Wisconsin Football Transfer Portal: Who’s staying and who’s going?

December 6th update: This isn’t exactly transfer portal news, but it is newsworthy. Fickell and Wisconsin have a new offensive coordinator, as UNC OC Phil Longo has agreed to assume the position with the Badgers. He runs a spread offensive attack that likes to throw the ball downfield while utilizing a power running game. He also wants his quarterbacks to be dual threat. That will be a huge shift for Wisconsin moving forward.

This was all to be expected. When Wisconsin hired Luke Fickell to take over the football program, they expected a lot of turnover in the coaching staff and the players.

That’s all part of the plan and a reason why they looked outside of the program to bring in new blood. Wisconsin wasn’t happy with its current program and wanted an upgrade on all fronts. Unfortunately, that means losing a significant amount of players in the short term.

It’s hard to keep up with all of the news coming out of Madison, so I wanted to put it all in one place for you. This will be a running tally about who is staying and who is leaving via the transfer portal or other means from Wisconsin’s football program. Follow along, as there are sure to be more updates coming.

There is a lot of turnover happening with the Wisconsin Football program. Here’s a running list of who’s staying and who’s leaving via the transfer portal.

Wisconsin Football players entering transfer portal:

  • Graham Mertz, QB
  • Isaac Guerendo, RB
  • Stephan Bracey Jr., WR
  • Jaylin Franklin, TE
  • Michael Furtney, OL
  • Semar Melvin, DB
  • Titus Toler, DB
  • Tristan Monday, DE

The big news is Mertz. Fickell wanted him to stick around next season and see how it plays out, but Mertz had other plans. The highly-hyped quarterback never lived up to the expectations in Madison and will search for alternative situations. He still has two years of eligibility remaining and it will be interesting to see where he lands.

Guerendo is the other big name on this list. He was the Badgers’ third-string running back but has breakaway speed and is a home run threat. He was a terrific third option behind Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi.

On Tuesday night, Jim Leonhard announced he will leave the program following the bowl game. There was a rumor swirling around that he would assume defensive coordinator responsibilities, but that is not true.

You can’t fault Leonhard for not staying in Madison. He was passed up for a job he was qualified for and has given everything you can reasonably expect from someone. I’m sad to see him go, but know that he’ll land on his feet.

Who is staying?

Braelon Allen is the biggest name in this category. He posted a series of pictures on Instagram that appear to point toward him staying in Madison. He’s someone Wisconsin can build around next season if he can stay healthy. Hopefully, that doesn’t change with the Leonhard news.