The Wisconsin Badgers left the spring with many positives, given the outlook of the team following the number of transfers into the program, but had a clear hole at a position: cornerback.
As the spring went on, the Badgers lost depth at the position, as cornerbacks A’Khoury Lyde, Al Ashford, and Avyonne Jones all departed the program, leaving true freshmen Jonas Duclona and Jace Arnold as the second-stringers behind starters Ricardo Hallman and Alexander Smith.
In the summer, the Badgers then sought after transfer cornerbacks, first landing Nyzier Fourqueran, a standout cornerback at Grand Valley State, where he played under outside linebackers coach Matt Mitchell, before getting Michael Mack, a two-year starter at Air Force, which became official as fall camp started.
While Fourqueran’s transfer went smoothly, allowing him to suit up this season, there may be some eligibility concerns with Mack that could force him to sit out one season.
Speaking with reporters after Monday’s practice, head coach Luke Fickell was unable to shed extra details on the situation, but added the support they’ve received in looking to help Mack out.
“No, I don’t know where we are with [Mack’s transfer],” Fickell said. “I think that the great thing about that one is I think the academy is all on our side. I think that they want to help Michael out from everything that I know and everything that they’ve kind of said.”
While the process unfolds, the Badgers have a different task: getting Mack up to speed as quickly as possible in preparation for the upcoming year.
“There’s still a little bit of a process to go with that, but we’re optimistic,” Fickell said. “We’re trying to get him obviously up to speed with a lot of things we’re doing because I think he sat for a good month or so without the ability to know what was going to be able to happen for him.
“So I think he’s got a great attitude and I think that’s what’s most important right now.”
Mack brings a starting pedigree to the Badgers and bridges the gap between the starters and true freshmen, which was the school’s goal coming out of the spring.
With him and Fourqueran in the fold, the Badgers now have four experienced and capable cornerbacks in their rotation, bolstering their depth ahead of the upcoming year.