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2023 QB Recruiting: What's next for the Badgers?

With Lincoln Kienholz off the board, a look at where the Badgers might go from here in the 2023 recruiting class.
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Lincoln Kienholz committed to UW on Wednesday. Unfortunately for the Wisconsin Badgers, it was to the University of Washington.

In the wake of his decision, the Badgers are back to the drawing board in terms of finding a signal-caller to add to the 2023 roster. 

Considering Wisconsin only has four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster in 2022, and Chase Wolf is entering his senior year, the hunt for additional help at the position is necessary, and quarterback recruiting is one of the biggest questions remaining in the 2023 cycle.

However, most of the top quarterbacks across the country are committed at this time, and with the dead period in effect, Wisconsin is unable to host any new prospects for the next month. 

So that begs the question, what's next for the Badgers in their search for QB1?

Let's take a look at some of the options the Wisconsin staff has going forward at the position. 

Uncommitted prospects

The logical place to start is by looking at some of the uncommitted prospects that Wisconsin has had contact with. Wisconsin has offers out to Dante Moore and Avery Johnson, but the Badgers are firmly out of those recruitments at this time. 

The list of available scholarship-worthy quarterbacks continues to shrink, as many prospects aim to make their final decision before their senior season, but here are a few potential options.

Sam Leavitt

One uncommitted prospect that Wisconsin has seen throw is Sam Leavitt of West Lin, Oregon. Evan Flood of 247 Sports reported ($) that Wisconsin offensive coordinator Bobby Engram was in contact with Leavitt earlier this year, and he appears to be a talented option. Unlike some of the other prospects on this list, the Badgers would probably need to act fast to have a chance, as he recently picked up an offer from Washington State two days ago. We will see if Wisconsin ramps up its interest level in Leavitt, who also holds scholarship offers from Arizona and Florida State, though both schools already have quarterback commits. 

Parker Leise

Leise will play at IMG Academy this fall, and camped at Wisconsin this summer. The fact that the Badgers have seen him throw goes a long way, and they were in contact with him as recently as two weeks ago. Leise holds additional offers from Kansas and Toledo, and was inside the top five QBs on Wisconsin recruiting board prior to Kienholz’s decision.  

I can confirm that he is one of the main names to know in 2023 right now. 

Evan Tomich

Wisconsin has not seen Tomich throw that I know of, but he has competed in several major camp events that I am sure Wisconsin could get footage or insight from. He is a three-star kid out of California, and holds an offer from Houston and some other schools out West. In terms of ranking, Tomich is on-par with Kienholz as a prospect. 

Kasen Wiesman

Assuming neither of the quarterbacks highlighted above is offered in the coming weeks, I could see Wisconsin waiting for some early senior film from some different players. 

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One uncommitted three-star that could fit into this bucket would be Kasen Weisman. He has a plethora of lower-level offers right now, and his HUDL film is solid. He plays in the talent-rich state of Georgia, where quarterback play has really improved, maybe he is worth taking a flyer on. 

Will Pritchard

This is another dart throw, similar to Weisman. Pritchard has quite a few offers and is from the state of Florida, but his most recent offer is from Buffalo. This is a recruitment where the Badgers would probably have a good chance if they deem him scholarship worthy.

Chase Spellman

Wisconsin signed Myles Burkett from inside the staff last year, maybe the Badgers do something similiar in 2023. Spellman is coming off of a shoulder injury, but prior to that he was gardnering significant interest from teams. Spellman camped with Wisconsin, so he is another candidate to watch if he puts together a big senior campaign. The Badgers could potentially look to him as a walk-on or grayshirt option as well.

Flip season?

Wisconsin could always target prospects that currently committed elsewhere. With how quickly quarterback prospects oftentimes commit, some good QBs end up committed to lower-level schools such as the MAC all the time. The Midwest does not have a lot of great quarterbacks in the 2023 class, but Wisconsin could easily look to flip someone from another school. 

A couple of players that could make sense...

  • Broc Lowry (Canfield, Ohio) - currently committed to Indiana
  • Jerry Kaminsky (Sun Prairie, Wis.) - currently committed to North Dakota

Transfer portal

Wisconsin could always opt to forego taking a scholarship quarterback in the 2023 class altogether, and instead hit the transfer market. Most quarterbacks in the portal are looking to have a chance to play right away though, which makes the play of Graham Mertz next season all the more interesting to follow. 

If new offers in the 2023 class do not come out after the first few weeks of September, I think it is a safe bet that this is the route that Wisconsin is taking. 

Not taking a quarterback in the 2020 cycle is still looming large to this day, so skipping a class does come with some risk. 

Overall, there are several ways that Wisconsin could approach the quarterback positon over the coming months, and it will be fascinating to see how Paul Chryst and the staff handle it. Improved quarterback play in the fall would go a long way in helping attract future talent in the 2024 class so that this dilemma does not happen once again. 

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