Thursday, December 2, 2021

Jim Polzin: Amidst all the Badgers transfer talk, a praise for those who stayed

Michael Furtney filled in for injured left guard Josh Seltzner at the start of his second career against Iowa last week. Defensive end Isaiah Mullens did not start a game earlier this season and is now a fixture in the lineup. CJ Goetz has made plays as a backup outside linebacker, while Jaylen Franklin made the move to Purdue two weeks ago after the tight end position was exacerbated by injury.

There is still time for the other four remaining players in that class – tailback Isaac Guerando, cornerback Alexander Smith, wide receiver AJ Abbott and quarterback Chase Wolf – to make their mark.

Or maybe one or more of them will be gone. That’s okay too, because every player has to do what’s best for him.

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But I wonder how UW, which proudly bills itself as a developmental program, will navigate an era where it’s easier than ever to move. Judging by Christ’s lengthy response to that question earlier this week—at about 450 words, this may be a personal record for a man who usually keeps his answers too tight—it’s clearly one such thing. subject on which he has given some thought.

Here’s Cliffs Notes version: Christ acknowledges there will be challenges but still believes it’s important to find players who want to grow. For every instant success story like Jonathan Taylor, he told, there are players like Jack Schiele, Joe Schubert, TJ Watts, D’Cota Dixon and Natrell Jamerson who need time to grow into major contributors.

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