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Patterson, pair of walk-on’s leave the Badgers program

When the Wisconsin Badgers’ fall football camp opened up, a full 105 players appeared ready to go. No injuries to report or anything like that.

Two days later and three players have exited the program. Perhaps the most surprising is junior nose guard Jeremy Patterson. The news was broking by 247Sports and Badger247.

247Sports Ryan Bartow reported that on Sunday night.

Patterson was one of the two most talked about recruits in Gary Anderson’s first real recruiting class at Wisconsin. He represented an in-road to the state of Georgia and . He came to Wisconsin with high school teammate Krenwick Sanders, who has already transferred out of Wisconsin and plays for Jacksonville State as we speak.

However, he was a complete dud on the field despite given every opportunity to prove he could hang. Instead, Patterson appeared in just four games during his time with the Badgers program.

For Patterson, the move makes sense. Olive Sagapolu has been a revelation as a starter, while Billy Hirschfeld and Garrett Rand have been taking snaps on the second team over the past few years. His playing time was likely to be next-to-none given that rotation up front.

Patterson will have two years of eligibility left, and it will be interesting to see where he lands.

He wasn’t the only one to leave the program though, as a pair of walk-on wide receivers also left per the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway. While Patterson was a bit surprising, the loss of Ricky Finco was absolutely shocking.

He had played in 12 games last season, mostly on special teams and was working in the rotation at wide receiver early on in fall camp.

Fellow wide receiver Henry Houden, a Madison Memorial product, was the Offensive Player of the Year on the scout team in 2015. Since then, injuries have taken over and it is likely that that toll and the increased recruiting level at the position put him off continuing to play football.

Finco and Houden will stay at UW as students, with Patterson likely to leave school altogether.

As for the team, it means there are 104 players on the official roster and it will be interesting to see who takes that final spot. Patterson’s departure opens up a scholarship with the Badgers up against the limit for next season with a full recruiting class.

It will be interesting to see if they fill that scholarship or leave it for the 2019 class and even things out a bit more.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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