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2021 OT Riley Mahlman officially signs with the Badgers

Large offensive lineman from a rival’s backyard? Oh yes, 4-star OT Riley Mahlman is officially on board with the Badgers.

2021 OT Riley Mahlman

Position Height Weight School 247 Composite Ranking
Position Height Weight School 247 Composite Ranking
OT 6-foot-7 270 pounds Lakeville (Minn.) South 4-star; No. 17 OT

Just about everything that the Badgers have done since the 1990s has been predicated on having a mammoth offensive line full of maulers that clear the way for various running backs to win Doak Walker Awards before everyone gets drafted into the NFL. 2021 4-star OT Riley Mahlman (Lakeville, Minn.) out of Lakeville South High School is another link in the lengthy chain of talented UW offensive linemen.

Mahlman missed a few games this season for his No. 1 team in both the Metro Top 10 and the Associated Press state poll, but Lakeville South still finished the year 8-0 and could lay claim to the best team in the state mantle (there was no state tournament this year, so we’ll never really know).


247 Composite: 4 stars; grade: .9384; No. 137 player in the nation; No. 17 OT; No. 1 MN

247 Sports: 4 stars; grade: 95; No. 60 player in the nation; No. 7 OT; No. 1 MN

Rivals: 4 stars; 5.8 rating; No. 27 OT; No. 1 MN

ESPN: 4 stars; grade: 83; No. 184 player in the nation; No. 20 OT; No. 14 Regional; No. 1 MN

Verbally committed on September 22nd, 2019

Way back in September of 2019, Wisconsin bludgeoned Michigan at Camp Randall Stadium in front of a stripe-out crowd and Mahlman saw enough and decided to commit to the W, as it were. He was the fifth member of the 2021 class, but the second highly rated offensive linemen as JP Benzschawel (Grafton) had already started off the 2021 class a year prior.

During his sophomore season 247Sports Midwest Analyst Allen Trieu liked what he saw from a raw, but talented, Mahlman:

“Still raw technically as an offensive lineman because he has not played there much, but frame and athleticism are at a high-major level and he could develop into a franchise type left tackle in college. Has the potential to be an NFL offensive lineman.”

Mahlman can still add a bunch of weight without losing his athleticism, especially in the Wisconsin strength program, and he and 5-star 2021 OT commit Nolan Rucci could be bookends for the UW offensive line for years.

Getting Mahlman to sign on the dotted line was a big win for the Badgers and Joe Rudolph and Bob Bostad. He had offers from Ohio State, Iowa, Minnesota, Iowa State, Nebraska, Northwestern and Michigan State but he never wavered from his commitment to Wisconsin.

Mahlman was named to the 2021 All-America Bowl in January, but that game is not being played this season so sadly he’ll just have the honor of being named to the team and not the experience of practicing and playing all week in San Antonio.

Video highlights

Player bio (courtesy of UW Athletic Department)

  • Four-star recruit by 247 Sports, ESPN and Rivals
  • Invited to 2021 All-American Bowl
  • Named first-team All-Metro by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as a senior
  • Named to the 2020 USA Today All-USA preseason second team
  • First-team all-state selection as a junior
  • Named Academic All-State as a junior and senior