Paul Chryst and the Wisconsin Badgers were busy in the transfer portal. They managed to get six commitments on Signing Day. The six transfers donning the cardinal red and white will be expected to play in critical roles next year. Out of the six, I believe getting Jay Shaw from UCLA was the best move the Badgers made. It was also the most important transfer pick-up of the offseason.

The Badgers Lost Significant Depth at Cornerback

The Badgers knew that the cornerback room was going to be gutted after this season. Starters Caesar Williams and Faion Hicks are moving on. Adding to the issue, Donte Burton and Deron Harrell have left the program. With Dean Engram switching to wide receiver, the Badgers were looking at very thin and inexperienced secondary depth. Having a player like Shaw in the room gives the Badgers a player with lots of experience and a major secondary weapon. The Badgers are fortunate that Shaw decided to use his extra COVID year eligibility.

Quality Player with Lots of Experience

Jay Shaw spent most of his college career at UCLA in the PAC-12. Most PAC-12 teams are primarily passing offenses. This means having a cornerback who can shut down receivers and intercept the pass is vital for team success. In his career, Shaw has appeared in 31 games, he’s made 87 tackles, five interceptions including one for a touchdown, and ten passes broken up.

The good news for the Badgers is Shaw will be able to step right in and start. He’s had experience covering great receivers like Johnny Johnson III, Drake London, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. The good news for Shaw is Big Ten Wide Receivers haven’t been known to be as explosive every season. The PAC-12 Conference is known for having great wide receivers every year. This in a sense makes the transition easier for Shaw.

Scheme Similarities

Similarly to the Badgers, UCLA also runs a 3-4 defense. Shaw has been playing in that scheme for the past four seasons. Despite the Bruins defenses not being any good the past four seasons; this can hardly be attributed to Shaw. As a matter of fact, Shaw has either led the Bruins in interceptions in two out his four years on the team. To be honest, aside from Oregon sometimes; has the PAC-12 ever had great defenses in recent years?

The best move the Badgers made was getting Jay Shaw from the transfer portal. This has addressed a major issue on defense. No matter what conference you play in, having an experienced cornerback is paramount to team success. Furthermore, the Badgers adding an upperclassman ball hawking cornerback will once again make them tough to throw on.

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Eric Katz

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