clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What do Paul Chryst’s assistant coaches bring to the table on the recruiting trail?

New, 31 comments

A coach-by-coach look at the contributions of each staff member on the recruiting front under Paul Chryst.

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Akron at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When Paul Chryst took over the Wisconsin Badgers football program in December of 2014, very few fans had worries about his style, identity and overall knowledge of the game meshing well in Madison. Not only did he play at Wisconsin, but he had multiple stints on the coaching staff in the past.

The area that a subsection of the fan base did have questions about was his recruiting acumen. Chryst was never known as a heralded recruiter while he was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator under Bret Bielema from 2006 to 2011. Nor did Chryst make monumental waves in recruiting during his brief time as the head coach at Pitt.

However, since his return to Wisconsin, the Badgers have seen a steady uptick in recruiting with top 30 classes in both 2019 and 2020, and a top-15 class in 2021 as things currently stand.

A big reason for the improved recruiting under Chryst has been the agency and ownership of the recruiting process that he has instilled in his assistant coaches and recruiting staff. Wisconsin has implemented a procedure for identifying and communicating with prospects that works.

That process generally starts with the full-time recruiting staff members led by Director of Player Personnel Saeed Khalif. Under his guidance, the recruiting staff made up of on-campus recruiting coordinator Mackenzie Zanow, and recruiting assistants Jensen Gebhardt, Warren Herring, and Mike Carens do a lot of the leg work that traditionally fell upon the shoulders of assistant coaches in years prior. These recruiting assistants find, vet, and sort potential recruits for the position coaches and Chryst to further evaluate and potentially pursue.

While these staff members are integral parts of the recruiting process, and have had a huge hand in Wisconsin’s improvement on the recruiting trail, the traditional assistant coaches are also a key piece in a prospect’s recruitment.

Assistant coaches are the closers.

Each staff member is generally involved in communicating with players on various levels depending on a recruit’s location and projected future position. Many assistant coaches have particular geographic areas of focus, relying on relationships with high school coaches, families and communities that they have established through years of legwork. Additionally, position coaches are also at times communicating with prospective players that they hope will play under their position specific tutelage.

Many assistant coaches across the country become heavily known, or are brought on by head coaches for their recruiting prowess as well as their ability to develop players. Wisconsin has a group of positional coaches that is unique in regards to the high number of former alumni. Entering the 2020 season the Badgers have four position coaches on the staff who attended UW, six if Paul Chryst and special teams analyst Taylor Mehlhaff are included, that can interact with recruits.

Wisconsin’s recent recruiting results made me wonder which staff members carry the most weight on the recruiting trail?

In this exercise I focused my attention on a few key indicators such as overall number of commits, whether they were the primary or secondary contact for the recruit, and the average 247Sports Composite ranking of the commits to quantify the impact each coach has had for comparison sake. A point total is comprised of the composite score of each recruit added together, with the caveat that if the assistant was the primary contact they earned the full allotment of points, compared to only half for secondary involvement. This was done to not only rewarded staff members for volume, but also for the quality of athlete, and their level of participation in the process.

In an effort to better gauge the success of each position coach on the current staff in terms of recruiting, let’s dive into how each coach has fared in helping to add talent to the roster since joining Paul Chryst at UW.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 Michigan at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Joe Rudolph

Joe Rudolph Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
32 Offensive line 2015 - 2021 Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin 0.88384375 25 Primary; 7 Secondary 25.1093

First on the list is Paul Chryst’s most consistent ace recruiter, offensive line coach Joe Rudolph. Not only has Rudolph done a phenomenal job of finding talented players for his specific position group, but he has been instrumental in recruiting the states of Arizona, Ohio, and his home state of Pennsylvania. His efforts are a big reason that all three of those states are among the top-15 most productive states for Wisconsin under Chryst, with Ohio standing second behind only Wisconsin.

Overall, Rudolph has had a hand in the highest number of commitments on staff with 32 players, and noticeably took the lead on 25 of the 32 prospects he helped recruit. Add in the fact that his commits have the second highest average composite ranking of the assistants, and those metrics make him by far the most reputable recruiter on the staff at Wisconsin, and further exemplifies his importance to the team.

In general, the Badgers have a recruiting system in place that swings between recruiting areas and positional relationships based on the recruit, but Joe Rudolph has proven that regardless of the circumstances he can get the job done.

