Badgers played 26 freshmen during regular season

At the beginning of the season we noted the freshmen participation at Wisconsin over the past few seasons.

Most notably, in Paul Chryst’s first three seasons he played four, six and five “true” freshmen, or 15 combined over that time.

More Badgers coverage

In 2018, thanks to the new rule which allows players to still take a redshirt season if they played four or fewer games, the Badgers had 13 “true” freshmen take the field (including redshirts, 26 freshmen played at least one game).

Of those 13, just five appeared in more than four games (meaning no redshirt season for them): fullback John Chenal, wide receiver/kick returner Aron Cruickshank, linebacker Jack Sanborn, defensive tackle Bryson Williams and cornerback Rachad Wildgoose.

Of the remaining eight, three appeared in four games and thus likely won’t play in Wisconsin’s bowl game: cornerbacks Travian Blaylock and Donte Burton and wide receiver Taj Mustapha. In addition, as has been well documented, sophomore quarterback Jack Coan played in four games and is in the same boat — he can redshirt if he doesn’t appear in the bowl game.

Three players appeared in three games in the regular season — perhaps meaning Wisconsin is saving them for a potential postseason game.

Wide receiver Isaac Guerendo might be the fastest Badgers player; he played against Minnesota after not having seen the field since appearing in back-to-back games against Nebraska and Michigan.

Safety Reggie Pearson most notably started against Michigan and had five tackles and a forced fumble in that contest.

Cornerback Alexander Smith appeared in three straight games — Nebraska-Michigan-Illinois — and has not played since.

Tight end Cormac Sampson and wide receiver Brady Schipper each played in one game.

Here’s the complete rundown of the young Badgers after the 12 regular-season games.

“TRUE” FRESHMEN

Travian Blaylock, CB
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Iowa: FR
Nebraska: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: No tackles, 1 FR

 

Donte Burton, CB
Western Kentucky: 1 tackle (solo)
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: 1 tackle (solo)
Michigan: 1 tackle (solo)
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: 2 tackles (2 solo)
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: 5 tackles (5 solo)

 

John Chenal, FB
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Rutgers: Played, did not record a statistic
Penn State: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

 

Aron Cruickshank, WR
Western Kentucky: 1 kick return, 30 yards
New Mexico: 1 rush, 11 yards; 2 kick returns, 32 yards
BYU: 4 kick returns, 84 yards
Iowa: 2 kick returns, 22 yards
Nebraska: 1 rush, 1 yard; 3 kick returns, 90 yards
Michigan: 3 kick returns, 47 yards
Illinois: 1 rush, 23 yards, TD; 1 kick return, 14 yards
Northwestern: 3 kick returns, 43 yards
Rutgers: 1 rush, 3 yards; 1 kick return, 17 yards
Penn State: 3 kick returns, 69 yards
Purdue: 1 kick return, 24 yards
Minnesota: 1 catch, 11 yards; 1 rush, -1 yard; 2 kick returns, 41 yards
Season totals: 1 catch, 11 yards; 5 rushes, 37 yards, TD; 26 kick returns, 533 yards (20.5 avg.)

 

Isaac Guerendo, WR
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

 

Taj Mustapha, WR
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: 1 catch, 3 yards, TD
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals:  1 catch, 3 yards, TD

 

Reggie Pearson, S
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Michigan: Started, 5 tackles (2 solo), TFL, FF
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: 5 tackles (2 solo), TFL, FF

 

Cormac Sampson, TE
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: n/a

 

Jack Sanborn, ILB
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: 1 tackle (solo)
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: 1 tackle (solo)
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: 4 tackles (2 solo), FF
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Rutgers: Played, did not record a statistic
Penn State: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 6 tackles (4 solo), FF

 

Badgers all-time databases

Brady Schipper, WR
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Played, did not record a statistic
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: n/a

 

Alexander Smith, CB
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: 1 tackle (solo), PBU
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: 1 tackle (solo), PBU

 

Bryson Williams, NT
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: 1 tackle (solo)
Iowa: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Northwestern: QBH
Rutgers: Started, did not record a statistic
Penn State: 2 tackles (2 solo)
Purdue: PBU
Minnesota: Started, 4 tackles (2 solo)
Season totals: 11 tackles (7 solo), QBH, PBU

 

