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Badgers football players and recruits departing during coaching changes

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 2 days ago JR Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

We'll keep this list updated as information rolls in on players who decide to transfer from the University of Wisconsin football team or re-open their commitment in the aftermath of the university hiring Luke Fickell as its next head football coach. Some players had already announced an intention to transfer following the firing of head coach Paul Chryst.

In the current transfer portal era, first-time transfers can gain immediate eligibility next season with a new school. A 45-day window opened for new transfers to enter their name into the portal starting Dec. 5, with a second 15-day window in May. Players putting their name into the portal aren't necessarily committing to transfer. Graduate transfers can enter the portal at any time (not just within the window), and if a player's coach gets fired midseason, a 30-day window opens up where he's eligible to enter the portal (as was the case this year at Wisconsin).

More:Chris McIntosh's moves to fire Paul Chryst and hire Luke Fickell are bold. Time will tell if they were right for Wisconsin.

Get daily updates on the Packers during the season.

More:Luke Fickell is the Wisconsin Badgers' new head football coach. Here's what you should know about the Ohio native.

Badgers players from 2022 leaving

The transfer portal opens for a 30-day window if a coach is fired midseason, and four Badgers players (Logan Brown, Stephan Bracey, Deacon Hill, Markus Allen) took advantage of that option, though the offensive lineman Brown was dismissed following an incident at practice and Allen has now returned to the program.

Nick Herbig, linebacker

For three years, Herbig has been a force of nature at Wisconsin, and now he's declaring for the NFL Draft. Herbig, a native of Hawaii, was named first team All-Big Ten this season after recording 11 sacks and 15½ tackles for loss.

Keeanu Benton, defensive tackle

Benton still has one year of eligibility left but is declaring for the NFL Draft. He was third-team All Conference this season and has been a legitimate force for four years since joining the program. The Janesville Craig alumnus has nine career sacks and 19 tackles for loss.

Isaac Guerendo, running back

The speed demon has had a star-crossed career with injuries since he started at UW in 2018, but he's shown flashes of excellence when healthy, including touchdown runs of 82 and 89 yards earlier this year. Hailing from Indiana and originally a wide receiver, he played in all 12 games this year and recorded five rushing scores. He'll have a year of eligibility left and committed to play it at Louisville.

More:Tailback Isaac Guerendo is among three more Wisconsin football players who plan to transfer

Graham Mertz, quarterback

It's been a wild journey for Mertz, who announced Dec. 4 that he was entering the transfer portal, a four-star recruit who came to campus with significant fanfare prior to the 2019 season. But after a magnificent debut in 2020, Mertz struggled to maintain consistency. He saw the field over four seasons with the Badgers, passing for 5,405 yards and 38 touchdowns with 26 interceptions. He'll have two years of eligibility remaining.

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) looks runs in the open field against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. © Dylan Widger / USA TODAY Sports Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) looks runs in the open field against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Dean Engram, wide receiver/defensive back

Engram, who converted from defense to become a receiver in 2022, announced he was transferring Jan. 19. He caught 13 passes last season and has two years of eligibility left. His father, Bobby Engram, was also not retained after one year as the program's offensive coordinator.

Joe Tippmann, center

The junior offensive lineman has two years of eligibility remaining but is declaring for the NFL Draft instead, where he'll look to follow in the footsteps of recent Badgers center draftees Tyler Biadasz, Travis Frederick and Peter Konz. The native of Indiana started all 12 games this year and 10 last year.

Michael Furtney, offensive line

With one year of eligibility remaining, the guard from Michigan announced on Instagram that he was transferring, but he removed his name from the transfer portal Dec. 12. He's played in every game this year, starting eight, after appearing in 31 games (three starts) over the past three seasons.

Semar Melvin, defensive back

The junior cornerback from Florida still has two years of eligibility left. He played in eight games in 2022 with two pass breakups and six tackles. He played in 15 games over the previous three years with the UW program. He'll next suit up for Michigan State.

Jaylan Franklin, tight end

He came to Wisconsin as a linebacker and switched to tight end before 2020 but never consistently saw the field, working mostly on special teams. The native Michigander is also headed to Michigan State and will have one year of eligibility remaining.

Titus Toler, safety

Toler announced he'll enter the portal with three years of eligibility remaining. The California native appeared in two games in 2020 but missed all of 2021 with an injury. He appeared in five games this year and has committed to Boise State.