Recruits of Joe Rudolph

Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Kraig Howe 2015 Ohio 0.8471 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8471
Jake Whalen 2015 Wisconsin 0.8214 Secondary (coordinator) 0.4107
Cole Van Lanen 2016 Wisconsin 0.9389 Primary (position) 0.9389
Garrett Rand 2016 Arizona 0.9244 Primary (recruiting area) 0.9244
Griffin Grady 2016 Ohio 0.8719 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8719
Patrick Kasl 2016 Minnesota 0.8716 Secondary (position) 0.43595
Kare Lyles 2016 Arizona 0.8463 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8463
Seth Currens 2016 Ohio 0.8325 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8325
Kayden Lyles 2017 Arizona/Wisconsin 0.9211 Primary (recruiting area) 0.9211
Danny Davis 2017 Ohio 0.9121 Primary (recruiting area) 0.9121
Tyler Beach 2017 Wisconsin 0.8833 Primary (position) 0.8833
Logan Bruss 2017 Wisconsin 0.8656 Primary (position) 0.8656
Aaron Vopal 2017 Wisconsin 0.8599 Primary (position) 0.8599
Alex Fenton 2017 Wisconsin 0.8335 Primary (position) 0.8335
Isaiah Mullens 2018 Ohio 0.8614 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8614
Michael Furtney 2018 Michigan 0.8614 Primary (position) 0.8614
Logan Brown 2019 Michigan 0.9915 Secondary (position) 0.49575
Joe Tippmann 2019 Indiana 0.8967 Secondary (position) 0.44835
Rodas Johnson 2019 Ohio 0.8858 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8858
Hayden Rucci 2019 Pennsylvania 0.8837 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8837
Quan Easterling 2019 Ohio 0.8423 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8423
Jack Nelson 2020 Wisconsin 0.954 Primary (position) 0.954
Dylan Barrett 2020 Illinois 0.8626 Primary (position) 0.8626
Preston Zachman 2020 Pennsylvania 0.8431 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8431
Trey Wedig 2020 Wisconsin 0.9643 Secondary (position) 0.48215
Ben Barten 2020 Wisconsin 0.8594 Secondary (position) 0.4297
Tanor Bortolini 2020 Wisconsin 0.8552 Primary (position) 0.8552
James Thompson 2020 Ohio 0.8435 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8435
JP Benzschawel 2021 Wisconsin 0.9428 Secondary (position) 0.4714
Riley Mahlman 2021 Minnesota 0.9395 Primary (position) 0.9395
Jack Pugh 2021 Ohio 0.8928 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8928
Darryl Peterson 2021 Ohio 0.8734 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8734
Totals 2015 - 2021 Most Common: Ohio + Wisconsin Average Composite Ranking: .88384375 25 Primary; 7 Secondary Total Points: 25.1093

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 03 Lambeau Field College Classic - LSU at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chris Haering

Chris Haering Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
27 Special Teams 2015 - 2021 Wisconsin 0.8751185185 22 Primary; 5 Secondary 19.66185

One obvious trend across my research was the involvement of Chris Haering and in-state recruiting. Not only did he spearhead the contact with 22 primary in-state recruits from Wisconsin, but he also was responsible for landing Alex Hornibrook while at Pitt. Along both stops with Chryst, Haering has chiefly been responsible for securing the state border, and to this point he has succeeded.

The only in-state commits that Haering was not the lead on were all offensive lineman that Joe Rudolph focused his attention on as the main recruiter, and all of those prospects he was involved with in a secondary manner.

Many fans might believe that Haering has the easiest job of any in terms of recruiting, but that does not diminish the work that he has done to fortify the state walls as more teams have become keen to the talent within Wisconsin.

Haering will have his work cut out for him with the heralded 2022 class that is loaded with talent, but at this point he has done nothing to doubt his capabilities. Haering has followed Chryst everywhere he goes, and with 27 total commitments since 2015 they seem to have a good thing going.