Rachad Wildgoose, CB
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: 2 tackles (2 solo)
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: 2 tackles (2 solo)
Michigan: Started, 5 tackles (2 solo), PBU
Illinois: Started, 2 tackles (1 solo), PBU
Northwestern: Started, 7 tackles (5 solo)
Rutgers: Started, 1 tackle (solo), PBU
Penn State: Started, 2 tackles (2 solo)
Purdue: Started, 4 tackles (4 solo), 2 PBU
Minnesota: Started, 3 tackles (2 solo), 2 PBU
Season totals: 21 tackles (16 solo), 7 PBU

 

Have not played
A.J. Abbott, WR; Nate Carter, QB; Boyd Dietzen, DE; Jack Eschenbach, TE; Jaylan Franklin, OLB; Michael Furtney, OL; C.J. Goetz, DE; Mike Gregoire, WR; Jacob Heyroth, ILB; Andrew Lyons, OL; Isaiah Mullens, DE; Conor Schlichting, P; Marty Strey, OLB; Jack Torchio, S; Nakia Watson, RB; Chase Wolf, QB

Out for season
Mason Platter, OLB

 

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN

 

Tyler Beach, OL
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Rutgers: Played, did not record a statistic
Penn State: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

 

Logan Bruss, OL/TE
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Iowa: Started, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Started, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Rutgers: Played, did not record a statistic
Penn State: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Started, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Started, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

 

Jake Ferguson, TE
Western Kentucky: 4 catches, 43 yards
New Mexico: 1 catch, 4 yards
BYU: 3 catches, 61 yards
Iowa: 4 catches, 58 yards, TD
Nebraska: 4 catches, 47 yards, TD
Michigan: 2 catches, 46 yards
Illinois: Started, 3 catches, 62 yards, TD
Northwestern: 2 catches, 7 yards
Rutgers: 2 catches, 33 yards
Penn State: 2 catches, 18 yards
Purdue: 2 catches, 16 yards
Minnesota: 5 catches, 46 yards, TD
Season totals: 34 catches, 441 yards, 4 TD

 

Cade Green, WR
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: n/a

 

Izayah Green-May, OLB
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Did not play
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: 1 tackle
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: 1 tackle

 

Deron Harrell, CB
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Iowa: Started, 3 tackles (3 solo)
Nebraska: Started, 2 tackles
Michigan: Started, 3 tackles, (2 solo)
Illinois: Started, PBU
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: 2 tackles (1 solo)
Purdue: PBU
Minnesota: Started, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 9 tackles (6 solo), 2 PBU

 

Matt Hennigsen, DE
Western Kentucky: Started, 4 tackles (1 solo)
New Mexico: Started, 2 tackles (1 solo), TFL
BYU: 2 tackles, QBH
Iowa: 2 tackles
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Started, 6 tackles (3 solo)
Illinois: Started, 2 tackles (2 solo), sack, TFL, QBH
Northwestern: Started, 2 tackles
Rutgers: 3 tackles, QBH
Penn State: Started, 1 tackle
Purdue: Started, 2 tackles
Minnesota: Started, 2 tackles, PBU
Season totals: 22 tackles (4 solo), sack, 2 TFL, 3 QBH, PBU

 

Faion Hicks, CB
Western Kentucky: Started, 3 tackles (2 solo), INT
New Mexico: Started, 1 tackle, PBU
BYU: Started, 5 tackles (3 solo), PBU
Iowa: Started, 4 tackles (4 solo), TFL
Nebraska: Started, 2 tackles
Michigan: 1 tackle (solo)
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Started, 2 tackles (2 solo)
Rutgers: Started, PBU
Penn State: 6 tackles (6 solo)
Purdue: 6 tackles (6 solo)
Minnesota: 3 tackles (1 solo)
Season totals: 33 tackles (25 solo), 3 PBU, INT, TFL

 

Kayden Lyles, DL
Western Kentucky: Started, 2 tackles (2 solo)
New Mexico: Started, 2 tackles (1 solo), FR
BYU: Started, did not record a statistic
Iowa: Started, 1 tackle (solo)
Nebraska: Started, 1 tackle
Michigan: Started, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Rutgers: 1 tackle
Penn State: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 7 tackles (4 solo), FR

 

Scott Nelson, S
Western Kentucky: Started, 7 tackles (5 solo), 2 PBU
New Mexico: Started, 4 tackles (2 solo), INT
BYU: Started, 5 tackles (1 solo) 1.5 TFL, PBU
Iowa: Started, 4 tackles (1 solo), PBU
Nebraska: Started, 5 tackles (3 solo), FF, PBU
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Did not play
Penn State: Started, 6 tackles (5 solo)
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Started, 8 tackles (4 solo)
Season totals: 38 tackles (21 solo), 5 PBU, 1.5 TFL, INT, FF