Markus Allen, receiver

Allen played in eight games over the past two seasons and caught 10 passes with one touchdown. He announced he's transferring to conference rival Minnesota but then said he was re-opening his commitment, and he's now withdrawn his name from the transfer portal.

Stephan Bracey, receiver and return specialist

Bracey was in his third year with the Badgers; he returned the opening kickoff against Nebraska for a touchdown in 2021. He's committed to play next at Central Michigan.

Deacon Hill, quarterback

The quarterback with a cannon arm seemed to have fallen behind Myles Burkett for No. 3 on the quarterback depth chart, prompting him to enter the portal after Chryst was fired. After initially committing to Fordham, he announced he's returning to the Big Ten at Iowa.

Logan Brown, offensive lineman

The former five-star offensive line recruit had been in the program for four years and had earned the No. 1 right tackle spot out of spring practice but lost his job before the season opener and was then dismissed from the team after a practice altercation. He announced he was transferring to Kansas to play for former UW-Whitewater coach Lance Leipold.

Tristan Monday, defensive lineman

The freshman from Scottsdale, Arizona, did not see the field as a true freshman this season. He quickly announced he was returning home state to play at Arizona State.

Badgers 2023 recruits re-opening recruitment

Tallmadge (Ohio) High School receiver Collin Dixon runs after making a catch. © PHIL MASTURZO, AKRON BEACON JOURNAL Tallmadge (Ohio) High School receiver Collin Dixon runs after making a catch.

Jaquez Keyes

Running back from Michigan announced he was re-opening his recruitment Dec. 5. Before committing, his scholarship offers included Michigan, Iowa, Kentucky and Pitt. He announced Dec. 18 that he's headed for Wake Forest.

Trey Pierce

The defensive lineman from Illinois has received interest from Michigan, Illinois and Texas.

Christopher Terek

The most high-profile recruit to flip elsewhere, the Illinois offensive lineman quickly announced a commitment to Notre Dame.

Collin Dixon

The Ohio wide receiver decommitted in mid-November before the hiring of Fickell. He announced Dec. 12 he was committing to Illinois.

Jamel Howard

Chicago defensive lineman has an offer from Michigan; he decommitted on Nov. 17 before Fickell was hired, though he hasn't ruled out UW.

Trech Kekahuna

Hawaii native who finished his high-school career in Nevada decommitted in early November and has offers from Oregon and Hawaii. He has since been re-offered by Wisconsin, but he elected to commit to Arizona. Surprise, though! Kekahuna was announced as part of Wisconsin's 2023 recruiting class on signing day, after all.

More:Luke Fickell and UW staff have signed 14 players on the first day of the early signing period

Remaining members of 2023 UW recruiting class: Tyler Jansey, LB (Batavia, Illinois); James Durand, OL (Chandler, Arizona); Justin Taylor, DB (LaGrange Park, Illinois); Nate White, RB (Milwaukee); Jordan Meyer, DE (Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania); A.J. Tisdell, DB (College Station, Texas); Jace Arnold, DB (Marietta, Georgia); Cole Lacrue, QB (Broomfield, Colorado); Trech Kekahuna, WR (Las Vegas, Nevada); Jamel Howard, DL (Chicago, Illinois)

New members of 2023 UW recruiting class: Tanner Mordecai, QB (transfer from SMU); Nick Evers, QB (transfer from Oklahoma); Braedyn Locke, QB (transfer from Mississippi State); Christian Alliegro, OLB (Darien, Connecticut); Tucker Ashcraft, TE (Seattle, Washington); Jonas Duclona, DB (Naples, Florida); Jason Maitre, S (transfer from Boston College); Braedyn Moore, ATH (Hamilton, Ohio); Amare Snowden, CB (Roseville, Michigan); Darian Varner, DL (transfer from Temple); Joe Huber, OL (transfer from Cincinnati); Jake Renfro, C (transfer from Cincinnati); Jeff Pietrowski Jr., DE (transfer from Michigan State); Nathanial Vakos, K (transfer from Ohio); Will Pauling, WR (transfer from Cincinnati); Quincy Burroughs, WR (transfer from Cincinnati); CJ Williams, WR (transfer from USC); Bryson Green, WR (transfer from Oklahoma State)

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Badgers football players and recruits departing during coaching changes

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