Recruits of Chris Haering

Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Alex Hornibrook 2015 Pennsylvania 0.8447 Primary (in-state Pittsburgh) 0.8447
Cole Van Lanen 2016 Wisconsin 0.9389 Secondary (in-state) 0.46945
Tyler Biadasz 2016 Wisconsin 0.8405 Primary (in-state) 0.8405
Mason Stokke 2016 Wisconsin 0.8313 Primary (in-state) 0.8313
Luke Benzschawel 2016 Wisconsin 0.8026 Primary (in-state) 0.8026
Jake Ferguson 2017 Wisconsin 0.8875 Primary (in-state) 0.8875
Tyler Beach 2017 Wisconsin 0.8833 Secondary (in-state) 0.44165
Logan Bruss 2017 Wisconsin 0.8656 Secondary (in-state) 0.4328
Alex Fenton 2017 Wisconsin 0.8335 Secondary (in-state) 0.41675
Boyd Dietzen 2018 Wisconsin 0.873 Primary (in-state) 0.4365
Cormac Sampson 2018 Wisconsin 0.8685 Primary (in-state) 0.43425
CJ Goetz 2018 Wisconsin 0.86 Primary (in-state) 0.43
Mason Platter 2018 Wisconsin 0.8559 Primary (in-state) 0.42795
Julius Davis 2019 Wisconsin 0.8776 Primary (in-state) 0.8776
Leo Chenal 2019 Wisconsin 0.8714 Primary (in-state) 0.8714
Keeanu Benton 2019 Wisconsin 0.8453 Primary (in-state) 0.8453
Jack Nelson 2020 Wisconsin 0.954 Secondary (in-state) 0.477
Chimere Dike 2020 Wisconsin 0.8727 Primary (in-state) 0.8727
Cade McDonald 2020 Wisconsin 0.8407 Primary (in-state) 0.8407
Trey Wedig 2020 Wisconsin 0.9643 Primary (in-state) 0.9643
Cole Dakovich 2020 Wisconsin 0.8755 Primary (in-state) 0.8755
Ben Barten 2020 Wisconsin 0.8594 Primary (in-state) 0.8594
JP Benzschawel 2021 Wisconsin 0.9428 Primary (in-state) 0.9428
Hunter Wohler 2021 Wisconsin 0.9219 Primary (in-state) 0.9219
Ayo Adebogun 2021 Wisconsin 0.873 Primary (in-state) 0.873
Jackson Acker 2021 Wisconsin 0.8722 Primary (in-state) 0.8722
Loyal Crawford 2021 Wisconsin 0.8721 Primary (in-state) 0.8721
Totals 2015 - 2021 Most common: Wisconsin Average Composite Ranking: .8751185185 22 Primary; 5 Secondary Total Points: 19.66185

Credit Matt Belz

Mickey Turner

Mickey Turner Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
20 Tight ends 2015 - 2021 Michigan, Northeastern US 0.86911 13 Primary; 7 Secondary 14.32635

Next up on the most impactful staff members in recruiting is actually the youngest assistant on the trail, Mickey Turner.

Like Joe Rudolph, Turner played at Wisconsin, and followed Chryst to his alma mater. Originally from Missouri, the former Badger tight end has done a lot of his damage in the northeastern chunk of the United States from Maryland up to Maine. Take Jonathan Taylor for example. In addition to the northeast, Turner is very active with his position group, especially in the past few cycles.

While the northeast has been fertile for Turner, the job he has done in Michigan is extremely impressive. Prior to 2015, the Badgers had not signed a player out of the state since 2007, and since his arrival they have had nine. A big reason for those inroads are the work of Turner who was the primary recruiter for five-star offensive lineman Logan Brown and many others. The state of Michigan currently stands as the fourth most beneficial pipeline state for the Badgers under Paul Chryst, and a big reason for that is Turner.

While Turner has fewer overall commits that he has helped guide to Madison than some of the staff members still to come on this list, his point total is the third highest of anyone on staff, in large part because of the caliber of athlete he has recruited and the high number of prospects he was the primary contact for.

