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Wisconsin recruiting: Badgers land class of 2024 4-star QB Mabrey Mettauer

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Quarterback Mabrey Mettauer returned from his only visit to Wisconsinin September with so many impressed faces with the football programme. He loved the size of the offensive linemen, the skill of the running backs and defensive players, the game day atmosphere inside Camp Randall Stadium, and the coaches. But, if he was being honest with himself, there was one major aspect he couldn’t ignore.

“It wasn’t my favorite offense,” Mettauer said Athleticism.

Mettauer (pronounced meh-TAW-yer), a four-star prospect and the No. 21 quarterback in the 2024 recruiting class, had options. Many of them. He got scholarship offers from 20 Power 5 schools. And he wasn’t going to settle for anything that didn’t excite him. Watch Wisconsin struggle to score with their pro-style offense in a 17-14 loss to washington state during his visit only further hammered home this point. Three weeks later, Badgers head coach Paul Chryst was fired.

But as Mettauer’s junior season at Woodlands High School in Texas came to an end and he began to weigh his choices more seriously, that all changed. Luke Fickell, who recruited Mettauer from Cincinnati, was hired to lead Wisconsin. He then brought in the offensive coordinator that Mettauer had developed perhaps the best relationship with anyone when he was recruited: North Carolina‘s Phil Longo, whose Air Raid attack greatly intrigued Mettauer, a double threat with a strong right arm.

Suddenly, Wisconsin jumped to the top of Mettauer’s list. Mettauer said he has communicated daily by text with Longo since arriving in Wisconsin and that the two have spoken on the phone between 10 and 15 times. He was re-proposed by new staff Dec. 15 and quickly decided on his future. On Saturday, he publicly announced his commitment to Wisconsin, joining cornerback Austin Alexander as the Badgers’ second Class of 2024 prospect. Mettauer informed Fickell of his decision on Friday afternoon.

“He was like, ‘Okay, this is our time,'” Mettauer said. “We need to start hitting this recruiting class really hard, you and I.”

Wisconsin won’t play a game with Fickell’s new coaching staff in place for more than eight months. But the lure of a different and potentially dynamic attacking system is already paying off. For proof, just look at Mettauer, who picked Wisconsin over runners-up North Carolina and Kansas State. Mettauer paid close attention to what Longo has achieved with his last two quarterbacks at UNC, as Sam Howell has set 27 school records and Drake May He finished 10th in voting for the Heisman Trophy this season.

“He said the offense that’s in North Carolina, I’m just going to take it straight to Wisconsin,” Mettauer said. “I love his attack. I like what he does with it, the way he has a good run-to-pass ratio. I like to pass the ball and get some points in the game. I really like his attack that he brings back to Wisconsin.

Although Mettauer is listed as a pro-style quarterback by some scouting services, he’s a dual-threat option with an intriguing size. He is 6ft 5½ and weighs 220lbs – his father, Mark, says he will weigh 230lbs at the start of his senior season – with long blonde hair. Mettauer said he was cheated multiple times in recent years for Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence but says he models his game after Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, another 6-5 player.

“I’m really a double threat, so I think I can run and pass the ball really well,” Mettauer said. And I’m not afraid to put the pole to anyone. I’m definitely not afraid of anyone. I know I can throw really well, move around in the pocket, just get the first down when needed.

Mettauer has often been the tallest player on the pitch during his career. He was 6-2 as an eighth grader and played tight end blocking and offensive tackle for his youth soccer teams until he was moved to quarterback in as a high school freshman.

“And then he was kind of a glorified running back because he crushed everyone,” Mark said. “They put him in a wing in the old wing-t formation. He ended up blocking and stomping guys every play just to make room for the running backs at that point because they kept putting nine or 10 guys in the box when he took the direct snap.

