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 running 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.
Today we look at fullback John Chenal.
Name: John Chenal
2020 eligibility: junior
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 standalone 3-star, No. 75 inside linebacker, Grantsburg
2018 Recruitment: Chenal was all ready to go to North Dakota, a school he verbally committed to, but then he visited Madison with his younger brother Leo (who received a scholarship offer) and was given a preferred walk-on offer to play for the Badgers. A week after Leo accepted his offer to play for the Badgers, John did the same, and the rest is history.
Career statistics: 18 rushing attempts, 65 yards, one touchdown; three receptions, 15 yards; one forced fumble
2019 statistics: 18 rushing attempts, 65 yards, one touchdown; three receptions, 15 yards; one forced fumble
Player overview: Chenal is pretty much exactly what you think of when someone says “Wisconsin fullback.” He’s big (6-foot-2, 250 pounds), he’s strong (numerous Twitter weightlifting videos) and he’s from a small town in Wisconsin that you haven’t heard of unless you’re also from there.
He doesn’t get a lot of carries, but he did manage to score his first career touchdown against Michigan in 2019. Chenal will bang bodies with the best of them and make sure that there is always a hole for his tailback to run through.
Best case scenario for 2020: He gets more short yardage opportunities at the goal line and is able to score a couple of touchdowns. Maybe he works on being more of a threat in the passing game out of the backfield on play action and things of that nature. A John Chenal wheel route would be splendid to see this year.
Otherwise, he’ll probably prefer to just smash linebackers in the mouth and clear the way for Nakia Watson, Garrett Groshek, Julius Davis and whoever else may end up toting the rock.
Likely role on team in 2020: Chenal will be splitting time at fullback with Mason Stokke, a senior out of Menomonie, so he probably won’t be covered in glory scoring touchdowns every week. I’d imagine things will look a lot like they did last year where both players had their moments and each was ready when called upon.