Recruits of Mickey Turner

Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Jake Hescock 2016 Connecticut 0.8597 Primary (recruiting area + position) 0.8597
Kendric Pryor 2016 Illinois 0.8384 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8384
Deron Harrell 2016 Colorado 0.8 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8
Jake Ferguson 2017 Wisconsin 0.8875 Secondary (position) 0.44375
Jonathan Taylor 2017 New Jersey 0.8854 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8854
Aron Cruickshank 2018 New York 0.8784 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8784
Cormac Sampson 2018 Wisconsin 0.8685 Secondary (position) 0.43425
Reggie Pearson 2018 Michigan 0.8675 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8675
Jaylan Franklin 2018 Michigan 0.8668 Secondary (recruiting area + position) 0.4334
Michael Furtney 2018 Michigan 0.8614 Secondary (recruiting area) 0.4307
Taj Mustapha 2018 Michigan 0.8614 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8614
AJ Abbott 2018 Michigan 0.8581 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8581
Logan Brown 2019 Michigan 0.9915 Primary (recruiting area) 0.9915
Hayden Rucci 2019 Pennsylvania 0.8837 Secondary (position) 0.44185
Dean Engram 2019 Maryland/D.C. 0.858 Primary (recruiting area) 0.858
Clay Cundiff 2019 Kansas 0.851 Secondary (position) 0.4255
Stephan Bracey 2019 Michigan 0.8481 Primary (location) 0.8481
Cam Large 2020 Massachusettes 0.8647 Primary (recruiting area + position) 0.8647
Jack Pugh 2021 Ohio 0.8928 Secondary (position) 0.4464
Mike Jarvis 2021 New Jersey 0.8593 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8593
Totals 2015 - 2021 Most Common: Michigan Average Composite Ranking: .86911 13 Primary; 7 Secondary Total Points: 14.32635

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 07 Big Ten Championship Game Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Inoke Breckterfield

Inoke Breckterfield Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
23 Defensive line 2015 - 2021 Florida, Hawaii 0.8604434783 8 Primary; 15 Secondary 13.3689

Next up in terms of production within recruiting on the current staff is defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield.

The Honolulu, Hawaii native has done a tremendous job of reshaping the defensive line from a relative weakness when he first arrived to a position of strength in a short time. A key piece of that improvement of that has been his ability to recruit.

While Breckterfield has secondarily had a hand in defensive line recruiting, his greatest asset in recruiting has been in Hawaii and Florida. The recent addition of Nick Herbig out of the Aloha State was a monumental win for the Badgers, and Breckterfield is a huge reason for his decision. Potentially Hawaii can be a place for future additions as well with Inoke on staff. However, Breckterfield has also made a name for himself in Florida, as the primary recruiter for five commits from the state, all of which were not defensive lineman.

Since following Paul Chryst from Pittsburgh back in 2014, Breckterfield has been one of the best assistants in terms of development and recruiting for the Badgers. As the lead recruiter for four-star T.J. Bollers in 2021, things don’t appear to be slowing down either.

Recruits by Inoke Breckterfield

Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Olive Sagapolu 2015 California 0.8522 Secondary (position keeper) 0.4261
Garrett Rand 2016 Arizona 0.9244 Secondary (position) 0.4622
Isaiahh Loudermilk 2016 Kansas 0.8593 Secondary (position) 0.42965
Dontye Carrier-Williams 2016 Florida 0.845 Primary (recruiting area) 0.845
Tyler Biadasz 2016 Wisconsin 0.8405 Secondary (position) 0.42025
Keldric Preston 2016 Florida 0.8366 Secondary (recruiting area) 0.4183
Dallas Jeanty 2016 Florida 0.836 Primary (recruiting area) 0.836
Luke Benzschawel 2016 Wisconsin 0.8026 Secondary (position) 0.4013
Aaron Vopal 2017 Wisconsin 0.8599 Secondary (position) 0.42995
Faion Hicks 2017 Florida 0.8258 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8258
Boyd Dietzen 2018 Wisconsin 0.873 Secondary (position) 0.4365
Isaiah Mullens 2018 Ohio 0.8614 Secondary (position) 0.4307
Bryson Williams 2018 Nebraska 0.854 Primary (position) 0.854
Rodas Johnson 2019 Ohio 0.8858 Secondary (position) 0.4429
Semar Melvin 2019 Florida 0.8674 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8674
Gio Paez 2019 North Carolina 0.8581 Secondary (position) 0.42905
James Williams 2019 Florida 0.8479 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8479
Keeanu Benton 2019 Wisconsin 0.8453 Secondary (position) 0.42265
Nick Herbig 2020 Hawaii 0.936 Primary (recruiting area) 0.936
Cade McDonald 2020 Wisconsin 0.8407 Secondary (position) 0.42035
James Thompson 2020 Ohio 0.8435 Secondary (position) 0.42175
TJ Bollers 2021 Iowa 0.9355 Primary (position) 0.9355
Mike Jarvis 2021 New Jersey 0.8593 Secondary (position) 0.42965
Totals 2015 - 2021 Most Common: Florida + Wisconsin Average Composite Ranking: .8604434783 8 Primary; 15 Secondary Total Points: 13.3689

