Bielema introduces 2012 recruiting class

September 16, 2020

first_imgDan Voltz, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman is one of three members of Wisconsin’s 2012 recruiting class to enroll in school this spring. He’ll be participating in spring camp as well.[/media-credit]Amid offseason turmoil on its coaching staff, the Wisconsin football team was nevertheless able to glue together its new recruiting class.As National Signing Day came and went, the Badgers amassed 19 letters of intent, seven of which came from preferred walk-ons.Head coach Bret Bielema knew it would be a smaller class and called it a blessing in disguise given the state of his staff after the Rose Bowl.“There really wasn’t a lot of huge numbers – if we were dealing with a class of 22, 23, it would have been a real challenge,” Bielema said. ” … I can’t say enough about my staff and the way they pulled the belt a little bit tighter and strapped it on and went after things. I do think if it would have been another 10 players that we had to keep track of, it wouldn’t have been good.”On an unusually warm February afternoon, Bielema was more than happy to completely unveil his 12 new scholarship players.Vince Biegel – LinebackerBiegel is a 6-foot-3, 225-pound four-star recruit from Wisconsin Rapids. In his senior season at Lincoln High School, Biegel made 172 tackles, 21 sacks, three interceptions, five forced fumbles with three fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns. Biegel finished his high school career tallying 425 tackles, 27 sacks, 10 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles with five fumble recoveries and four touchdowns.Hugs Etienne – CornerbackThe 5-foot-11, 170-pound three-star recruit from Plantation, Fla., is one of three UW recruits to join the Badgers for spring camp. Etienne finished his high school career with 88 tackles, six interceptions and seven forced fumbles.Etienne credited his decision to leave high school early to brotherly guidance.“I talked to my older brother – he’s my mentor – and he told me coming up early would take a lot of pressure off of my back coming in, in the fall when you’ve got school and football on your mind,” Etienne said. “So coming up early, you get some of that stress off and you get going.”Arthur Goldberg – Defensive TackleGoldberg is another three-star recruit, hailing from Mount Lebanon, Pa. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound tackle finished his high school career with 162 tackles, seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss. In his senior season, he was named First Team All-State and All-Conference, recording 63 tackles, three sacks and seven tackles for loss on the season.Bart Houston – QuarterbackAs one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in the country, Houston was a three-year starter in high school, losing only one game during that stretch. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Dublin, Calif., native went 272-437 in his career for a 62.2 completion percentage. He threw for 5,178 yards and 46 touchdowns.Vonte Jackson – Running BackThe 6-foot, 190-pound running back out of Kenosha is a four-star recruit and considered the No. 2 player in the state by ESPN. Jackson missed almost all of his senior season after he tore his ACL in the first game of the season, but Jackson, along with Etienne, will join the Badgers’ camp this spring.Before being sidelined, Jackson rushed for 956 yards and 13 touchdowns his junior year, catching 14 passes for 266 yards and four touchdowns along the way.While Jackson joins a talented running back corps, running backs coach Thomas Hammock did assure him he’ll have the chance to compete for any spot in the depth chart.“He’s real big on competition,” Jackson said of Hammock. “He doesn’t want me to be behind Montee Ball, he wants me to be better than Montee Ball … He told me before ‘I want you to tell James White that you’re coming for his spot.’”Reggie Love – Wide ReceiverHailing from Boynton Beach, Fla., the 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver is a three-star recruit. As a senior, he was named All-State, All-County and team MVP, recording 38 receptions for 876 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season.Jake Meador – Offensive LineThe highly sought-after recruit is a three-star offensive lineman from Greenwood, Ind. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound tackle was named Mr. Football for linemen in Indiana his senior year while also earning First Team All-State, All-Conference and All-County accolades. Meador originally committed to Ole Miss but settled on Wisconsin after a few months of communication with Bielema and new offensive line coach Mike Markuson, who worked at Ole Miss last season.Reggie Mitchell – CornerbackThe two-star recruit from Pittsburgh, Pa., was also a quarterback in high school. The 6-foot, 178-pound Mitchell was named First Team All-State defensive back as a senior but also threw for over 800 yards and ran for 1,420 yards and 22 touchdowns in that season.Leo Musso – Running Back (listed as “ATH” online)The 5-foot-8, 189-pound Waunakee native was a three-time state champion who rushed for 5,531 yards and 87 touchdowns in his career. As a senior and junior, he was a unanimous First Team All-Conference choice and was named First Team All-State. He also won the Elroy ‘Crazylegs’ Hirsch Running Back of the Year Award after rushing for 2,398 yards and 39 yards his senior year.D.J. Singleton – SafetyThe 6-foot-2, 195-pound four-star recruit is considered one of the top-20 safeties in the country. The Union, N.J., native posted 53 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles and 12 tackles for loss during his senior season. He also earned All-State, All-Metro and All-County accolades after his performance his senior year.Dan Voltz – Offensive LineVoltz is a four-star recruit out of Barrington, Ill. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound guard is the third and final new recruit to join the Badgers’ spring camp. As a senior, he was earned All-State accolades.Voltz spoke about trying to keep UW’s recruiting class together despite the six coaching departures the football team experienced.“When I committed, I committed to the university, not necessarily the coaching staff,” Voltz said. “I told a lot of guys why I committed, and I think that had a lot of influence on a lot of guys. Obviously everyone makes their own decisions; we lost some guys, but we have a great recruiting class still.”Walker Williams – Offensive LineWilliams found his own way to Wisconsin. After seeing the Badgers play in the Rose Bowl last year, he sought out Wisconsin’s program. The 6-foot-7, 320-pound Tacoma, Wash., native is a three-star recruit. The guard was a three-time All-State offensive lineman in high school and earned All-League honors on both the offensive and defensive line as a senior and junior.With these 12 recruits and the highly heralded preferred walk-ons, Bielema and Co. worked hard to find those players that fit Wisconsin’s family-oriented program.“He didn’t even talk about football that much when I first met him,” Voltz said of his recruitment process with Markuson. “He told me that he’s here for me, he’s here for the players … He’s really all about family.”last_img

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