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.
Last, but definitely not least, in our player profile series is Gabe Lloyd.
Name: Gabe Lloyd
Position: tight end
2020 eligibility: redshirt senior
Recruiting info out of HS: two-star, tight end, Green Bay
2016 Recruitment: A first-team All-State selection as a senior in high school as an 8-man football star, Gabe Lloyd earned a full scholarship offer fro North Dakota State. NDSU was his fathers alma mater, and his father was also a former NFL Draft selection after his college playing days. However, Wisconsin came in late two weeks before National Signing Day and offered Lloyd a preferred walk-on spot, and that eventually won out.
Career statistics: 21 games played, three tackles
2019 statistics: missed the entire season due to injury
Player overview: After a redshirt season in 2016, Gabe Lloyd began making inroads onto the field in special teams thanks to his work on scout team. By his redshirt sophomore year, he played in every game, seeing time both as a tight end but also on special teams.
A right leg injury kept him out of action for all of 2019, a season in which he probably would have earned significant playing time.
Now back to full health, Lloyd is a player to keep an eye on entering the 2020 season.
Best case scenario for 2020: Fully healthy, the best case scenario for Gabe Lloyd is able to step in as the second tight end for the Badgers. A big, strong player, Lloyd would pair nicely with Jake Ferguson as a more traditional in-line tight end.
Last season, the Badgers were not able to use “12” or “22” personnel very often, both of which are regularly used packages of their playbook. A big fall camp by Lloyd would go a long way in helping the Wisconsin get back to a more traditional look than a year ago.
With so many younger options — like Clay Cundiff, Hayden Rucci, Jack Eschenbach, and two true freshman — also vying for that second tight end spot in the rotation it is not a guarantee that Lloyd will automatically take hold of that role, but heading into fall camp he has the most experience of the bunch for the Badgers.
Likely role on team in 2020: Regardless of who wins out for the second spot in the tight end rotation, Gabe Lloyd will be utilized in some fashion come fall. His size and athleticism make him a great fit for multiple special teams packages, a spot he helped the team out with during the 2018 season.
Lloyd might have an opportunity to earn back an extra year of eligibility for 2021 after missing all of last season, but as things stand this is his best chance to contribute up to this point. He should be one of the main tight ends in an offensive that is not afraid to deploy tight ends aplenty.