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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Wisconsin
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  01/03/22 - *Leo ChenalJr/2022, Wisconsin, 6-1, 261 (DS#3 ILB) + More +

  Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal is entering the NFL draft rather than returning to the Badgers next season. Chenal announced his decision Monday on social media. The move comes after Chenal earned second-team honors on the Associated Press All-America team as a junior. "Badger Nation, I can't thank you enough for the support!" Chenal said in his social media post. "I know you'll be behind me on this next journey as well!" Chenal was the leading tackler for a Wisconsin defense that allowed the fewest yards per game of any Football Bowl Subdivision team this season. He had 115 tackles and 18 1/2 tackles to rank first on his team in both categories - despite missing the Badgers' first two games due to COVID-19. Chenal also recorded eight sacks to rank second on the team. Wisconsin (9-4) closed its season Thursday by beating Arizona State 20-13 in the Las Vegas Bowl. - AP College Football

(DS#3 ILB) Jr/2022 ILB *Leo ChenalWisconsin
News Source: AP College Football
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  12/30/22 - Braelon AllenFr/2025, Wisconsin, 6-2, 238 (DS#2 RB) + More +

  Braelon Allen thought his week in Las Vegas was rather uneventful. After all, it's hard to really soak in Sin City when you're only 17 years old. He'll have to settle for his MVP award. Allen ran for 159 yards and Wisconsin drained the final 9:57 off the clock with an 18-play drive that sealed a 20-13 victory over Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Thursday night. Allen, a true freshman from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, had 101 yards by halftime for his eighth 100-yard game of the season.

He averaged 6.8 yards per carry this year, falling just short of joining NFL stars Melvin Gordon and Jonathan Taylor as the only Wisconsin running backs to average 7 yards per attempt over a full season. "Being able to have the season that I ended up having, I can't thank the guys enough for the support," said Allen, selected the game's MVP. "Keeping my head on straight and keep on encouraging me, just telling me my time was going to come. All the credit goes to the O-line and all the guys in the room." Graham Mertz finished 11 of 15 for 137 yards and a 7-yard touchdown toss late in the first quarter to senior tight end Jake Ferguson, who caught three passes for 33 yards for Wisconsin (9-4). "Really proud of this group," Badgers coach Paul Chryst said. "Took a lot of guys to get us that victory. It's really what this season's been. It's a special team." - Wisconsin/AP College Football


(DS#2 RB) Fr/2025 RB Braelon AllenWisconsin
News Source: Wisconsin/AP College Football
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  12/17/21 - Keontez LewisFr/2025, Wisconsin, 6-2, 197 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  Freshman receiver Keontez Lewis announced his intentions to enter the transfer portal on Sunday. He became the 11th Bruin to transfer since the game against Cal. Lewis started one game, against Utah, of the 11 games he played in this season but didn't make a reception. - Orange County Register

(DS#999 WR) Fr/2025 WR Keontez LewisWisconsin
News Source: Orange County Register
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  12/17/21 - *Leo ChenalJr/2022, Wisconsin, 6-1, 261 (DS#3 ILB) + More +

  The University of Wisconsin athletic department held a ceremonial groundbreaking on the "CR Future" project at Camp Randall Stadium on Wednesday. There are a lot of voices in the ears of Leo Chenal right now. Same goes the University of Wisconsin linebacker's teammates Keeanu Benton and Faion Hicks. They're a few of the Badgers football players who have a decision in front of them regarding the next steps in their careers. Staying another year at UW or taking a shot at the NFL has weighed on all three players' minds.

