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2021 LB Jake Ratzlaff signs with Wisconsin

The former Minnesota hockey commit chose Wisconsin and football in the end.

2021 LB Jake Ratzlaff

Position Height Weight School 247 Composite Ranking
Position Height Weight School 247 Composite Ranking
OLB 6-foot-2 220 pounds Rosemount (Minn.) Senior High School 3 star, No. 32 OLB

Anytime the Badgers can beat the Gophers, it’s a good thing. When Wisconsin can snatch a Minnesota hockey commit away to come to Madison and play football? That’s beautiful.

Ratzlaff become the last member of this recruiting class in late November after he went undrafted in the NHL draft and flipped his commitment from Minnesota to Wisconsin. The Rosemount Senior High product has been on top of the Badgers’ wish list for quite some time, but knew his decision wouldn’t come hastily given what he had riding in the other sport.

Ratzlaff could play inside or outside in Madison, so it will be interesting to see where Jim Leonhard employs him in fall camp next July.


247 Composite: 3 stars; grade: .8736; No. 549 player in the nation; No. 32 OLB; No. 6 MN

247 Sports: 4 stars; grade: 90; No. 24 OLB; No. 5 MN

Rivals: 3 stars; 5.5 rating

ESPN: 4 stars; Grade: 80; No. 36 OLB; No. 39 Regional; No. 4 MN

Verbally committed on November 30, 2020

The Badgers knew they’d have to wait it out for Ratzlaff, but the wait proved to be worth their while as the outside linebacker ended up in Madison, securing the last scholarship spot in the class.

Ratzlaff chose Wisconsin over other offers from Iowa, Iowa State and Minnesota.

One of seven linebackers coming in this class, Ratzlaff could be played either inside or outside, with Lake Zurich, Ill. Bryan Sanborn and Lehigh Acres, Fla. Jake Chaney the likely inside linebacker mates with the Minnesota native.

Video highlights

Player bio (courtesy of UW Athletic Department)

  • Four-star recruit by ESPN, three-star by 247 Sports and Rivals
  • Named a 2020 Butkus Award high school semifinalist
  • Finalist for Minnesota Mr. Football Award
  • 2020 Metro Football Player of the Year by Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Recorded 70 tackles, 3.0 sacks, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and scored two defensive TDs in just six games as a senior
  • First-team all-state selection as a junior
  • Finished his career with 261.5 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, 12 hurries, five fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, three interceptions, three blocked punts and two blocked field goals
  • Played tight end as a junior and senior and caught 33 passes for 714 yards with eight TDs
  • Played hockey and was captain of the U.S. U-18 Men’s Select team that competed in the Czech Republic in 2019