I grew up with my dad telling me how lucky I am to be a UW fan for the current Wisconsin football program. When he was in school at UW, it was a losing program. In his first three years of school here, the team only won five games over all three seasons. Barry Alvarez became the head coach in 1990 and quickly turned around the entire program.
We’re in the Paul Chryst era now and let me tell you, that’s a good thing. Chryst played football for Wisconsin from 1986 to 1988 but he is making a much bigger impact on the sidelines here. Since Chryst became the coach in 2015, Wisconsin Football has played in and won a bowl game every year and has not placed worse than 2nd in the Big Ten West Division. Wisconsin has only been Big Ten West Division Champions four times in history and two of them were under Chryst.
An off-the-field skill of Paul Chryst that often goes unnoticed is his ability to recruit. One of Chryst’s most famous recent recruits is Graham Mertz. Mertz is an All-American quarterback from Kansas. He chose Wisconsin over big name football schools like Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State and Georgia. Although some may say he’s crazy for picking Wisconsin, Mertz felt there was something different about Wisconsin. The coaches care about you more as a person than a football player.
Chryst recruits players based on how he sees them fitting in on the team, not solely on state titles or ratings. The chemistry of Wisconsin Football is unmatched because it is put into place before players even arrive, not as an afterthought. The most exciting part about Wisconsin recruits is that Wisconsin is only going to continue getting better and better. Within this season, recruits have flooded in for a chance to experience a football game at Camp Randall and after each game, more and more decide to commit to Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s wins on the field are making big things happen off the field.
UW-Madison works hard to prepare students for the real world and this applies on the football field too. If you turn on an NFL game, you’ll most likely see a former Badger playing. Year after year, players leave Wisconsin to pursue careers playing professional football. Many players that have come from Wisconsin say that the program prepares players for the NFL. As we know, Wisconsin likes to win and this dedication continues in the NFL.. There has been a former Badger on the winning Super Bowl team for the last six years. Some notable Badger champions in the past few years have been Corey Clement, Beau Allen and James White. No matter what happens this season, we will be hearing some Badger names called during the NFL Draft in April.
Speaking of Badgers in the NFL, let’s talk about Jonathan Taylor. Wisconsin wouldn’t be the team it is on the field without Jonathan Taylor. He has contributed at least one touchdown and has rushed for over 100 yards in every game this season. He is already a Doak Walker Award winner, a unanimous first-team All-American and a New Era Pinstripe MVP. Taylor is also a potential Heisman Trophy winner and predicted to be picked in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft if he decides to declare. Wisconsin is known for its amazing running backs and Jonathan Taylor is no exception.
Wisconsin football has not always been what it is today, which gives us even more of a reason to enjoy the present. The coaches, alumni and current players have worked hard to get the team where it is today. The program keeps getting stronger, making the fan experience even better. Get yourself to a game before you miss Wisconsin’s powerhouse of a program.