Wisconsin thought it had its lone running back of the 2016 class, but all of that changed in November as Ohio State stole the commitment of 4-star running back Antonio Williams. It seemed to catch Wisconsin off-guard, and left the coaching staff casting a wide net.
That net didnâ€™t need to be too wide though, as the Badgers landed their 2016 running back from neighboring Illinois in the form of 3-starÂ Glen Ellyn (Ill.) Glenbard West running back Sam Brodner.
After visiting Wisconsin on his official visit this weekend, Brodner committed to the Badgers on Sunday afternoon per our recruiting partners at Badger247.
Blessed to say I've committed to the University of Wisconsin!
He is the No. 67 ranked running back in the 2016 class per the 247Sports composite rankings and the No. 29 player out of the state of Illinois.
Wisconsinâ€™s tradition at running back seemed to have won over Brodner, who actually was an intriguing defensive prospect for UW this summer.
“I really liked the tradition they have at running back. Montee Ball, Melvin Gordon, Corey Clement — it will be sweet to play after those guys,” he said to Badger247.
He camped at Wisconsin at linebacker this past June and nearly took home an offer at that position.
Instead, he blew up as a senior at running back, rushing forÂ 1,949 yards and 40 touchdowns. Brodner did some of his best work in the Illinois state playoffs, ripping up opposing defenses forÂ 1,065 yards and 16 TDs in Glenbard Westâ€™s five playoff wins.
Brodner killed the Libertyville defense in the class 7A state championship game, going for 264 yards and four touchdowns inÂ Glenbard Westâ€™s 34-28 win.
It all led to him being named the Chicago Tribune‘s Player of the Year.
At 5-10, 210 pounds, Brodner is physically imposing. However, what makes him so dangerous is the 4.47 speed heâ€™s been timed at during both the Nike SPARQ camp and during his camp experience at Wisconsin this summer.
Brodner returned home on Sunday afternoon from his visit to the Badgers and it didnâ€™t take him long to cancel a planned trip Iowa next weekend and pledge to the Badgers.
Wisconsin now has 24 commitments in the 2016 class, but Brodner may be the only running back taken as numbers get tight for this class. UWâ€™s class in No. 30 in the country per the 247Sports team rankings and the No. 5 class in the Big Ten.