 

Josh Seltzner, OL
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Rutgers: Played, did not record a statistic
Penn State: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

 

Danny Vanden Boom, QB
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: 1-for-1 passing, 3 yards, TD
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Did not play
Rutgers: Played, did not record a statistic
Penn State: Did not play
Purdue: Did not play
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: 1-for-1 passing, 3 yards, TD

 

Aaron Vopal, DE
Western Kentucky: 1 tackle (solo)
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Did not play
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Rutgers: Played, did not record a statistic
Penn State: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: 1 tackle (solo)


Have not played
Michael Balistreri, DE; Ethan Cesarz, ILB; Jake Collinsworth, FB; Alex Fenton, OL; Hunter Johnson, RB; Collin Larsh, K; Tyler Mais, S; Emmet Perry, WR; Coy Wanner, TE

Out for season
Blake Smithback, OL

 

“TRUE” SOPHOMORES

 

Adam Bay, LS
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: Played, did not record a statistic
BYU: Played, did not record a statistic
Iowa: Played, did not record a statistic
Nebraska: Played, did not record a statistic
Michigan: Played, did not record a statistic
Illinois: Played, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Played, did not record a statistic
Rutgers: Played, did not record a statistic
Penn State: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: Played, did not record a statistic
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: n/a

 

Jack Coan, QB
Western Kentucky: Did not play
New Mexico: Did not play
BYU: Did not play
Iowa: Did not play
Nebraska: Did not play
Michigan: Did not play
Illinois: Did not play
Northwestern: Started, 20-for-31 passing, 158 yards, TD
Rutgers: 5-for-7 passing, 92 yards, TD
Penn State: Started, 9-for-20 passing, 60 yards, 2 INT
Purdue: 16-for-24 passing, 160 yards, 2 TD
Minnesota: Did not play
Season totals: 34-for-58 passing, 282 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT

 

Madison Cone, CB
Western Kentucky: Played, did not record a statistic
New Mexico: 1 tackle (solo), INT, PBU
BYU: 3 tackles (3 solo)
Iowa: 1 tackle (solo)
Nebraska: 5 tackles (5 solo)
Michigan: 1 tackle
Illinois: Started, did not record a statistic
Northwestern: Started, 2 tackles (2 solo), INT
Rutgers: 4 tackles, .5 TFL
Penn State: Played, did not record a statistic
Purdue: 1 tackle (solo)
Minnesota: Played, did not record a statistic
Season totals: 18 tackles (13 solo), .5 TFL, PBU, 2 INT

 

Danny Davis III, WR
Western Kentucky: Did not play (suspended)
New Mexico: Did not play (suspended)
BYU: 4 catches, 40 yards
Iowa: 1 catch, 12 yards, TD
Nebraska: 3 catches, 38 yards
Michigan: 1 catch, 12 yards
Illinois: 4 catches, 48 yards
Northwestern: Started, 5 catches, 55 yards
Rutgers: Started, 6 catches, 60 yards, TD; 1 kick return, -2 yards
Penn State: 2 catches, 24 yards; 1 rush, 0 yards
Purdue: Started, 3 catches, 3 yards, 2 TD; 1 rush, 0 yards
Minnesota: 10 catches, 93 yards, TD
Season totals: 40 catches, 418 yards, 5 TD; 1 rush, 0 yards; 1 kick return, -2 yards

 

Jonathan Taylor, RB
Western Kentucky: Started, 18 rush, 145 yards, 2 TD
New Mexico: Started, 33 rush, 253 yards, 3 TD
BYU: Started, 26 rush, 117 yards; 3 catches, 14 yards
Iowa: Started, 25 rush, 113 yards; 2 catches, 6 yards
Nebraska: Started, 24 rush, 221 yards, 3 TD
Michigan: Started, 17 rush, 101 yards, 0 TD
Illinois: Started, 27 rush, 159 yards; 1 catch, 2 yards
Northwestern: Started, 11 rush, 46 yards
Rutgers: Started, 27 rush, 208 yards, 3 TD; 1 catch, 30 yards
Penn State: Started, 20 rush, 185 yards, TD
Purdue: Started, 33 rush, 321 yards, 3 TD
Minnesota: Started, 19 rush, 120 yards; 1 catch, 8 yards
Season totals: 280 rush, 1,989 yards, 15 TD; 8 catches, 60 yards

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow (a Larry Ritter Book Award nominee), Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns