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.
Up next in our series, Garrett Rand.
Name: Garrett Rand
Position: defensive end
2020 eligibility: redshirt senior
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 Composite 4-star, No. 21 defensive tackle, Chandler, Ariz.
2016 Recruitment: Coming out of Arizona, Rand had a lot of interest from schools in the Pac-12. Washington, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA all offered him a scholarship and he even took an official visit to UCLA two weeks before national signing day. However, none of that could sway him from his verbal commitment to Wisconsin, which he gave in October 2015, a week after officially visiting Madison. Rand enrolled in June of 2016 and has been a fixture on the Wisconsin defensive line, when healthy, since then.
Career statistics: 45 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, one pass defended
2019 statistics: 27 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble
Player overview: So here’s the thing about defensive ends in the type of 3-4 defense that the Badgers employ...they aren’t going to hear their name called by the public address announcer too often. Rand had his most impressive season statistically in 2019 and there were multiple games where he wasn’t even credited with a tackle.
Coming back from an Achilles injury that cost him his entire 2018 season, no one was sure what Rand would bring to the table in 2019. However, he and Isaiahh Loudermilk formed a formidable duo on the d-line that helped free Zack Baun, Chris Orr and the rest of the linebackers to wreak havoc in opposing backfields all season.
Best case scenario for 2020: With a talented, but unproven, group of linebackers behind him, Rand racks up a few more tackles, sacks the quarterback four times, forces a couple of fumbles and gets his name on the NFL Draft radar.
Likely role on team in 2020: His role on the team will be the same as it has been since he set foot on campus: hold the line of scrimmage and free up the linebackers to make plays. However, he’ll probably be asked to do a little more play making himself this season and hopefully that will add another weapon that opposing offensive coordinators have to game plan for.