It’s no secret that the Badgers’ wide receivers room is going to look very different this season. Longtime starters, Kendric Pryor and Danny Davis are all moving on. Chimere Dike is going to be the number one receiver this season; This also means decisions still need to be made about the rest of the receiver spots. One Badger player has an inside track on getting the number two spot and that’s Markus Allen.
He’s Already Seen Playing Time as a Freshman
While Keontez Lewis (UCLA) was taken from the transfer portal; Allen has had the benefit of being in the system for a year and receiving playing time as a true freshman. Not a lot of true freshmen usually play at Wisconsin unless they are something special. Markus Allen falls into that category. Towards the end of last season, Allen kept seeing an uptick in playing time. Appearing in the last four games of the 2021 season, Allen rushed for four yards and caught three passes for 65 yards. However, his biggest play of the season came in the Las Vegas Bowl. He caught a big 31-yard pass from Graham Mertz setting up the Badgers’ first touchdown of the game. Allen proved he could come up with big plays and the Badgers got a glimpse of a promising future.
Part of the Rockstar 2021 Recruiting Class
Allen was a part of that solid class of 2021 for the Badgers. He was one of two receivers that were a part of that class. Allen was heavily recruited in high school. receiving offers from Michigan, Kentucky, and more. He had originally committed to the University of Michigan; however, the Badgers were successfully able to flip him. If you compare other receiver recruits all-time; he is the sixth highest-graded player the Badgers have ever recruited.
What He Brings
Markus Allen provides a big physical presence at wide receiver and at 6’2″ makes a great red-zone target for Graham Mertz. This was something the Badgers were missing all of last year at the position. Neither Kendric Pryor or Danny Davis were able to provide that kind of play. While he doesn’t have “track speed”, he still can be a quick and explosive receiver. Having a wide receiver like Allen will give the Badgers the opportunity to push the ball down the field. This was something they struggled to do all last season as well.
The Badgers haven’t had this type of wide receiver in the room since Nick Toon. Toon obviously had a successful career during his time at Wisconsin; however Allen has something that Toon didn’t which is the quickness. Allen made the most of his opportunities last season and really flashed what he could do. Former teammates have raved about his work in both practice and bowl game preparation and the improvements made during the season.
Battling for the Spot and His Potential
Allen doesn’t have the number two wide receiver job locked up yet. He still will be battling Keontez Lewis and recruiting classmate Skyler Bell for the spot in spring and summer preseason camps. However, Allen has seen more playing time then both those guys. Lewis has only appeared in one game and Bell didn’t play all year until the Las Vegas Bowl due to injuries.
The Badgers ranked toward the bottom in passing offense and he has the ability to be the solution to that problem. With the Badgers wanting to fix their passing attack, Markus Allen will be the favorite to have his role expanded this season. I believe this is the season where he puts it all together and becomes the playmaker the Badgers need at wide receiver.