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Wisconsin football: 2021 fall roster released

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FOOTBALL IS ALMOST BACK, BABYYYYYYYY!

Kelli Steffes; UW Athletics Communications

It’s the day we all sit around waiting for every year...fall camp roster release day! All of the new freshmen and transfers are on campus, there are new weight gains and losses to examine and we get to reacquaint ourselves with everyone’s new numbers. It really is a glorious day!

Let’s get right into the minutiae of the roster and take a peek at who is no longer there when compared to the spring roster. There are only four players missing, which is pretty good, and one of them may even be back next year.

  • WR Cooper Nelson
  • LB Malik Reed (transferred to Arizona)
  • QB Daniel Wright (entered transfer portal)
  • S Titus Toler (is applying for medical hardship waiver)

Our old pal Jake Kocorowski reached out to UW about Toler and they said that Toler “is applying for a medical exemption due to injuries and is still enrolled as a student.” Toler is a player that the staff has been high on. From our post-spring positional breakdown of the safeties:

However, Toler may have the highest ceiling of the group, and he was in the two-deep last year before going down with an injury after only two games. He recorded an interception against Michigan in 2020. His name was not thrown around quite as much, as he continues to recover from the injury, but he is someone that the staff is high on.

Here, in alphabetical order, are the incoming transfers and freshmen (who weren’t in early for spring ball) listed positions, heights and weights. First up, the true freshmen:

  • Jackson Acker, RB, 6-foot-1, 229 pounds
  • Ayo Adebogun, OLB, 6-foot-2, 214 pounds
  • Braelon Allen, RB, 6-foot-2, 238 pounds
  • Markus Allen, WR, 6-foot-1, 215 pounds
  • Owen Arnett, S, 5-foot-11, 215 pounds
  • Skyler Bell, WR, 6-foot, 190 pounds
  • Grover Bortolotti, RB, 5-foot-9, 188 pounds
  • Loyal Crawford, RB, 5-foot-11, 195 pounds
  • Ricardo Hallman, CB, 5-foot-10, 173 pounds
  • Deacon Hill, QB, 6-foot-3, 248 pounds
  • Alex Moeller, WR, 5-foot-11, 166 pounds
  • Darryl Peterson, OLB, 6-foot-1, 247 pounds
  • Jake Ratzlaff, ILB, 6-foot-2, 206 pounds
  • Antwan Roberts, RB, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds
  • Nolan Rucci, OL, 6-foot-8, 294 pounds
  • Bryan Sanborn, ILB, 6-foot-1, 229 pounds
  • Garrison Solliday, ILB, 5-foot-11, 230 pounds
  • Nate Van Zelst, K, 5-foot-11, 189 pounds
  • Hunter Wohler, S, 6-foot-2, 201 pounds
  • Zach Zei, LS, 6-foot-2, 214 pounds

Next, here are the three players that transferred into the program this offseason with their hometowns and previous schools added as well:

  • Tommy Brunner, sophomore, DE, 6-foot-3, 254 pounds; Milwaukee, Northern Illinois
  • Chez Mellusi, junior, RB, 5-foot-11, 204 pounds; Naples, Fla., Clemson
  • Isaac Townsend, sophomore, DE, 6-foot-5, 275 pounds; Arvada, Colo., Oregon

For the transfers, Mellusi is expected to step in right away and be a guy who can assume the backup role to Jalen Berger in the backfield. I’d imagine that Townsend will get some looks in the defensive end rotation as well. Brunner is more of a project but could be a guy who finds himself playing meaningful football for the Badgers in two years.

Lastly, here are some of the significant weight changes for players since the spring roster was released. There are a bunch of guys who fluctuated four or five pounds (or fewer) either way, and I’m not going to list them here. Let’s talk about some BIG weight changes, people!

  • Michael Balistreri, DE, 276 pounds, down 14 from spring roster
  • Tanor Bortolini, OL, 306 pounds, up seven
  • Logan Brown, OL, 311 pounds, down eight
  • Clay Cundiff, TE, 244 pounds, down seven
  • Cole Dakovich, TE, 239 pounds, down 10
  • Quan Easterling, FB, 239 pounds, up seven
  • Kaden Johnson, OLB, 233 pounds, down seven
  • Cam Large, TE, 245 pounds, down 10
  • Max Lofy, CB, 181 pounds, down seven
  • Kayden Lyles, OL, 312 pounds, down 11
  • Riley Mahlman, OL, 300 pounds, up 11
  • Jack Nelson, OL, 304 pounds, up seven
  • Maema Njongmeta, 227 pounds, down seven
  • Jack Pugh, TE, 241 pounds, up 12
  • Josh Seltzner, OL, 310 pounds, down 12
  • James Thompson, Jr., DE, 290 pounds, up 14
  • Andy Vujnovich, P, 230 pounds, down seven
  • Amaun Williams, CB, 182 pounds, down eight
  • Bryson Williams, NT, 291 pounds, up 11

It’s nice to see Bryson Williams get his weigh back up after his injury. He was down 14 pounds heading into spring practice but he has now gained almost all of that back. The veteran tight ends all seemed to be in the business of losing weight and 240 to 245 pounds appears to be the ideal range for them this season.

The offensive line looks like they’re trying to have their guys in the 300 to 315 range. The only guy in that unit above 315 is Joe Tippman who is at 320, which is still down five pounds from his spring weight. Tippman is the heaviest player on the roster and NT Keeanu Benton is second, tipping the scales at 317 pounds. Incoming freshmen offensive linemen Riley Mahlman and Nolan Rucci are the two tallest players on the team, at 6-foot-8. Incoming freshman wideout Alex Moeller is the least heavy player on the team, weighing 166 pounds, while Jack Dunn remains the shortest player on the team at 5-foot-7.