Many high school football standouts in Wisconsin go on to big things at the college level and in the pros, and this is our spot to recognize those athletes each week and help you keep up with what is going down on some of your favorite players from the past. If you have alumni news, please send it to Colton Wilson
The 2020 football season may be the first in my recollection that felt a little flat and empty. Between limited/no fans and a constant wondering if the season would continue, something always felt off.
This year shows more promise of a return to normal; a return to rowdy student sections, tailgate hot dogs and game day traditions.
With that return to normal comes a number of former Wisconsin high school athletes ready to get back on the field, and many ready to do so for the very first time.
140 former high school standouts in Wisconsin will suit up for 36 different Division 1 FBS schools around the country. 110 more will take the field for 27 different D1-FCS programs. Hundreds more will play at the Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and JUCO ranks all across the country.
Not only will the college level be littered with alumni talent, but the pro ranks will continue to showcase the amount of talented football players coming out of the state of Wisconsin. Look out for the article highlighting those in the NFL in the next few days.
This football season, the Football Alumni Round-Up will be your weekly read on all the former Badger State standouts and their careers at the next levels.
Below is a table with all of the alumni listed and where they'll be playing at this upcoming season.
Many alumni have already had successful football careers and have earned All-Conference or even All-American honors in years past. Here's a list of those returners from 2020.
For the Wisconsin Badgers, offensive lineman and Kimberly grad Logan Bruss has started 25 games for Bucky and was named an All-Big Ten third teamer in 2020. Tight end and Madison Memorial grad Jake Ferguson earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten in 2019 and split between first team (media) and second team (coaches) in 2020.
Another Big 10 All-Conference selection in 2020 was Iowa's Cody Ince. The Unity High School grad earned fourth team honors by Phil Steele, but comes into 2021 as a Preseason All-Big Ten player.
Iowa State has a pair of returning all-conference performers in defensive end Will McDonald IV and offensive guard Derek Schweiger. McDonald, a Waukesha North grad, had 10.5 sacks in 2020 earning First Team All-Big 12 while Schweiger, a Plymouth alum, started all 12 games at left guard and garnered second team honors.
Former Brookfield East standout Mike Caliendo is a two time All-MAC honoree as he's started 42 games for Western Michigan in his career.
North Dakota has a plethora of alumni on its roster highlighted by All-Missouri Valley Conference Second Team honoree Devon Krzanwoski. Krzanowksi, a Fond du Lac grad and St. Cloud State transfer was also named to the All-Newcomer Team in the MVC in 2020.
Brett Samson, a tight end for South Dakota has earned All-MVC honors in each of the past two seasons for Coyotes. the Oconomowoc graduate was a second team player in 2019 and earned honorable mention laurels in 2020.
FCS powerhouse North Dakota State had a Stats Perform and Phil Steele First Team All-American on its roster in fullback Hunter Luepke. Luepke, who graduated from Spencer High School, also earned First Team All-MVC honors.
Drake's Alex Rogers has played in 24 games in his career and has been awarded All-Pioneer honors the past two seasons for the Bulldogs. The Racine Case graduate was an honorable mention defensive back in both 2019 and 2020.