The college football offseason is upon us, and it is a big one for a lot of teams. Next season is a big year in college football as there are a lot of changes coming, and no one wants to be left in the dust. It is an important season for everybody. This offseason is especially important for Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football team. The Badgers didn't do so well in Fickell's first season after coming into the season with high expectations. Wisconsin is used to being toward the top of the Big Ten, but the last couple of years haven't been as good. The Badgers are hoping for better luck in year two of the Fickell era.

We are going to discuss the transfer portal and how the Wisconsin football team has done with it so far this season, but first, let's take a look at how the Badgers got to where they are right now.

It was a bit of a surprise when Wisconsin moved on from Paul Chryst in 2022. The Badgers had a lot of success with Chryst and they competed for/won the Big Ten West quite often. They didn't have a very good year in 2021 and 2022 got off to a shaky start as well, and Wisconsin wasted no time to move on. They went and hired Luke Fickell from Cincinnati, and it was looked at as a home-run hire.

Luke Fickell was one of the hottest names in the coaching market when he came to Wisconsin. He had been fantastic at Cincinnati as the Bearcats were consistently ranked, and he even took them to the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati is the only non-power five team to ever make it that far, and now that the playoff is expanding, they can always say that they were the only team to do it during the four-team era. Fickell made that happen, so the Badgers got just about the best coach that they could've asked for.

Year one didn't really pan out in Madison, however, but you can't judge a head coach based on one year at a school. It wasn't all bad, either. Wisconsin football finished the season with a 7-6 overall record and a 5-4 mark in Big Ten play. They played LSU in their bowl game and dropped that one to finish out the season. It could've been worse.

It wasn't a great year, but now the focus is on the 2024 season. The Big Ten is expanding as Washington, Oregon, USC and UCLA are joining the conference, and there will no longer be divisions. Not to take any credit away from Wisconsin, but some of their Big Ten title appearances were just because they played in the worst division in college football. The Big Ten West is no longer a thing, and getting to the top of the Big Ten will be extremely difficult.

This will be a crucial year for Luke Fickell, and the preparation for it starts right now. Utilizing the transfer portal is a big part of college football now, and the Badgers have 12 incoming transfers as of right now. Here is the sneakiest pickup that Wisconsin has landed so far.

RB Tawee Walker, Oklahoma

Oklahoma Sooners running back Tawee Walker (29) runs for a touchdown against TCU Horned Frogs linebacker
© Bryan Terry-USA TODAY Sports

Tawee Walker has the potential to be a special running back for Wisconsin football. He just finished up his second season playing for Oklahoma, and he took a big leap. In the 2022 season, he had just 18 carries for 62 yards and zero touchdowns. He averaged 3.4 YPC. In 2023, however, he ran the ball 102 times for 513 yards and seven touchdowns. He also averaged 5.0 YPC. Walker took a big leap, and he could take another one this offseason.

The running back position has been an important one at Wisconsin for a long time now. They have produced some great backs such as Monte Ball, Jonathan Taylor, etc, and it is definitely a good place to be if you're a RB. Walker has a lot of potential, and he should be used a lot with the Badgers. This is a really good pickup for Fickell.