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 08 New Mexico at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bob Bostad

Bob Bostad Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
13 Inside linebacker 2018 - 2021 Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota 0.8730153846 9 Primary; 4 Secondary 9.61655

One of the more recent hires on the staff, Bob Bostad finds himself next on the list with the fifth most points.

A former member of the coaching staff with Paul Chryst as the tight ends/offensive line coach, and run game coordinator from 2006 to 2011 before heading off to coach in the NFL, Bostad brings a wealth of experience to the staff.

Now the inside linebackers coach, his no nonsense attitude has done well on the recruiting front across the Midwest. The Pardeeville, Wisconsin product has utilized his ties across the region to pull multiple recruits out of Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and Michigan. In those areas he has particularly done a great job of recruiting his position group, but has also been active with players across the defense as a whole.

Despite a late start — when compared to some of his peers — on the staff, he has made an immediate impact with thirteen total commits he was involved with, and a whopping nine of them that he was the main contact. Originally brought onto the staff for his physical attitude, and wealth of experience, Bostad has proven to be highly valuable as a recruiter. He may have fewer total commits than the two staff members that will follow him on this list, but his impact has been more notable in terms of quality and his level of interaction.

Recruits by Bob Bostad

Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Jack Sanborn 2018 Illinois 0.8949 Secondary (position) 0.44745
Jaylan Franklin 2018 Michigan 0.8668 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8668
Isaac Guerendo 2018 Indiana 0.858 Primary (recruiting area) 0.858
Joe Tippmann 2019 Indiana 0.8967 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8967
Maema Njongmeta 2019 Illinois 0.8784 Primary (position) 0.8784
Leo Chenal 2019 Wisconsin 0.8714 Secondary (position) 0.4357
Jordan Turner 2020 Michigan 0.868 Primary (position) 0.868
Preston Zachman 2020 Pennsylvania 0.8431 Secondary (position) 0.42155
Kaden Johnson 2020 Minnesota 0.9231 Primary (recruiting area) 0.9231
Aaron Witt 2020 Minnesota 0.8655 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8655
Bryan Sanborn 2021 Illinois 0.8789 Primary (position) 0.8789
Jake Chaney 2021 Florida 0.8559 Secondary (position) 0.42795
Antwan Roberts 2021 Tennessee 0.8485 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8485
Totals 2018 - 2021 Most Common: Illinois Average Composite Ranking: .8730153846 9 Primary; 4 Secondary Total Points: 9.61655

Big Ten Football Championship - Ohio State v Wisconsin Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Jim Leonhard

Jim Leonhard Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
17 Defensive backs 2017 - 2021 Florida 0.8640470588 6 Primary; 11 Secondary 9.4994

A fan favorite, and former Wisconsin standout, Jim Leonhard is one of the best defensive minds in college football. His ability to scheme and coach the defense has been called out on multiple occasions, but his recruiting is largely positional.

A former NFL safety, Leonhard has a great mind that defensive backs often gravitate to in the recruiting process, whether in a primary role or as a secondary recruiter.

In the rare occasion that Leonhard is not recruiting his position group, it usually takes place in the state of Florida, like with the recruitment of Jake Chaney. Leonhard has a lot of connections from his playing days in the NFL, which can be useful on the trail.

In total, he is lower on this list in terms of total points largely because of his lack of commits that he was the primary recruiter for, but that does not change the fact that the defense he runs is a major reason for many prospects opting to become Badgers.