UW players are still waiting to hear from the NFL College Advisory Committee regarding their projected draft positions, a big factor in their decisions, but not the only one. "You want as much information as you can to make the most careful decision and most thoughtful decision," Chenal said Tuesday. "I'm not going to really put a (draft-round) number on it or anything like that. It's more than just a number, it's weighing a lot of factors. There's a lot of special stuff going on here, a lot of things we could do next year. It's more than just like potential this or potential that. A lot of it is things you want to accomplish, too." Chenal - a second-team All-American per a number of voting bodies, including the Associated Press - could forgo his senior year and enter the NFL draft, but he is running into a positional debate. There's doubt that Chenal can cover enough space in pass coverage to be an inside linebacker at the pro level. Chenal's downhill, hard-charging playstyle was a better fit in the pros before passing offense evolved to control the game. He led the Badgers and was second in the Big Ten with 106 tackles despite missing the first two games after contracting COVID-19. His seven sacks are a team-high, as are his 17 tackles for loss. He ranks fourth in the league in sacks and second in tackles for loss, but he had the most tackles for loss per game (1.7) in the Big Ten. - Wisconsin State Journal


(DS#3 ILB) Jr/2022 ILB *Leo ChenalWisconsin
News Source: Wisconsin State Journal
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  12/16/21 - Keeanu BentonSr/2023, Wisconsin, 6-3, 317 (DS#9 DT) + More +

  Keeanu Benton isn't afraid to acknowledge that getting playing time as a freshman at Wisconsin in 2019 sparked a dream. The talented nose tackle from Janesville Craig High School planned to play three seasons and then jump to the NFL. "That was just my young mind talking," the junior told reporters Tuesday. "When the time comes, you have to sit down and (see) if you have everything that it takes to make that next step. "Because once you make it, you can't come back." Barring receiving a surprising first-round grade from the NFL's College Advisory Committee, Benton plans to return to UW for the 2022 season. "That has been on my mind this past week," he explained. "I've been talking with family, my parents especially. Talking to coaches. Just thinking about my next steps. At this point I'm thinking about coming back. I've got room to improve mentally and physically..."This isn't the year to leave early. It is a big class. It (lessens) my chances of getting drafted." Benton finished the regular season second among the team's linemen in tackles with 24. He also has 2 1/2 sacks, five tackles for loss, four hurries, two fumble recoveries and two passes broken up. - Journal Sentinel

(DS#9 DT) Sr/2023 DT Keeanu BentonWisconsin
News Source: Journal Sentinel
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  11/30/21 - *Leo ChenalJr/2022, Wisconsin, 6-1, 261 (DS#3 ILB) + More +

  2021 BIG TEN BUTKUS-FITZGERALD LINEBACKER OF THE YEAR (COACHES): Leo Chenal, Wisconsin,...Chenal finished second in the Big Ten in tackles per game (10.6). He was fourth in total tackles (106) despite missing the first two games of the season. The junior led the league in tackles for loss (1.7 per game). Penn State's Arnold Ebiketie was second at 1.5 per game. Chenal also finished fourth in sacks (0.7 per game). Chenal is the third UW player to be named the league's linebacker of the year. Chris Borland won the award in 2013, when he was named the league's defensive player of the year; and Joe Schobert won the award in 2015. - Marshfield News Herald

(DS#3 ILB) Jr/2022 ILB *Leo ChenalWisconsin
News Source: Marshfield News Herald
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  11/22/21 - Braelon AllenFr/2025, Wisconsin, 6-2, 238 (DS#2 RB) + More +

  There were five other 200-yard rushing performances over the past week to raise the total to 40 for the season. Saturday, Wisconsin's 17-year-old freshman Braelon Allen ran 22 times for 228 yards and three touchdowns against Nebraska and Marshall's Rasheen Ali had 23 carries for 203 yard and three TDs against Charlotte. Air Force's DeAndre Hughes carried 23 times for 221 yards and two touchdowns against Nevada on Friday. Louisville's Malik Cunningham ran 11 times for 224 yards and two touchdowns against Duke on Thursday, and Toledo's Bryant Koback ran 21 times for 203 yards and four TDs against Ohio on Tuesday. - AP College Football

