Let’s do a quick recap of news and notes about the Wisconsin Badgers football team, shall we?
- First up, senior safety Collin Wilder will not play in the Las Vegas Bowl due to an injury and his Wisconsin football career is over. A brutal ending for a player who gave his all for the Badgers.
Words don’t even do it justice❤️ https://t.co/iqsqqXnzN9— Collin Wilder (@WilderCollin) December 14, 2021
Wilder’s last play as a Badger will be the targeting penalty he was (unfairly) ejected for on the opening play of the Axe Game against Minnesota. Hopefully that is not how people remember him because he was a valuable player for Jim Leonhard’s defense both on the field and in the locker room.
In the video above, Wilder notes that he suffered a “very serious injury” which we’ll probably get more clarification on during media availibility on Tuesday morning. He also thanks his family, for allowing him the opportunity to come up from Katy, Texas and walk-on to Wisconsin’s team, and his teammates aka his “brothers for life.”
For his UW career, Wilder, who transferred from Houston, recorded 81 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss and a sack, while breaking up 16 passes, snagging five interceptions and recovering a fumble in 32 games. Perhaps his best game was on Senior Day against Nebraska where he picked off Adrian Martinez twice.
#Badgers safety Collin Wilder — creator of The Grit Factory hat. Was supposed to be part of a Halloween costume. Turned into a turnover prop. Will be on the sideline moving forward. pic.twitter.com/9fcXB59rvR— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) October 30, 2021
UPDATE, Tuesday 12/14/21, 11:52 a.m. CT: After meeting with the media on Monday morning, Wilder said that his injury has to do with a ligament near his spine and he suffered it on that first play of the game against Minnesota. Sounds like if the bowl game was at the end of January, instead of the end of December, he could have played.
.@WilderCollin spoke to reporters for at least 25 minutes today. Very much appreciated his time. We’ll have more on @Badger_Blitz later, but he suffered a ligament injury that’s attached to his spine during his lone play vs. Minnesota. Six-week recovery process. pic.twitter.com/gWZCgG3bgX— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKoco) December 14, 2021
- The Associated Press announced their football All-America teams on Monday and two Badgers made the list. ILB Leo Chenal was named to the second team while OG Josh Seltzner made the third team. You can check out the full team here.
- Head coach Paul Chryst spoke to reporters from The Athletic, the Wisconsin State Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (B5Q not invited! Investigate???) on Monday about the recruiting department, or lack thereof.
Here are the links to each story: The Athletic ($), Journal Sentinel, State Journal
You may remember that we wrote a post four days ago about how Wisconsin needs to invest in their recruiting department and how not receiving even the smallest crumb of information about it was frustrating. Lo and behold, three days later we have some answers...however frustrating they may be.
https://t.co/gfcrrkjcog pic.twitter.com/4cI5r1WJS1— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) December 14, 2021
Some of the key takeaways are:
- Chryst wants his recruiting department in place by February after conducting interviews in January.
- As best I can tell, he wants to have someone devoted to the transfer portal, someone devoted to high school recruiting, a communications/video/graphics person and someone in charge of the whole department.
- One thing I liked is when Chryst was asked about the smaller size of the 2022 recruiting class and if that concerns him he said: “You’re not going to run guys out. I know we’re old-fashioned, but when we say you’ve got an offer, that means you’ve got a scholarship.”
One thing I really didn’t like was Chryst’s insistence that going the entire season, and most of the summer, without a recruiting department in place was fine, actually, because all of the relationships for the ‘22 class had been made and the coaches were doing most of the recruiting.
He even mentions that teams are usually recruiting two and a half classes at a time which means he completely punted on building relationships with the 2023 class and part of the 2024 class. Like, I know offers have been going out for ‘23 but is anyone maintaining those relationships and building out a board for the future? We mentioned that UW is one of three Big Ten schools to not have a ‘23 commitment yet and this seems like a major reason why.
Overall, the interview is difficult to parse through. Chryst says a whole lot of words without really saying anything of substance. It’s truly maddening to try and figure out what he’s saying but I guess we’ll get a clearer (???) picture come February when some new hires are announced.