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 turn our attention to cornerback Alexander Smith.
Name: Alexander Smith
2020 eligibility: redshirt sophomore
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 composite 3-star, No. 112 cornerback, Culver City, Calif.
2018 recruitment: A talented cornerback and return-man out of California, Alexander Smith earned an offer from Wisconsin in late May following his junior season. The under the radar three-star prospect wound up committing to the Badgers only two weeks later over other offers from Army, Boston College, and Navy.
Smith was also hearing from Arizona, Northwestern, TCU, USC and Vanderbilt at the time of his commitment.
Career statistics: 18 games played, five tackle, two pass breakups, one blocked punt
2019 statistics: 14 games played, four tackles, one pass breakup, one blocked punt
Player overview: One of four cornerbacks who signed with the Badgers during the 2018 cycle, Smith made contributions as a freshman by playing in four games while preserving his redshirt.
Following his redshirt season, Smith was able to breakthrough in a crowded secondary to play in 14 games. Smith saw time not only at cornerback, but was also a significant contributor in special teams. His biggest play of the year came on the road at Ohio State where he blocked a punt that set up the Badgers only score of the day.
Best case scenario for 2020: After making the most of his increased playing time in 2019, Smith is another talented cornerback that could see extended time on the field in 2020.
The California native is able to stay involved in multiple special teams units, but also exits fall camp in the two-deep and proceeds to play in all of the team’s games with a pair forced turnovers.
Likely role on team in 2020: The cornerback position is still chock-full of viable play makers for Jim Leonhard to turn to, making a consistent starting spot tough to imagine for Smith in 2020. That being said, he definitely has the talent to be a core member of the cornerback rotation behind likely starters Caesar Williams, Faion Hicks, and nickelback Rachad Wildgoose.
Smith should continue to see playing time at cornerback and in special teams next year, and it would not be a surprise to see his role increase in each spot next season.