(DS#2 RB) Fr/2025 RB Braelon AllenWisconsin
News Source: AP College Football
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  11/21/21 - Braelon AllenFr/2025, Wisconsin, 6-2, 238 (DS#2 RB) + More +

  Braelon Allen continued a tradition of Wisconsin running backs steamrolling Nebraska defenses. Allen rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns – including a tiebreaking 53-yarder with 3:50 remaining – to help No. 19 Wisconsin outlast Nebraska 35-28 for its seventh consecutive victory Saturday. Wisconsin has beaten Nebraska eight straight times and typically has done it with dominant rushing performances, starting with the night when Melvin Gordon and Montee Ball each ran for over 200 yards in the 2012 Big Ten championship game. Gordon rushed for a school-record 408 yards against Nebraska in 2014. Jonathan Taylor exceeded 200 yards against Nebraska three separate times. "All week I heard about the yards and touchdowns that we have put up on Nebraska every year," Allen said. "It's cool to kind of continue the tradition." The Badgers (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 15 CFP) handed Nebraska (3-8, 1-7) its fifth straight loss and moved a step closer to playing for a conference title.

Wisconsin will clinch its fourth Big Ten championship game appearance in the last six years if it wins its regular-season finale at Minnesota. Wisconsin is tied with No. 18 Iowa for first place in the West but owns the tiebreaker advantage because it beat the Hawkeyes 27-7 on Oct. 30. The Badgers kept their winning streak alive Saturday because Allen was spectacular on a day when their top-ranked defense wasn't as effective as usual. Allen's performance came with Gordon watching as an honorary captain. Allen, who considers the Denver Broncos running back an idol and an inspiration, said it was surreal to shake his hand and talk to him before the game. "It started with the 408 against Nebraska," Allen said. "At the time, I was just finishing up my fifth-grade season. I honestly didn't know if I even liked football at that point. I saw that game and that's kind of what sparked it all for me, trying to be like him one day." Allen, who had 22 carries, has rushed for over 100 yards in each of Wisconsin's last seven games. The 17-year-old had totaled 12 carries during Wisconsin's 1-3 start. - Wisconsin/AP College Football


(DS#2 RB) Fr/2025 RB Braelon AllenWisconsin
News Source: Wisconsin/AP College Football
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  11/16/21 - Braelon AllenFr/2025, Wisconsin, 6-2, 238 (DS#2 RB) + More +

  NOV 15 BIG TEN CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Braelon Allen, Wisconsin, RB – Fr. – Fond du Lac, Wis. – Fond du Lac,...Started the first game of his career and carried 25 times for a career-high 173 yards (6.9 avg.) and a career-high three touchdowns to help the Badgers defeat Northwestern 35-7. Became the first Badger to record three rushing touchdowns in a game since Jonathan Taylor scored four vs. Kent State on Oct. 5, 2019...Eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the sixth consecutive game, marking the longest streak by a Badger since Jonathan Taylor opened the 2018 season with seven straight 100-yard games...Ranks fifth among all FBS freshmen running backs in rushing yards (834), while ranking third in yard per carry (7.06) and sixth in rushing touchdowns (nine)...Is the first Wisconsin freshman to register six 100-yard rushing games in a season since Anthony Davis in 2001...Earns his first career Offensive Player of the Week honor; has also been named Freshman of the Week twice this season...Last Wisconsin Offensive Player of the Week: Graham Mertz (Oct. 26, 2020). - Big Ten Football

(DS#2 RB) Fr/2025 RB Braelon AllenWisconsin
News Source: Big Ten Football
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  11/13/21 - Braelon AllenFr/2025, Wisconsin, 6-2, 238 (DS#2 RB) + More +

  Braelon Allen understood the importance of his role following Chez Mellusi's injury, sidelining Wisconsin's leading rusher for the rest of the season. Allen handled that burden as effectively as he has accepted every other task assigned to him during his exceptional freshman season. The 17-year-old Allen rushed for 173 yards and three touchdowns to help No. 20 Wisconsin beat Northwestern 35-7 for its sixth consecutive victory on Saturday. "I told Chez I was going to finish the season for the both of us," Allen said. Mellusi, who hurt his left knee during a 52-3 victory at Rutgers last week, entered Saturday's action ranked fifth in the Big Ten in rushing (815) and second in carries (173).

