Recruiting is the lifeblood of a college football program and Early Signing Day is a huge first step in the future for players, coaches, and fans. Today is a day where players get to put pen to paper on their future homes, and fans can get excited about the prospects their schools bring in.
For most players after signing day, they get to relax and start to prepare for their arrival at their respective schools. Many players will develop for a couple of years before we see them on the field, but for some their impact can be felt early in their carry and for some even instantly. For example, Wisconsin landed a guy last year by the name of Braelon Allen who seemed to have a pretty instant impact for UW.
Allen is a rare example, but many other players saw the field from last year's class. Safety Hunter Wohler played a lot on special teams and some defensive snaps, cornerback Ricardo Hallman got some snaps in reserve time, linebacker Jake Chaney played on special teams, and tailback Jackson Acker got some carries among others.
The 2022 class isn’t a big one, and most of the players that we see will likely be guys that take some time to develop. Last year Allen and Wohler stood out as guys who would likely get snaps, but this year that picture isn’t as clear. Who are some guys that might jump out early? Let’s take a look.
Austin Brown (Safety, Johnston City, Ill.)
When speaking to Allen Trieu of 247 Sports on the latest episode of Bucky’s 5th Podcast we posed this question to him and the first name he threw out was Austin Brown. Brown is a safety/linebacker hybrid that appears at least physically ready to play at the next level early. That part is key to any player wanting to make that jump early in their career. Brown has the physical tools to play, but where he ends up position-wise will be deciding factor. There is a lot of talent in both the safety and linebacker room already at Wisconsin, but Brown is certainly a name that could be in the mix.
Tristan Monday (Linebacker/Defensive End, Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Another name that Trieu mentioned in our conversation was linebacker Tristan Monday. Monday currently stands at 6-foot-4 and is incredibly explosive. He was a very productive player at the high school level and could really blossom for Wisconsin quickly once he gets on campus and into the Badgers program. Monday is a high motor, physical player that could really make a big jump if things go well for him early.
Mondays, am I right?!— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 15, 2021
Tristan is in the game - Welcome to the Wisconsin family! pic.twitter.com/DwUDcY66bt
Tommy Mcintosh (Wide receiver, Dewitt, Mich.)
The last name that Trieu mentioned was that of wideout Tommy Mcintosh. Mcintosh is an interesting prospect for the Badgers. He comes into UW standing at 6-foot-5 so the height and frame is certainly there. Many people look at Mcintosh and think he could turn into a tight end for UW, but Trieu did mention that he thinks Mcintosh is athletic enough to play the wideout position and compete against Big Ten defensive backs. His size and speed coupled with the Badgers looking for wideouts next year couple allow Mcintosh to see the field if he impresses early.
Aside from those three, I think Wisconsin mostly has developmental guys on their hands. A guy like Curtis Neal on the defensive line could be a player early in his career given his size and speed but we’ll have to see where he is at with his recent knee injury. Aidan Vaughan seems to be a steal in the class but he’ll be entering a linebacker room already loaded with talent from the last couple of classes. Joe Brunner is a physical player that plays incredibly hard, but generally, Wisconsin likes to take a year of development for guys on the offensive line.
Who do you think could make an instant impact? Let us know in the comments!