Mettauer offered a glimpse of his passing potential as a rookie when, on his first college pitch in a game against the Grand Oaks, he threw for a 53-yard touchdown. Woodlands coach Jim Rapp said he didn’t want to put too much on Mettauer’s shoulders as a rookie, so he split time at quarterback and was used sparingly in the game. passes. But what stood out this season was that no moment in a game was too big for him. Rapp recalled watching Mettauer skillfully handle a late game drive against Willis in which he led his team downfield for a touchdown.

“For a freshman, that’s impressive,” Rapp said. “So for me, that was the thing that was like, ‘OK, when he’s our guy, he’s going to be something else.'”

Since then, he has burned down the defenses of Texas. In two years as a full-time college starter, he threw for 5,080 yards with 57 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,112 yards and 22 touchdowns. Mettauer finished his junior season completing 66.5 percent of his passes for 2,621 yards with 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. He carried 84 times for 613 yards — 7.3 yards per rushing attempt — with seven touchdowns.

Two highlights from his junior season in a shotgun spread system stand out and show what he could provide for the Badgers. On one play, Mettauer takes a shotgun blast, keeps the ball on a play option with a defensive end closing space on the running back and runs past the defense on the right sideline for a 57-yard touchdown. . On another play, he enters the pressure pocket and uncorks a bomb that travels 64 yards in the air for a completion.

The Mettauer family has deep ties to Texas A&M. Mark and his wife both attended Texas A&M, Mabrey’s grandfather played for the Aggies In the 1960s, under Gene Stallings and one of his uncles also played there. But Mabrey didn’t show allegiance when recruited, just like his older brother, McKade, didn’t. McKade is a 6-foot-4, 305-pound offensive lineman who started 38 games in three seasons at Cal and started last season at left guard at Oklahoma.

“When McKade heard that Wisconsin was interested in Mabrey, he was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s as good as SEC football or better,'” Mark said. “He played in Cal where nobody showed up to games, then he played in Oklahoma where everyone shows up. We had a game in Madison, which is a lot like the SEC. These guys want perform in front of large crowds.

Mark said he had a more positive view of Wisconsin’s pro-style offense than Mabrey and noted that the biggest thing missing from the program in recent years was a quarterback to consistently deliver. But Longo’s system, which is willing to be aggressive on the court, create for playmakers in space and use RPO actions with a mobile quarterback, offered a package too good for his son. let him pass.

“I know they would have been more successful if Mabrey had been there,” Mark said. It’s an opinion, of course. But I really think with Longo moving there, he’s a guy who develops quarterbacks. It’s his business. He’s not new to the game on this. His best fit is a big, athletic 6-4-plus quarterback with good running back and a good O-line. Wisconsin’s only missing piece is a top-tier quarterback, in my opinion. It’s always been their thing.

It’s just hard to get a guy up there. Russell Wilson is the last standout guy I can think of who played really well, and he was a transfer graduate – he wasn’t a rookie. He wasn’t a guy out of high school. So think about it. You take a guy like that with talent. You plug in and play what you already have, linemen, running backs, a few top receivers. He made it successful. You take a guy like Longo, who already has all the buzz with his quarterbacks and offense, you can bring in more kids like that. I think it’s going to do some game planning for ohio state and Penn State and Michigan much harder for the Big Ten Championship Game.

Mettauer said it was important for him to be one of the first commitments in the class so he could help recruit other players to join him in Wisconsin. He plans to visit the campus a second time and meet the new staff in January. The quarter room under Fickell and Longo is already preparing to create a lot of intrigue for the future. Wisconsin added transfer from Oklahoma Nick Eversa four-star prospect and the top-10 quarterback for the Class of 2022 who will be a redshirt freshman next season. Myles Burket He will also be a redshirt freshman while Cole LaCrue will be an actual freshman. All four players have the arm strength and mobility to succeed in the Longo system.

Like any successful quarterback, Mettauer doesn’t lack confidence with what he believes is possible in Wisconsin.

“If I don’t get hit,” he said, “we win games.”

f(Photo courtesy of Mabrey Mettauer)

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