We are about one week away from the Wisconsin Badgers kicking off their 2017 campaign against the Utah State Aggies. Football season really is back folks, it is time to get excited! We have been covering a lot of pro football as of late on Cream City Central, but now it’s time to go back to school, and take a stroll down State St. and get to know some of the incoming freshmen on the offensive side for your Wisconsin Badgers.
1: Danny Vanden Boom – Quarterback (Kimberly, Wisconsin)
The reigning Gatorade Wisconsin High School Player of the year, committed to Wisconsin after leading Kimberly High School to two state championships and a perfect 28-0 record as their starting quarterback. Not only does Vanden Boom excel at Football, at Kimberly, he led the Papermakers to a State Baseball Championship in his senior year as a pitcher/shortstop. His winning ways will be a great addition to an already successful group returning to Madison this fall. While Vanden Boom may not see much time on the field, as redshirt sophomore Alex Hornibrook is the projected starter, and Kare’ Lyles the likely backup to Hornibrook. However, his expertise in winning will benefit everyone around him, and when his number is called, Vanden Boom will be able to run the Pro-style offense with success.
- Logan Bruss – Offensive Line (Kimberly, Wisconsin)
Bruss will be joining the aforementioned Danny Vanden Boom, one of his teammates at Kimberly High School, at the University of Wisconsin. A three star recruit by ESPN and 24/7 Sports, Bruss was a first team all-state selection by the Associated Press as a junior and senior. He was also named a finalist for the Joe Thomas award, which is awarded to the State’s top senior offensive lineman. Similar to Vanden Boom, it is unlikely Bruss will have any impact for the upcoming season, however, being able to learn and develop with one of the best offensive lines in the nation will prove to be a huge asset for Bruss.
- Kayden Lyles – Offensive Line (Middleton, Wisconsin)
Quite possibly the best recruit of the 2017 recruiting class for the Badgers, a four star recruit according to ESPN and 24/7 Sports, Lyles will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years at Wisconsin. He was a unanimous first-team all state selection by the Associated Press, and he was the recipient of the Joe Thomas award. Lyles is also unlikely to have any time on the field this season, but when he does get opportunities to play, his 6’3 320 pound frame makes him one of the biggest players on the team. His size will prove to be a vital benefit to an already exceptional offensive line, and he will be able to dominate against BIG 10 defensive linemen across the country.
- Danny Davis III – Wide Receiver (Springfield, Ohio)
Technically, he is listed as a wide receiver, but four star recruit Danny Davis III can do it all. Not only can he beat you as a wideout, he can make an impact as a running back, and a return man. His versatility is a valuable asset and should be used as much as possible. In addition, Davis possess amazing speed that can effectively space out a Badgers offense that has heavily relied on a running game for the better part of the last decade. While he is close to the bottom of the depth chart, as with most freshmen, Davis could earn a spot on special teams, either as a returner or a gunner, for the upcoming season. While this won’t show the nation all of his potential, a spot on special teams can, and will, lead to a spot with the first team offense in the coming years.
- Jonathan Taylor – Running Back (Salem, New Jersey)
Taylor, another four star recruit, probably has the best chance to make an impact for the Badgers this season. Many call the University of Wisconsin, Running Back U because of all the great players who have come out of college at that position. For example, players like Ron Dayne, James White, and Melvin Gordon have all made their impact not only in college, but under the bright lights in the NFL. Wisconsin alum Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale are looking to make strides in their rookie seasons so they can be a force on the gridiron like Dayne, White, and Gordon. Jonathan Taylor will be able to do the same. When he committed to U-W he knew the great system that has been put in place for running backs. Playing behind an always elite offensive line won’t hurt either. The Badgers like to play multiple running backs in games, Bradrick Shaw, Taiwan Deal, and Chris James are the favorites to get most opportunities in games, but Jonathan Taylor is not far behind, and he could see action more than most think this season.
The freshmen on the offensive side of the ball will be limited in the chances they get to hit the field this season. It is what they make with these limited chances that will lead to more playing time and exposure down the road when they become upperclassmen. For now, sit back and relax as the future looks bright for the offense in Madison.