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2021 OLB T.J. Bollers signs with Wisconsin

The Iowa pass rusher will look to make his impact early in a loaded outside linebacker room.

2021 OLB T.J. Bollers

Position Height Weight School 247 Composite Ranking
Position Height Weight School 247 Composite Ranking
WDE (EDGE) 6-foot-3 250 pounds Clear Creak Amana (Iowa) High School 4 star, No. 8 WDE

Since switching to the 3-4 defense in 2013 under Dave Aranda, there’s arguably been no school more effective churning out NFL talent at the linebacker position than Wisconsin, so it’s no surprise they’re beginning to reap the benefits of those fruits.

T.J. Bollers is one of the top outside linebacker (pass rusher) recruits the Badgers have gotten in recent memory. Bollers is different than most that UW gets though; Bollers is nearly 250 pounds. Most of the players Wisconsin gets at the position are somewhere between 200-225 pounds and display the athletic traits that they covet at the position, but need some time to physically mature into an athlete capable of setting an edge consistently in the Big Ten. Bollers won’t need that adjustment time. Coverage, however? That’s another conversation.

Bollers leads a group of talented defensive players in this class, and was a big get for the Badgers.

Rankings

247 Composite: 4 stars; grade: .9325; No. 154 player in the nation; No. 8 WDE; No. 2 IA

247 Sports: 4 stars; grade: 91; No. 237 player in the nation; No. 18 WDE; No. 4 IA

Rivals: 4 stars; 5.9 rating; No. 103 player in the nation; No. 4 WDE; No. 2 IA

ESPN: 4 stars; Grade: 83; No. 21 WDE; No. 15 Regional; No. 2 IA

Verbally committed on June 11, 2020

The Badgers were in on Bollers early, which proved to be pivotal in landing the Iowa stud. Bollers, whose father was a Hawkeye, shunned the in-state program for Wisconsin and their 3-4 defense, which suits Bollers’ stature and skillet.

Bollers chose Wisconsin over other offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Army, California, Florida, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Penn State, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Washington.

Bollers is one of three outside linebackers in this class, with the potential of a fourth depending on what Wisconsin decides to do with Rosemount, Minn. Jake Ratzlaff. Darryl Peterson of Ohio and Ayo Adebogun of Mequon (Homestead) round out the class.

Video highlights

Player bio (courtesy of UW Athletic Department)

  • Four-star recruit by 247 Sports, ESPN and Rivals
  • First-team all-state as a senior with 35.5 tackles and 6.5 TFLs in eight games
  • Named to the 2020 All-Iowa Elite Team by the Des Moines Register
  • Defensive line MVP at the 2020 U.S. Army All-American Combine
  • Second-team all-state selection as a sophomore and third-team as a junior