On Monday afternoon, it was reported that redshirt freshman WR Devin Chandler would be entering the transfer portal. Chandler, who was listed as the starting kick returner on the depth chart that was released on Monday morning, has played in every game so far this season, but has only seen a handful of offensive snaps.
Chandler has zero catches this year, but has returned four kicks for 85 yards (21.25 yards per kick return). In four games last season, he had two catches for 28 yards, both against Iowa, and had a 59-yard kickoff return and 18-yard rush in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl against Wake Forest.
A 3-star recruit out of high school, Chandler hails from North Carolina and signed with Wisconsin after a quick recruitment:
Chandler’s recruitment with the Badgers was pretty fast moving. He was offered at the end of November, visited Madison in the middle of December and decided to commit to the Badgers the night before Early Signing Day.
Chandler also strongly considered Virginia and Maryland, he took official visits to both of these schools as well, and he received offers from N.C. State, Duke, Illinois, Syracuse, Akron and Kent State among others.
Jesse Temple at The Athletic ($) and Evan Flood at 247 Sports ($) both had exit interviews of sorts with Chandler and, well, neither paint a pretty picture. Per Temple, Chandler said this about how the offense works:
“We have plenty of receivers in our room who just straight-up make plays and very rarely throughout the game will they be given opportunities for that,” Chandler said. “So I just don’t want to be put in that same position.”
This season in particular might see a lot of frustrated young players leave teams all over the country since players were granted an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19. Normally, Kendric Pryor, Danny Davis III and Jack Dunn would have exhausted their eligibility but instead there is a logjam in the WR room this year.
Chandler also discussed how the Wisconsin offense wasn’t exactly wide receiver friendly and, quite frankly, he is correct this year. Between the offensive line struggling, Graham Mertz struggling, and the limited playbook because of both of those things there haven’t been many passes to go around.
Badger defense not allowing many TDs forces another Kick Returner to transfer https://t.co/OSOEDJwuwI— akschaaf (@akschaaf) October 18, 2021
There is certainly a lot to unpack here, and Chandler has some valid criticisms, but these things seem to work themselves out both for the team and the player. We hope that Chandler finds success at his next school.