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 return head to the cornerback room to look at Deron Harrell.
Name: Deron Harrell
2020 eligibility: redshirt junior
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 composite 3-star, No. 142 ATH, Denver, Colo.
2016 recruitment: Coming out of high school Deron Harrell was not highly recruited by many schools. In his recruitment, Harrell was listed as an athlete as he played both ways at the quarterback and cornerback position for Denver East High School. Both in state Colorado and Colorado State showed interest in Harrell but eventually Wisconsin came along, and Harrell took a visit in mid January. Days later the Badgers made their offer, and the following week Harrell committed to Wisconsin.
Career statistics: 10 games played, 19 total tackles, five passes defended
2019 statistics: four games played, nine total tackles, four passes defended
Player overview: Harell joined the Badgers in 2016 and has seen some time on the big stage in both his freshman and sophomore season. Last fall, Harell lined up across from Faion Hicks as the Badgers starting cornerback in the season opening game against South Florida. Harrell played early in the season, but Jim Leonhard eventually made the change to Caesar Williams who appeared to be a more consistent option down the stretch. Harrell’s height at 6-foot-2 and his athleticism make him a very interesting cornerback prospect, but consistency will be key as the Badgers work their way forward at the position.
Best case scenario for 2020: Leonhard clearly saw something in Harrell last fall as he was the Badgers week one starter, and has the potential to be a guy that can spring into that spot. Best case scenario is that Harrell comes back and wins one of the starting two spots. Hicks and Williams appear to be the starters in those two spots right now, but nothing is promised by Leonhard, and we’ve seen him make changes time and time again. Best case scenario is that Harrell is the guy that is changed in this season, rather than changed out.
Likely role on team in 2020: The Badgers have a ton of depth in the secondary this season, and I expect Harrell to be in the rotation with the guys previously mentioned. Hicks is likely a starter and a speedster option, so maybe the rotation will be between the guys with more length in Williams and Harrell. We saw those two compete for time over the course of 2019, and I would expect if Harrell returns to his form that could be the same case in 2020.