The Class of 2017 is collectively entering their first year of college competition after redshirt years, except in D3, where there are no redshirts. Here's what the most recent class of football players from the Madison area is up to in the college ranks, and when you might see them on the field.
We took a look at all of the Madison-area players who were ranked by WisSports.net, as well as some who made their way to Division 1 college football at some point in their college careers. Some ranked players never suited up for a college program, but a couple of those stories are noted below.
Click on the player's name to see their current college bio or Twitter profile.
Kayden Lyles (Middleton), OL/DL, Freshman at Wisconsin: Lyles redshirted his freshman season at Wisconsin, but he's making the news as recently as this week as he is transitioning (perhaps temporarily) to nose tackle, since Wisconsin's defensive line has been hit by graduation and injuries. In spring camp, Lyles stood out for his work as an offensive lineman. Lyles was the number one prospect coming out of the state of Wisconsin in 2017 according to WisSports.net.
Jake Ferguson (Madison Memorial), TE, Freshman at Wisconsin: Like Kayden Lyles, Ferguson took a redshirt year in 2017. In spring practice, he was one of the players who stood out to the defensive coaches, and as the only position that is seeking to replace a starter in 2018 on the Badgers' offense, Ferguson could see some work this season. Ferguson ranked only behind Lyles in the WisSports.net player rankings from his class. (pictured above, #84)
Tyler Mais (Waunakee), S, Freshman at Wisconsin: Another area product who took a redshirt year last season for the Badgers, there's plenty of youth in the Badgers secondary this season. The preferred walk-on is back for his second season at Wisconsin.
Blake Smithback (Waunakee), OT, Freshman at Wisconsin: Yet another area product that went to Wisconsin, Smithback is part of a loaded position group as four former All-Americans returned to the offensive line from a season ago.
Hunter Johnson (Darlington), RB, Freshman at Wisconsin: The Badgers brought in several of the area's top players, either on scholarship or as preferred walk-ons. Johnson starred at Darlington, where the Redbirds appeared in four straight state championship games. He's a preferred walk-on in a running backs group currently spearheaded by Jonathan Taylor.
Josh Seltzner (Columbus), OL, Freshman at Wisconsin: Stop us if you've heard this before: Seltzner is part of the offensive line depth for the Wisconsin Badgers returning for 2018. Seltzner was an all-conference offensive and defensive lineman in the Capitol North during his high school playing career.
Ethan Cesarz (Delavan-Darien), LB, Freshman at Wisconsin: Cesarz was one of the top tight end/fullback prospects in Wisconsin, but after racking up conference defensive player of the year honors as a senior in high school, opted for that path in college, as a walk-on for the Badgers.
Collin Larsh (Monona Grove), K, Freshman at Wisconsin: His booming kickoffs for the Silver Eagles are still fresh in the minds of area football fans, as he booted 55 touchbacks in his senior season alone for Monona Grove. He's a redshirt freshman for the Badgers this season.
Joe Ludwig (Middleton), FB, Freshman at Iowa: This spring, Ludwig, ranked the second-best defensive back prospect coming out of high school in his class by WisSports.net, was moved from linebacker to fullback. Ludwig walked on to the Hawkeyes program.
Keonte Schad (Madison East), DL, Sophomore at Ellsworth C.C. (Committed to Minnesota in 2019): Schad made the ICCAC All-Conference team as a freshman, as well as first-team all-region in 2017. He racked up 48 tackles, including 12 for a loss, and forced three fumbles while recovering two.
Terrell Carey (Madison West), WR, Freshman at Northern Iowa: Carey's outstanding production at Madison West translated into becoming one of the latest Wisconsin products to end up at UNI, an FCS (D1) program. Four current Wisconsin natives are on the varsity roster. Carey's production on defense and special teams in high school should help get him in the mix right away. He's already displayed his ability in spring camp for the Panthers.
Noah Larson (Baraboo), LB, Freshman at North Dakota: Larson was expected to be in the mix his freshman season, but an injury in camp allowed him to take a redshirt season. Larson was an outstanding running back for Baraboo in high school, rushing for over 1,500 yards as a senior. He also was a standout swimmer, as well as an accomplished track and field athlete.
John Linscheid (Highland), WR, Freshman at Minnesota-Duluth: Linscheid took a redshirt year last season. Linscheid played quarterback in high school, but converted to wide receiver at UMD. Of the 13 receivers on the UMD depth chart, nine are from Wisconsin. (In fact most of the UMD depth chart is from Wisconsin).
Matt Nelson (Union Grove), QB, Freshman at Minnesota State-Mankato: Nelson redshirted and is one of four quarterbacks on the depth chart. None of the four are seniors, and two of the other four saw significant playing time in 2017. Nelson made the honor roll last year.
Drew Hoye (Fort Atkinson), OL, Freshman at Minnesota State-Mankato: Another redshirt for the Mavericks, he's majoring in sports management. Hoye was a three-sport athlete in high school. With only two juniors and no seniors returning to the offensive line, Hoye will be part of a big youth movement at MSU.