Allen stepped up, continued his emergence that coincided with the start of Wisconsin's winning streak. He has rushed for over 100 yards in six straight games after totaling just 12 carries during Wisconsin's 1-3 start. He's the first Wisconsin true freshman to run for at least 100 yards in six consecutive games since Anthony Davis in 2001. "He knows how important he is to this group," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. "He's got a great mix of he's humble, he's confident and I think today showed he's got a chance to be special." Allen led a balanced team effort. Graham Mertz threw two touchdown passes, and Wisconsin's defense recorded four interceptions. Northwestern's Andrew Marty was picked off three times for a second straight week. - Wisconsin/AP College Football


(DS#2 RB) Fr/2025 RB Braelon AllenWisconsin
News Source: Wisconsin/AP College Football
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  11/09/21 - Braelon AllenFr/2025, Wisconsin, 6-2, 238 (DS#2 RB) + More +

  NOV 8 BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Braelon Allen, Wisconsin, RB – Fond du Lac, Wis. – Fond du Lac,...Recorded 129 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries (8.6 avg.) in Wisconsin's 52-3 win at Rutgers...Has now rushed for 100-plus yards in five straight games to become the first Badger freshman to do so since Anthony Davis in 2001...Ranks second in the Big Ten with five 100-yard rushing games, trailing only Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III (six games)...Ranks fifth in the country in yards per carry (7.11) and is one of just six backs in the FBS to average more than 7.0 yards per rush. Is tied for fifth in the country among all freshmen running backs with 661 yards...Earns the second Freshman of the Week honor of his career...Last Wisconsin Freshman of the Week: Braelon Allen (Oct. 18, 2021). - Big Ten Football

(DS#2 RB) Fr/2025 RB Braelon AllenWisconsin
News Source: Big Ten Football
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  11/06/21 - Graham MertzrJr/2024, Wisconsin, 6-2, 227 (DS#9 QB) + More +

  Graham Mertz threw a season-high three touchdown passes and Wisconsin won its fifth straight game and become bowl eligible for the 20th straight year with a 52-3 victory over Rutgers on Saturday. Chez Mellusi, Braelon Allen and Jackson Acker each ran for a touchdown and cornerback Caesar Williams highlighted a dominant performance by the Badgers' top-ranked defense by returning an interception 29 yards for a TD. Mertz's touchdown passes covered 1-yard to John Chenal, 25 yards to Kendric Pryor and 72 yards to Danny Davis as the Badgers had their biggest point production since scoring 61 against Central Michigan early in 2019.

Coupled with No. 20 Minnesota's loss to Illinois, Wisconsin (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten) will have a share of first place in the conference's West Division after opening the season with a 1-3 start, its worst since 1990. Rutgers (4-5, 1-5) lost for the fifth time in six games in seeing its hopes for a first bowl bid since 2014 take another hit after a 3-0 start. The 52-points tied Ohio State for most allowed by the Scarlet Knights this season. Wisconsin never trailed in beating Rutgers for the fourth time in as many games. - Wisconsin/AP College Football


(DS#9 QB) rJr/2024 QB Graham MertzWisconsin
News Source: Wisconsin/AP College Football
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  10/31/21 - Collin WilderrSr/2022, Wisconsin, 5-10, 199 (DS#61 SS) + More +

