Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Meet the 2016 Wisconsin football recruiting class: Defense and special teams

Pair of four-star linebackers added to already loaded position at UW
Lukas Keapproth

The Wisconsin football team boasted the top-ranked scoring defense in the country last season. Wisconsin will look to build on that performance with a new defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox, after Dave Aranda left for LSU.

Football: UW defensive coordinator Dave Aranda leaves for LSU

Meet the new crop of freshmen that will learn under Wilcox next season:

Defensive line (5)

Garrett Rand  ★ ★ ★ ★


There was concern Rand would de-commit after Aranda’s departure, but just days before signing day, Rand confirmed he would stay to play under Wilcox. He is the No. 1 ranked defensive tackle in Arizona and ranked 16th nationally, according to Rand recored 92 tackles and 15 sacks in his senior season. 

Tyler Biadasz ★ ★ ★ 

Biadasz’s senior season consisting of 70 tackles, seven sacks and five forced fumbles earned him the 2015 Tim Krumrie Award as Wisconsin’s most outstanding senior defensive linemen. He is ranked 88th nationally among defensive linemen, according to

Isaiah Loudermilk ★ ★ ★

Loudermilk boasts a massive 6-foot-7, 270-pound frame and logged 97 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions as a senior. He did, however, play eight-man football in high school in Kansas, making for a potentially more difficult transition into the college game. 

Keldric Preston ★ ★ ★

Preston is a coming off a senior season where he recorded 64 tackles, five sacks and two forced fumbles en route to winning team MVP. He is ranked as the No. 19 defensive end in Florida, according to

Luke Benzschawel ★ ★

Benzschawel is current Wisconsin offensive linemen Beau Benzschawel’s younger brother, but will likely play on the opposite side of the ball. He played both tight end and defensive end as a senior in high school and was named all-region at both positions. Benzschawel finished his final season with 83 tackles and nine sacks. 

Linebackers (4)

Noah Burks ★ ★ ★ ★

Burks was named first-team all-state by the Associated Press as a senior, recording 89 tackles, six sacks and three interceptions in his final season. He is listed as the No. 1 outside linebacker in Indiana, according to

Griffin Grady ★ ★ ★ ★

Grady had an incredibly productive senior season, recording 151 tackles, five sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception. He shows strong speed for the position with a 4.65-second 40-yard dash time and is listed as the No. 1 inside linebacker in Ohio, according to

Dallas Jeanty ★ ★ 

Jeanty recorded 94 tackles, 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles in his senior season. That production made way for the linebacker to be selected for the 2016 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

Mason Stokke ★ ★ 

Stokke was named to first-team all-state in his senior season as both a linebacker and running back after rushing for 1,740 yards and scoring 29 touchdowns while recording 184 tackles and two sacks. Stokke was also given the 2015 John Anderson Award as Wisconsin’s top senior linebacker. 

Defensive backs (6)

Eric Burrell ★ ★ 

Burrell was selected for the 2016 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl following his senior season and was a consensus all-state selection in both his junior and senior seasons. He recorded 41 tackles and two interceptions in his final season.

Dontye Carriere-Williams ★ ★ 

Carriere-Williams finished his high school career with 70 tackles and five interceptions, all while helping his team to back-to-back state championships. 

Seth Currens ★ ★ 

Currens was named a first-time all-state performer by the Associated Press as a senior after recording 73 tackles and three interceptions. The versatile athlete also played on the offensive side of the ball, recording 669 passing yards, 254 receiving yards and 250 rushing yards in his final season. He is listed as the No. 2 safety in Ohio, according to

Patrick Johnson ★ ★ 

Johnson missed his entire senior season due to an injury, but was a second-team all-state performer as a junior in high school after recording 48 tackles and five interceptions. Despite missing his senior season, he is still listed as the No. 3 safety in Maryland, according to 

Ke’Shan Pennamon ★ ★ 

Pennamon boasts solid speed, but a smaller frame. He was named first-team all-state by the Associated Press as a senior after recording 57 tackles and two forced fumbles. The cornerback also got some work on offense, catching 10 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns in his final season.

Caesar Williams ★ ★ 

Williams finished his high school career with 12 interceptions, as he managed three picks in each season. Williams also presents potential kick returning capabilities, returning one kickoff return for a touchdown in his final season. 

Deron Harrell ★ ★

Harrell was recruited as a defensive back, but threw for 1,347 yards and 17 touchdowns in his high school senior season. He was, however, a first-team all-conference performer at defensive back in his final season, recording four interceptions on the year.

Special Teams (1)

Anthony Lotti ★ ★ 

Lotti  was named a first-team All-American by Kohl’s following his senior season and is recognized as one of the best punters in the 2016 class. Lotti managed to kick 15 punts of 50-plus yards in his final high school season.

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