Recruits by Jim Leonhard

Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Scott Nelson 2017 Michigan 0.8516 Primary (position) 0.8516
Madison Cone 2017 North Carolina 0.8333 Secondary (position) 0.41665
Faion Hicks 2017 Florida 0.8258 Secondary (position) 0.4129
Travian Blaylock 2018 Texas 0.8721 Secondary (position) 0.436
Donte Burton 2018 Georgia 0.871 Secondary (position) 0.4355
Reggie Pearson 2018 Michigan 0.8675 Secondary (position) 0.43375
Rachad Wildgoose 2018 Florida 0.8574 Primary (position) 0.4287
Spencer Lytle 2019 California 0.8883 Secondary (coordinator) 0.44415
Titus Toler 2019 California 0.8813 Primary (position) 0.8813
Semar Melvin 2019 Florida 0.8674 Secondary (position) 0.4337
Dean Engram 2019 Maryland/D.C. 0.858 Secondary (position) 0.429
James Williams 2019 Florida 0.8479 Secondary (position) 0.42395
Malik Reed 2020 Arizona 0.8681 Secondary (coordinator) 0.43405
Max Lofy 2020 Colorado 0.8526 Primary (position) 0.8526
Hunter Wohler 2021 Wisconsin 0.9219 Secondary (position) 0.46095
Ricardo Hallman 2021 Florida 0.8687 Primary (position) 0.8687
Jake Chaney 2021 Florida 0.8559 Primary (coordinator) 0.8559
Totals 2017 - 2021 Most Common: Florida Average Composite Ranking: .8640470588 6 Primary; 11 Secondary Total Points: 9.4994

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 Central Michigan at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

John Settle

John Settle Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
14 Running back 2015 - 2021 North Carolina, Georgia 0.8649642857 7 Primary; 7 Secondary 9.06935

One of the longest standing members of the coaching staff for Chryst, John Settle has been a fixture as the running backs coach for some time. Now in his second stint at Wisconsin, Settle has helped carry on the strong tradition at the position since coming back in 2015.

An excellent developer of talent, Settle has used his established networks in North Carolina — his home state and collegiate stomping grounds — and Georgia (from his playing days with the Atlanta Falcons) to help bring some talent to Wisconsin.

While the results in general have been mixed in recruiting for Settle, he has done a great job of luring talented running backs in the past couple cycles, regardless of only being the primary contact for seven recruits since 2015.

Recruits by John Settle

Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Sam Brodner 2016 Illinois 0.8668 Primary (position) 0.8668
Anthony Lotti 2016 Georgia 0.8306 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8306
Jonathan Taylor 2017 New Jersey 0.8854 Secondary (position) 0.4427
Madison Cone 2017 North Carolina 0.8333 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8333
Nakia Watson 2018 Texas 0.8822 Secondary (position) 0.4411
Donte Burton 2018 Georgia 0.871 Primary (recruiting area) 0.871
Julius Davis 2019 Wisconsin 0.8776 Secondary (position) 0.4388
Gio Paez 2019 North Carolina 0.8581 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8581
Quan Easterling 2019 Ohio 0.8423 Secondary (position) 0.42115
Jalen Berger 2020 New Jersey 0.9378 Primary (position) 0.9378
Devin Chandler 2020 North Carolina 0.8316 Primary (recruiting area) 0.8316
Jackson Acker 2021 Wisconsin 0.8722 Secondary (position) 0.4361
Loyal Crawford 2021 Wisconsin 0.8721 Secondary (position) 0.43605
Antwan Roberts 2021 Tennessee 0.8485 Secondary (position) 0.42425
Totals 2015 - 2021 Most Common: North Carolina + Wisconsin Average Composite Ranking: .8649642857 7 Primary; 7 Secondary Total Points: 9.06935

UW Communications

Bobby April

Bobby April Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
11 Outside linebacker 2019 - 2021 California 0.8883909091 2 Primary; 9 Secondary 5.76435

While Bobby April has only been on the staff for the 2019 through 2021 classes, he has already gotten in on the recruiting action.

Most of April’s efforts have been focused on his outside linebacker group, but the Badgers have been recruiting extremely well at the position since his arrival. With most of his experience prior to Wisconsin in the NFL, he was not expected to be a recruiting juggernaut, but if he continues to build out the outside linebacker room at this rate it will be hard to overlook.

Bobby April has not been overly active as a primary recruiter thus far, but his abilities as a coach and increased comfortability of the recruiting cycle could bolster his numbers moving forward. Especially when you consider that he has the highest average composite rating of any current assistant.

