Wisconsin Redshirt Tracker

Wisconsin Redshirt Tracker

Football

Wisconsin Redshirt Tracker

A new NCAA football rule allows players to redshirt while participating in four games or less. With two weeks left in the regular season, here is the list of true freshmen who have played.

GAMES PLAYED

WR Aron Cruickshank — 10

NT Bryson Williams — 10

ILB Jack Sanborn — 8

CB Rachad Wildgoose — 7

FB John Chenal — 5

—————————

DB Travian Blaylock — 4

WR Taj Mustapha — 4

CB Donte Burton — 3

CB Alexander Smith — 3

WR Isaac Guerendo — 3

S Reggie Pearson — 2

TE Cormac Sampson — 1

WR Brady Schipper – 1

Scholarship athletes yet to play: WR A.J. Abbott, DE Boyd Dietzen, TE Jaylan Franklin, OL Michael Furtney, LB CJ Goetz, DE Isaiah Mullens, RB Nakia Watson, QB Chase Wolf

Analysis

Williams has been the top freshmen contributor this past season and will get plenty of reps moving forward with nose tackle Olive Sagapolu out for the remainder of the season. Williams made his second straight start in the loss to Penn State, delivering two tackles and helping open alleys for inside linebackers T.J. Edwards (14 tackles) and Ryan Connelly (10) to have banner games.

Cruickshank has contributed this season as a pass catcher, runner and returner, the latter which he did against Penn State with 69 return yards. Signifying the importance this staff places on special teams, Chenal – a walk-on – played in his fifth game at State College.

The other freshmen who have played this season have all likely been pressed into action due to injuries.

Sanborn has seen considerable time because of injuries to inside linebackers Griffin Grady and Mike Maskalunas, while Wildgoose surpassed the four-game barrier because of injuries to Deron Harrell, Faion Hicks and Caesar Williams. Wildgoose has stepped into an every-down role for Wisconsin and has registered 21 tackles, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery in his time on the field.

It’d be a surprise to see any other freshman break the four-game barrier at this point in the season.

Blaylock played the first four games of the season but hasn’t played since the Iowa game because of a leg injury. At this point, it doesn’t make much sense to play him. Pearson made his season debut against Michigan but spent the next couple weeks banged up. With D’Cota Dixon back for UW, it’d be unlikely to see him play the final three games of the season.

Mustapha has been a healthy scratch since the Iowa game, and Smith told me last week that he would likely play in one more game so he could retain his redshirt.

The most interesting redshirt case to watch is sophomore Jack Coan. The UW staff wanted to redshirt Coan this season, creating a logjam behind senior-to-be Alex Hornibrook next season with Coan (redshirt sophomore), Danny Vanden Boom (redshirt sophomore), Chase Wolf (redshirt freshman) and Graham Mertz (true freshmen). Due to Hornibrook suffering two concussions in three weeks, Coan has played the last three games and could possibly be in line for more time. That puts head coach Paul Chryst in a quandary.

Although being the No.2 quarterback the last two seasons, Coan has not fared well in his three games, completing 58.6 percent of his passes, 282 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and losing three fumbles. He can play one more game and still retain his eligibility. Does Chryst keep trotting out Coan if Hornibrook is held out or does he give Vanden Boom a shot? Vanden Boom finished out three games while UW was preserving Coan’s redshirt. Could Wolf get a shot?

Needless to say, if Hornibrook can’t go this week and beyond, Chryst will have some tough choices to make.

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