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Wisconsin football recruiting: pair of walk-on offers go out

Two high schoolers in the class of 2022 were offered preferred walk-on opportunities with the Badgers.

NCAA Football: Kent State at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin Badgers football team has a rich history of walk-ons succeeding and making a big impact over the course of their careers. This past week a pair of 2022 high school prospects were extended walk-on invitations by Paul Chryst and the coaching staff.

On Thursday, Zach Goudeman of River Valley High School (Wis.) took to Twitter to announce his preferred walk-on offer opportunity with the Badgers.

The 6-foot-2, 210 pound athlete primarily plays linebacker and running back for his high school squad, and was the Conference Player of the Year on offense. Gloudeman previously camped with the Badgers earlier in the summer, and also visited for a Junior Day as well in mid-June.

The majority of his interest has come after a strong showing at the WFCA Combine where he posted a 4.56 forty-yard dash, vertical: 36.2”, 23 reps of 185 on the bench press as well as a 4.47 pro agility. He has publicly shared offers from South Dakota, South Dakota State, North Dakota State, a bevy of DII schools, and interest from many Ivy League programs.

On Thursday, another linebacker prospect was invited to join the Badgers in the 2022 class. Austin Harnetiaux of Seattle (Wash.) Prep School took to Twitter to share that he also earned a preferred walk-on offer from Wisconsin after visiting campus back in June.

A three-star (247 Sports only) linebacker that also plays tight end for his high school team, Harnetiaux is listed as 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, and reportedly runs a 4.67 forty-yard dash. Additionally, he told B5Q that he recorded a 335-pound max bench and 565-pound squat.

Harnetiaux currently holds scholarship offers from Central Washington and Eastern Washington, with further interest from Boise State, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington, Washington State. At this point, the Badgers are considered the front runner for the talented prospect who is being recruited by Bobby April as an outside linebacker.

In fact, Harnetiaux specifically reached out to Coach April via email to initiate contact and get on the Badgers radar. From there the process has progressed rapidly and so has his relationship with Wisconsin’s outside linebackers coach. Harnetiaux mentioned that April “has been an awesome guy to lead me through this relationship with Wisconsin.”

With the Badgers tight on scholarships in the 2022 class, the Wisconsin coaching staff has been reluctant to hand out linebacker offers this cycle after taking a large number the past two classes. However, the Badgers have been very active with walk-on prospects in this class, as both Goudeman and Harnetiaux join others such as Luna Larson of Baraboo as prospects to watch as walk-ons in the linebacker room.