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.
Hayden Rucci, a promising tight end prospect for the Badgers is the focus of today’s version of our running profile series.
Name: Hayden Rucci
Position: tight end
2020 eligibility: redshirt freshman
Recruiting info out of HS: 247 composite 3-star, No. 23 tight end, Lititz, Pa.
2018 recruitment: Hayden Rucci was one of the Badgers top targets in the class of 2019, but it took fighting off a lot of other Big Ten foes to land Rucci in Madison. His recruitment started in 2017 when Rucci received an offer from Michigan State, and then Wisconsin and Minnesota soon after. In November 2017 Rucci took an unoffical visit to Madison and committed on February, 5th 2018.
Career statistics: N/A
2019 statistics: N/A
Player overview: At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds Rucci has the size and frame to make a splash at the college level. One strength of Rucci’s game is that he has the ability to be a do it all tight end early on in his career. While watching his high school film you see Rucci line up in a true tight end set and make a ton of blocks down field, but also catch passes in the screen game.
Best case scenario for 2020: After a 2019 season that saw the tight end room plagued with injuries, the depth should be much more intact in 2020. Best case scenario for Rucci is that he impresses when and if Fall camp begins and works his way into the two deep at tight end. Tight ends coach Mickey Turner and offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph have a clear starter in Jake Ferguson, but the Badgers use a lot of tight ends in a lot of different roles. Rucci’s ability to block in the run game could open some doors for him earlier than others.
Likely role on team in 2020: The tight end room is deep, and there are a lot of contenders as to who will work into the new roles for the Badgers. With a run blocking already in Rucci’s arsenal I would expect to see him in some sets this fall. The lack of spring ball and up in the airness of fall camp has certainly hurt younger players development, but I think Rucci could be a guy that could work into the fold.