 3-star Darryl Peterson from Akron, Ohio, and 3-star Ayo Adebogun from Homestead (Mequon).
I also can’t imagine too many Badger fans would hate having another talented hockey player on campus either in case of emergency.