As Accolades Accumulate, Hunter Wohler Readies for Senior Season

A chat with one of the top safeties in the nation.
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Hunter Wohler boasts an impressive resume leading up to his final year at in-state powerhouse Muskego. Last season, he heard his name called as the Associated Press (AP) state player of the year, and as seen in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, was also a unanimous AP first-team all-selection.

On top of that, he received the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association's (WFCA) large school defensive player of the year award on top of WFCA large school all-state honors.

This month alone, Wohler was announced as one of the first-team defensive backs of USA TODAY's "All-USA high school football preseason team", along with being named a top-10 safety in the 2021 class by SI All-American.

According to Wohler, these are all great honors. However, he also believes he has to "play up to your standards."

"You get those awards and stuff and then you come off for nothing to show for it," Wohler told AllBadgers.com on Monday night. "Really, it's a motivator to keep you going and keep you looking forward to the next game, to the next practice, just to prove yourself even more."

Muskego comes off back-to-back Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division I state championships. Earlier this summer, the WIAA announced a delay to the start of football practices until Sept. 7. 

The champs are currently slated to continue to play in the fall. At the moment, Muskego's schedule currently shows its first game to be a Sept. 25 matchup against Hartland Arrowhead.

For Wohler, he declared he is ready to go and is excited about his team.

"I'm super confident. We have a great group of guys once again," Wohler said. "Our defense obviously, what I would know more of, is going to be really solid this year. Similar to the past two years' defensive teams, we're going to be super solid. 

"Our offense, we've lost some guys from last year, but again, I think they're gonna come back really strong and they're gonna bring it once again. I think our team is a force to be reckoned with again, and I think that we definitely, 100%, have a shot at three-peating and at winning out every single game."

According to WisSports.Net, Wohler recorded 122 tackles, three tackles for loss, and two interceptions last season on way to the aforementioned honors. Those are impressive stats for a high school junior, but where has he felt he has made strides the most since last year?

"I'd say my vision, where my eyes are," Wohler said. "I've struggled with that a little bit in the past and just being able to know where your keys are, where your reads are. Just getting your eyes in the right place to help you put your body in the right place to make plays."

Looking a hint ahead after his days playing for Muskego, Wohler previously announced his decision to play college football within the state borders at Wisconsin. He became part of a trio of 2021 players--Ayo Adebogun and Bryan Sanborn included--to commit to the Badgers last December.

Wohler stated his "relationship is super good with the entire coaching staff." According to the prep safety, he speaks with defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Jim Leonhard and special teams coach Chris Haering the most.

"We talk on a weekly basis, just catching up. We've talked football, talked what the seasons are going to look like, so I couldn't be more excited," Wohler said. "The coaching staff is a special group of dudes, and I know they're gonna take not only my game, but the entire team's game to the next level. 

"It's just really exciting. I'm already gassed up and ready to go."

Earlier this month, SI All-American ranked Wohler as the No. 10 safety in the nation for the 2021 class. That is the projected position for him when he gets to Madison.

When asked how Wisconsin plans to use him, Wohler stated how the program utilizes "their safeties basically all over the field." 

"Their safeties have to know every position, what everyone's doing. Basically the field general defensively," Wohler said. "For both safety positions at the college level for Wisconsin, it's just going to be me used all over the field, whether it's in the run or the pass game. It's game-plan specific, so wherever they need me is where I'll be at."

As of Sept. 1, Wisconsin's class of 2021 holds at 16 scholarship commits. Wohler noted how despite only a particular amount of players have interacted in person, the group is already close.

Though the NCAA lengthened the recruiting dead period through Sept. 30, 2020, not allowing the players to take official visits to this point, they have kept in touch in other ways.

"We text every day, always just back and forth kind of seeing how everyone's doing," Wohler said. "Just stupid little stuff, joking around and all that. We've had a few Zoom meetings where just all the recruits kind of hop on and joke around, screw around a little bit with each other. 

"We've been able to grow in our relationship super well, even with with not being able to meet in person."

As for when Wohler plans to enroll at Madison, the prep football standout and multi-sport athlete said that he will not arrive early on campus.

"I had a bunch of credits that I had to finish out this last semester, if I were to graduate early, so I took the summer course, got all that stuff done," Wohler said. "Then I ultimately just decided that it's my senior year. I wanted to play basketball, run track, graduate with the kids I've been growing up with forever. So I will be staying my entire senior year, and then I'll head up there [to UW] in June."