During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.
With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a new feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.
Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.
Without further ado...here we go.
Name: Mason Stokke
2020 eligibility: redshirt senior
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 Composite 3-star, No. 92 outside linebacker, Menomonie, WI.
2016 recruitment: Part of Paul Chryst’s first full recruiting cycle, Mason Stokke was a mid-range three-star recruit out of powerhouse Menomonie High School who held other offers from Army, Iowa, Northern Illinois, and Western Illinois. After earning an offer in early April of his junior year, he did not wait long to commit to Chryst and the Badger staff.
Career statistics: 19 rushing attempts, 64 yards, 3.4 yards per carry, two touchdowns; six receptions, 47 yards.
2019 statistics: 15 rushing attempts, 51 yards, 3.4 yards per carry, two touchdowns; six receptions, 47 yards.
Player overview: A stellar prep running back, Stokke initially came in as a linebacker recruit prior to shifting to his current fullback position just before the 2018 season on campus. With a bevy of linebackers in front of him on the depth chart, the move made sense, and Stokke has proved the coaching staff right for the position shift. An excellent blocker, Stokke saw increased usage at the tail end of the 2018 season before blossoming in a starting role in 2019.
Stokke not only is a great blocker, but he has demonstrated a skillset to help out in the short yardage running game with the ball in his hands, as well as in the passing game. His versatility flashed in the Minnesota game last season, where he caught three passes for 30 yards, including a diving grab in wintry conditions.
Best case scenario for 2020: In a perfect world, Mason Stokke continues to be a phenomenal battering ram for the offense, helping pave the way for a new batch of tailbacks with Jonathan Taylor no longer in the fold. The senior fullback also continues to demonstrate an ability to make plays in space in the passing game, and is able to have a breakout season for the Badgers. Overall Stokke finishes with a handful of rushing touchdowns, and doubles his receiving output from a year ago to help diversify the offense.
Likely role on team in 2020: Stokke should retain his role as the primary fullback in 2019, and could easily see his statistical contributions improve. John Chenal is another fullback that should see time, allowing Stokke to stay relatively healthy hopefully, and potentially allow Stokke to be used in more creative ways.