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.
Next up, Jack Eschenbach.
Name: Jack Eschenbach
Position: tight end
2020 eligibility: redshirt sophomore
Recruiting info out of HS: N/A, Downers Grove, Ill.
2017 recruitment: Coming out of high school as a then wide receiver Jack Eschenbach held offers from three schools in Dayton, Western Illinois, and Cornell before deciding to walk-on to Wisconsin.
Career statistics: four games played
2019 statistics: four games played
Player overview: After spending 2018 on the scout team Jack Eschenbach was thrust into the tight end role earlier than expected last year at South Florida. With a ton of injuries to the tight end room, Eschenbach found himself second on the depth chart for last year’s season opener. Eschenbach has been called an intriguing prospect by the likes of Joe Rudolph and tight end coach Mickey Turner. Being a high school wide receiver, Eschenbach had rarely been asked to line up to block or put his hand in the dirt, so adjusting to the tight end position has been key. At 6’6” 224 pounds Eschenbach’s main key has been adding weight to his frame to put himself in a better position while taking on the blocking aspect of the tight end position.
Best case scenario for 2020: With much more depth in the tight end room this year, where Eschenbach ends up will be interesting to watch. Last year he stepped up in a big way early in the season as the tight end room dealt with a ton of injuries. Eschenbach certainly has the height you want out of the tight end position, but he was very much undersized last season. Best case scenario for Eschenbach in 2020 is that he continues to build on muscle and size on top of the 20 pounds he’s already added, and fill out the rest of his frame. If he can do that Eschenbach becomes a very intriguing prospect especially in the pass catching game given his speed.
Likely role on team in 2020: Where Eschenbach comes in size wise will be a big key for the walk-on as he looks to break through in a bigger way in 2020. This year the competition at tight end will be tougher as the likes of Hayden Rucci, Clay Cundiff, and of course Jake Ferguson all return. Despite that, Eschenbach did have a little bit of an upper hand being healthy last season. Overall, Eschenbach will be in the mix, especially on special teams, but how much he plays at the tight end position will be a battle with the others involved. The tight end room could be one of the underrated position battles to watch for if and when football starts up.