  Wisconsin safety Collin Wilder was planning his Halloween costume this week when he bought a red and white hat for $7 at a mall and wrote a message on it with a Sharpie. Just like that, he came up with the object that best symbolizes how the Badgers have turned their season around. Wisconsin forced three turnovers and produced six sacks in a 27-7 victory over No. 9 Iowa on Saturday that enabled the Badgers to maintain control of their destiny in the Big Ten West Division race. Each time a Wisconsin player made a big play on defense, he wore Wilder's hat with the homemade slogan, "The Grit Factory." Consider it a more blue-collar, Midwestern version of Miami's turnover chain. "That's the mentality of this whole program, is grit," said Wilder, who intended to dress up as a factory worker or mechanic for Halloween. "I feel like that's what this program was built on. When you talk about the grit factory, this is the factory of grit - the University of Wisconsin." That mentality has helped Wisconsin (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) win four straight after losing three of its first four games. "A lot of people counted us out," said Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz, who scored on two quarterback sneaks and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ferguson. "Everybody in that locker room, that never even crossed our mind." Wisconsin's Braelon Allen rushed for 104 yards on 20 attempts. The 17-year-old freshman has run for over 100 yards in four straight games after totaling just 12 carries in Wisconsin's first four games. - Wisconsin/AP College Football

(DS#61 SS) rSr/2022 SS Collin WilderWisconsin
News Source: Wisconsin/AP College Football
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  10/30/21 - *Leo ChenalJr/2022, Wisconsin, 6-1, 261 (DS#3 ILB) + More +

  Graham Mertz scored on two quarterback sneaks and threw a touchdown pass to help Wisconsin trounce No. 9 Iowa 27-7 on Saturday for its fourth consecutive victory. Wisconsin (5-3, 3-2 Big Ten) forced three turnovers, produced six sacks and limited Iowa to 24 yards rushing on 30 carries. The Badgers maintained control of their destiny in the Big Ten West Division race and regained possession of the Heartland Trophy that goes to the winner of this annual matchup. "I thought our defense was tremendous in so many ways," Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. Wisconsin 's student section poured onto the field as the Badgers' players brought out the trophy.

Iowa (6-2, 3-2) has been outscored 51-14 in its last two games after being ranked second in the nation just a couple of weeks ago. This was the Hawkeyes' first game since a 24-7 home loss to Purdue on Oct. 16. Iowa's net yardage total didn't get into positive territory for good until midway through the second quarter when the Hawkeyes already trailed 17-0. Iowa didn't pick up a first down until just 1:15 remained in the second quarter. "You see (Jack) Sanborn and (Leo) Chenal," Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras said. "Those guys are probably two of the most physical linebackers in the conference, if not the most. They have a good d-line, too." Wisconsin's Braelon Allen rushed for 104 yards on 20 attempts The 17-year-old freshman has run for over 100 yards in four straight games after totaling just 12 carries in Wisconsin's first four games. - Wisconsin/AP College Football


(DS#3 ILB) Jr/2022 ILB *Leo ChenalWisconsin
News Source: Wisconsin/AP College Football
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  10/27/21 - *Leo ChenalJr/2022, Wisconsin, 6-1, 261 (DS#3 ILB) + More +

  OCT 25 BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Leo Chenal, Wisconsin, LB – Jr. – Grantsburg, Wis. – Grantsburg,...Registered nine tackles and a career-high 3.5 sacks in Wisconsin's 30-13 win at then-No. 25 Purdue. Also set a career high with 5.5 tackles for loss...His 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss marked the highest single-game totals by a Big Ten player this season and are tied for the second-most by an FBS player in a game this year...Helped the Badgers defense hold the Boilermakers to -13 yards rushing, which is tied for the second-best performance against the run by a Badgers defense in program history. The only time that the Wisconsin defense has held an opponent to fewer rushing yards was in November 1951 when they held Iowa to -18 rushing yards...Earns the first Defensive Player of the Week honor of his career...Last Wisconsin Defensive Player of the Week: Chris Orr (Sept. 30, 2019). - Big Ten Football

(DS#3 ILB) Jr/2022 ILB *Leo ChenalWisconsin
News Source: Big Ten Football
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