Victor Martinelli (Milton), LB, Sophomore at UW-Eau Claire: Martinelli played in all ten games for the Blugolds, earning WIAC honorable mention honors as a freshman after racking up 46 tackles and finishing fourth in the conference in sacks with six. He also had 11 tackles for a loss, two pass breakups, and two blocked kicks. One of those blocks came against Platteville, his best game of the season with nine tackles, two sacks, and a pass breakup.
Kollyn Beyer (Mount Horeb), DB, Sophomore at UW-Oshkosh: Beyer played in 12 of Oshkosh's 13 games, missing only the opener, and recorded interceptions against Stevens Point, Platteville, and Eau Claire. He added in pass breakups against Whitewater and Stout, and finished the season with 16 tackles (one for a loss).
Brandon Rosado (Beaver Dam), S, Sophomore at UW-Eau Claire: Rosado only missed one game, finishing the season with 15 tackles, three pass break-ups, and a pick against UW-Stout in nine games of action.
Garrett Graf (Middleton), LB, Sophomore at UW-La Crosse: Graf had some big plays in non-conference action, getting a fumble recovery in his first-ever college game against Luther (Iowa) and recording his first career tackle, sack, and tackle for loss in the same stop a week later against Ripon. After getting on the field against Carroll, Graf didn't play again until the final two games of the season against Stout and River Falls.
Alex Mashak (Lodi), LB, Sophomore at UW-Eau Claire: Mashak played in five of the Blugolds' first six games of the season, picking up nine tackles in his freshman campaign. He was a three-sport athlete in high school.
Carmelo Rosado (Beaver Dam), CB, Sophomore at UW-Eau Claire: Rosado got nine tackles in nine games played (out of ten possible) for the Blugolds as a freshman.
Nick Noethe (Mount Horeb), LB, Sophomore at UW-Oshkosh: Noethe recorded six tackles in ten games for the Titans as a freshman linebacker. After only playing in two of the first five games, Noethe was a lock to play the rest of the season, all the way through four playoff games.
Ryan Gengler (Delavan-Darien), LB, Sophomore at UW-La Crosse: Gengler played in four games, recording three tackles on the season as a freshman. He's a marketing major.
Mark Nellen (Lodi), WR, Sophomore at UW-Oshkosh: Nellen caught one pass in two games, good for 35 yards against Stevens Point in the second conference game. It was a deep group of receivers at Oshkosh last year, but
Jackson Rose (Mount Horeb), WR, Sophomore at UW-Platteville: Rose played in one game for the Pioneers as a freshman. Three seniors graduated from the program at the position last year, and five players are in Rose's class. Rose was in the top 15 of wide receivers in his class in the state of Wisconsin according to WisSports.net.
Ricky Ruel (Beaver Dam), DL, Sophomore at UW-Eau Claire: Ruel played in one game and got one tackle, in the season finale against UW-Whitewater. Ruel was a three-sport athlete in high school.
Hunter Matye (Shullsburg), TE, Sophomore at Loras College (Iowa): Matye was a multi-sport standout at Shullsburg, and is attending D-3 Loras. He didn't see action as a freshman, but no returning tight end to the program for the Duhawks caught a pass last year. Matye was in the top ten of tight end prospects in the state according to WSN in this class.
Jacob Remsza (East Troy), WR, Sophomore at UW-Platteville; Blake Knudsen (Milton), OL, Sophomore at UW-Platteville; Jackson McMahan (Belleville), DL, Sophomore at UW-Platteville: McMahan is the only Pioneer of this group that saw the field as a freshman.
Cole Nelson (Fort Atkinson), WR, Sophomore at UW-Whitewater; J.T. Parish (Cambridge), WR, Sophomore at UW-Whitewater; Preston Strasburg (Fort Atkinson), RB, Sophomore at UW-Whitewater; Jacob Royston (Waunakee), TE, Sophomore at UW-Whitewater; T.J. Hollis (Verona), DL, Sophomore at UW-Whitewater: Only Parish saw playing time (one game) of this group as a freshman.
Lance Andrew (Verona), WR, Sophomore at UW-Oshkosh; Ryan Hayes (Belleville), WR, Sophomore at UW-Oshkosh; Hunter Schultz (Oregon), OL, Sophomore at UW-Oshkosh: While a handful of Titans saw playing time as freshmen, these players from our area did not.
Tanner Kerr (Poynette), RB, Sophomore at UW-La Crosse; Hunter Tierman (New Glarus), OL, Sophomore at UW-La Crosse; Brock Lippiatt (Monona Grove), DL, Sophomore at UW-La Crosse: Only Lippiatt got on the field as a freshman.
Michael Stephenson (Madison East), LB, Sophomore at UW-Stevens Point; Adam Fair (Lake Mills), LB, Sophomore at UW-Stevens Point; Jonathon Page (Sun Prairie), TE, Sophomore at UW-Stevens Point: Stephenson played in one game, the only experience from this group.
Michael Coyne (Verona), TE, Sophomore at UW-Eau Claire; Brandon Daniels (Verona), CB, Sophomore at UW-Eau Claire; No stats recorded from this group.
Photo: Wisconsin Badgers
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