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Badgers land 4-star tackle Joe Brunner from Whitefish Bay for Class of 2022
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Badgers land 4-star tackle Joe Brunner from Whitefish Bay for Class of 2022

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A collection of the most interesting quotes and thoughts from Badgers players and coaches during spring practices.

The University of Wisconsin football team landed one of its top in-state recruiting targets Tuesday when consensus four-star offensive lineman Joe Brunner announced his oral commitment.

Brunner — a 6-foot-6, 300-pound prospect from Milwaukee who attends Whitefish Bay High School — is the top-ranked player in the state in the 2022 class and ranks among the top 10 offensive tackles in the class nationally. He’s also ranked in the top 65 recruits nationally by 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals. He held at least 16 Power Five scholarship offers, including ones from a majority of the Big Ten Conference, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon and Tennessee.

“I’m staying home,” Brunner wrote in a social media post announcing his decision. “I’m 110% committed to the University of Wisconsin.”

He helped Whitefish Bay go 7-0 in a truncated season last fall, when the offense rushed for 230.1 yards per game, according to Wissports.com. His raw power and quick first step make him a load coming off the ball and his desire to finish blocks is something UW’s offensive line coach Joe Rudolph has favored in prospects over the years.

Brunner becomes the ninth member of the 2022 class and the first four-star prospect in the class. Brunner’s commitment also marks the sixth consecutive recruiting cycle in which the Badgers have landed the top player in the state.

June was busy for Brunner, who visited UW, Ohio State and Notre Dame in the span of three weeks. Brunner is one of five recruits in the state to be ranked a four-star prospect and the first of that group to commit to UW.

Three other four-star recruits — Sun Prairie defensive end Isaac Hamm, St. Croix Central guard Carson Hinzman and St. Mary Springs lineman Billy Schrauth — have not set commitment dates. Four-star tight end Jerry Cross (Milwaukee King) is orally committed to Penn State.

UW has stacked talent at offensive tackle in recent recruiting classes, and Brunner’s addition gets the ball rolling for the 2022 class to do the same. The 2021 class saw the addition of five-star prospect Nolan Rucci and four-star recruit Riley Mahlman, while Jack Nelson and Trey Wedig were four-star additions to the 2020 class.


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