Wisconsin Commitment Impact: Ben Barten

Wisconsin Commitment Impact: Ben Barten

Recruiting

Wisconsin Commitment Impact: Ben Barten

Committed Over: Stratford (Wis.) lineman Ben Barten committed to Wisconsin last week over offers from Iowa and South Dakota State. He was also receiving interest from Iowa State and Notre Dame.

Rated: Barten is an early three-star prospect by the 247sports composite, putting him as the No.54 offensive tackle in the 2020 class.

On Film: Flipping on the film of the 6-6, 255-pound athlete and it’s easy to see why the Wisconsin coaching staff became enamored with him early. Barten was evaluated on both sides of the ball by the UW staff during the summer and was offered in September.

On offense, Barten has the makeup and build of a tackle with his leverage, hand placement and ability to finish blocks. On defense. Barten showcases good pursuit and a high motor, a reason why he finished with 72 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and five sacks his junior season. Throw in the fact that he plays basketball, helping him with his footwork and overall athleticism and this is a solid prospect with some lengths and physicality sprinkled in.

His high school career could draw some comparisons to the high school version of Beau Benzschawel, a lean, in-state kid who projected at multiple positions. Once Benzschawel got to Wisconsin and started adding weight to his frame, he developed into a solid interior player. Barten has the same type of makeup.

Recruiting Impact: Barten joins offensive lineman Dylan Barrett (St. Charles, Ill.), Jack Nelson (Stoughton, Wis.) and Trey Wedig (Wales, Wis.) in UW’s 2020 recruiting class. Considering those three project on offense, don’t be surprised if Barten is labeled as a defensive lineman at this early stage. His uncertainty gives UW some options in the very early stages of 2020 recruiting.

UW has two linemen committed in 2019 in five-star Logan Brown and four-star Joe Tippmann and is going after more. Bryce Benhart (Lakeville, MN) committed to Nebraska Sunday so the search moves on to another top target, like a Dallas Fincher (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Nash Hutmacher (Chamberlain, S.D.) or Grant Toutant (Warren, Mich.). How the Badgers round out 2019’s offensive line class will certainly impact the number of players in the 2020 one.

UW doesn’t have a defensive prospect committed for 2020 but has two defensive tackles/ends for 2019 in Keeanu Benton (Janesville, Wis.) and Gio Paez (Charlotte, NC). Looking strictly at the defensive end in the 2020 class, the staff has known offers out to Kevon Billingsley, Bryan Bresee, Chris Braswell, Jacolbe Cowan, Darrion Henry and others. All those prospects are out-of-state players.

Quote: “As far as position, they said it’s just a lineman thing, so it’s undecided and I’m unsure at the moment. I don’t have a preference at all – I just want to play. The feedback from the coaches has been very positive. They like what they have seen from my film and it’s awesome when I get to talk to them in person.” – Barten told BadgerBlitz.com.

Final Thought: There’s going to be a ton of movement between now and when Barten gets on campus at both the offensive line and defensive line groups. In the immediate future, UW’s o-line will lose at least two starters this season while the defensive line will retain all of its ends for the foreseeable future. All things considered, Barten will likely be able to get on the field quicker at the end position, as Isaiahh Loudermilk and Garrett Rand will be seniors in 2020. Even so, the new NCAA rules allowing players to play up to four games and retain a year of eligibility will certainly alter how coaches prepare certain players.

If you look at the rest of the class, Barten’s versatility may lean him towards starting out on defense. Either way, this is a really strong piece the Badgers added from in-state to their 2020 class.

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