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Walk-on linebacker Tate Grass put on scholarship with the Badgers

Junior linebacker Tate Grass is now on full scholarship for next season.

The Wisconsin Badgers have had a tremendous run of success with in-state walk-ons.

Seemingly every year there are a few walk-ons that surpass expectations and wind up becoming major contributors to the Wisconsin football team.

During last weekend's NFL Draft, former walk-on Matt Henningsen was selected in the sixth round, while fellow walk-on Josh Seltzner signed a free-agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts after a successful career with the Badgers.

On Wednesday, junior inside linebacker Tate Grass became the latest in-state standout to earn a scholarship with the Badgers after beginning his career as a walk-on.

Grass worked with the first-team defense all spring long and enters the summer a favorite to start when the team opens up against Illinois State.

A native of Holmen, Wisconsin, Grass has worked his way into the starting lineup after playing in 20 career games, primarily on special teams and as a reserve linebacker for the Badgers. He has 14 career tackles and was an Academic All-Big Ten pick in 2020.

Prior to his time at Wisconsin, Grass was an honorable mention All-State pick for Holmen High School, where he was a first-team All-Mississippi Valley Conference selection and MVC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. 

When asked about Grass during the spring, head coach Paul Chryst said, "the work that Tate's put in, to this point, is kind of a great example for guys that you just keep going." Chryst went on to say, "He's been extremely consistent. It's not like he just turned it on at the start of spring. It's been his approach, and I think he's obviously more than comfortable and he is trusting the work he has put in. Whether it's in the weight room, the film room, or it's showing up on the field."

Grass made several plays this spring, and as Chryst noted, he was a consistent presence for the team from his inside linebacker spot.

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Now on scholarship, Grass will be tasked with helping lead a revamped Wisconsin defense that is replacing the majority of starters from the 2021 team.

Based on the comments made by Paul Chryst and the way Grass stood out this spring, that seems like something he is ready for. 

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