Recruits by Bobby April

Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Spencer Lytle 2019 California 0.8883 Primary (position) 0.8883
Titus Toler 2019 California 0.8813 Secondary (recruiting area) 0.44065
Skyler Meyers 2019 Missouri 0.8526 Secondary (position) 0.4263
Nick Herbig 2020 Hawaii 0.936 Secondary (position) 0.468
Kaden Johnson 2020 Minnesota 0.9231 Secondary (position) 0.46155
Cole Dakovich 2020 Wisconsin 0.8755 Secondary (position) 0.43775
Malik Reed 2020 Arizona 0.8681 Primary (position) 0.8681
Aaron Witt 2020 Minnesota 0.8655 Secondary (position) 0.43275
TJ Bollers 2021 Iowa 0.9355 Secondary (position) 0.46775
Darryl Peterson 2021 Ohio 0.8734 Secondary (position) 0.4367
Ayo Adebogun 2021 Wisconsin 0.873 Secondary (position) 0.4365
Totals 2019 - 2021 Most Common: California + Wisconsin Average Composite Ranking: .8883909091 2 Primary; 9 Secondary Total Points: 5.76435

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 Michigan at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jon Budmayr

Jon Budmayr Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
5 Quarterback 2017 - 2021 Nationwide 0.87648 5 Primary; 0 Secondary 4.3824

The one position coach that seems to have complete authority over their position group is Jon Budmayr.

The quarterbacks coach has been the primary recruiter for all five of the Badgers scholarship quarterbacks since 2017. His point total is relatively low because he has only been tasked with recruiting quarterbacks, but the caliber of signal caller he has signed has been good with an average of over .87 per commit.

The signature of four-star quarterback Graham Mertz is by far the biggest get thus far, but the rising ranking of Mertz in 2019, and 2021 commit Deacon Hill has shown that Budmayr can really evaluate the position. Both players were offered before becoming full-time starters during their junior seasons, a rarity in college recruiting.

Given how important the quarterback position is I don’t anticipate Budmayr’s role to shift in the near future. Especially if he continues to do so well in finding talented athletes for his room early and develop them once they are on campus.

Recruits of Jon Budmayr

Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Player Class (Year) State Composite Ranking Involvement Points Added
Jack Coan 2017 New York 0.8714 Primary (position) 0.8714
Danny Vanden Boom 2017 Wisconsin 0.8106 Primary (position) 0.8106
Chase Wolf 2018 Ohio 0.8526 Primary (position) 0.8526
Graham Mertz 2019 Kansas 0.9689 Primary (position) 0.9689
Deacon Hill 2021 California 0.8789 Primary (position) 0.8789
Totals 2017 - 2021 Quarterbacks nationwide Average Composite Ranking: .87648 5 Primary; 0 Secondary Total Points: 4.3824

CSU receivers coach Alvis Whitted during practice Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Alvis Whitted

After being hired mere months ago there is no data for wide receivers coach Alvis Whitted. The 2021 and 2022 classes should give a better sense of his recruiting abilities as well as the geographic footprint he will cover.


Former assistants

Under Paul Chryst the Badgers have been fairly lucky in regards to staff turnover, with only five assistants who have left for other jobs. Here is a quick breakdown of each former assistant’s contributions in recruiting while at UW.

  • Ted Gilmore (now at Michigan State)

Ted Gilmore Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
21 Wide receiver 2015 - 2020 Texas, Plains Region 0.8575 12 Primary; 9 Secondary 14.1281
  • Tim Tibesar (Now at Oregon State)

Tim Tibesar Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
7 Outside linebacker 2015 - 2018 Illinois 0.8674571429 5 Primary; 2 Secondary 5.2286
  • Dave Aranda (Now at Baylor)

Dave Aranda Breakdown

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
9 Linebackers 2015 - 2016 Florida 0.854744444 2 Primary; 7 Secondary 4.26465
  • Daronte Jones (now with the Minnesota Vikings)

Daronte Jones

Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
Total Commits Position Classes on Staff Recruiting Area Average Composite Ranking Involvement Total Points
6 Defensive backs 2015 - 2016 Maryland 0.835683333 2 Primary; 4 Secondary 3.3647
  • Justin Wilcox (now at Cal)

Justin Wilcox did not complete an entire recruiting cycle while at Wisconsin, and therefore was not the primary recruiter for anyone while at UW.