football Edit

Inked for the Wisconsin Badgers: Three-star offensive lineman Ben Barten

With the early signing period for high school football players beginning on Dec. 18, BadgerBlitz.com dives into a closer look at the commits who have signed with the Wisconsin Badgers.

Let's take a look at lineman Ben Barten, who officially signed with Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Wisconsin 2020 signee Ben Barten
Wisconsin 2020 signee Ben Barten (Jake Kocorowski)

RANKING

According to Rivals.com, Barten rates as a three-star prospect with a 5.5 rating. According to Jon McNamara's rankings from late July, the veteran recruiting scribe placed the Stratford product as the No. 5 player in the state for the 2020 class.

RECRUITING COMPETITION 

Barten, 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, received three known offers from Iowa, South Dakota State and Wisconsin. The competition ultimately came down to the two Big Ten West programs.

"Ben loved Iowa. Coach (Tim) Polasek and those guys have been nothing but class acts down there," Stratford head coach Jason Tubbs previously told BadgerBlitz.com. "I got a chance to go down there with them to see the facilities and they were great hosts.

"But I think Wisconsin was more of his passion being an in-state kid. He loved the idea of his friends and family being able to see him play just a couple of hours away from home."

RECRUITING STORY

Barten wrapped up his commitment early on in the recruiting process, verbally pledging to Wisconsin on Oct. 27, 2018. Based on discussions with BadgerBlitz.com earlier that month, it appeared he would wait until the end of his junior season to make his decision. However, he chose the in-state program and became verbal No. 4 for this 2020 class.

WHY WISCONSIN?

After his official visit in June, Barten told BadgerBlitz that it still felt like Wisconsin is "my home, like that’s where I’m meant to be."

“My two schools I always kind of thought about was Iowa and Wisconsin," Barten said. "Then when I went down to the Iowa game [against Maryland last season], and they were doing well, I didn’t feel anything for them. Then say Wisconsin did well, that’s when I really got into it. It just feels like my home.”

COACH'S TAKE

Stratford head coach Jason Tubbs after the Tigers' win over Columbus in mid-September:

"You don’t get that type of player come around to Stratford year in and year out. We’re very pleased to see him getting better in the weight room, getting better as a leader. He’s maturing daily, but I think he’s one of the best defensive players in the state.

"I think Coach (Joe) Rudolph and Coach (Jim) Leonhard are going to have some battles.”

More from Tubbs on Barten's defensive play:

“It helps that he’s 275 pounds now, but when he was a sophomore, he would beat everybody off the ball, including the center," Tubbs said. "As soon as that ball moves, he is into the backfield, so we put him in our A-gap or one-tech. He gets the double teams and then makes our linebackers flow. It just makes everything run.”

Tubbs described Barten's play on offense like a "a basketball player that's playing football."

"He’s great on the floor, he’s great with his footwork," Tubbs said. "He makes up for some bad technique sometimes with his great athletic ability, and I think that’s what got Iowa interested in him right off the bat and then Wisconsin eventually came calling. He’s not as polished as some of the kids down in Texas, but he’ll get there.”

BADGERBLITZ.COM'S TAKE

Watching Barten play against Columbus in mid-September, the Stratford product looked the part on both sides of the ball -- playing tackle on offense and what appeared to be a a one- or three-technique on the defensive line.

The plan, as of September when talking with the three-star recruit, revolves around him lining up on the offensive side of the ball.

“I mean, as of right now they’ve got Trey [Wedig] and Jack [Nelson], and they’re both pretty big guys, so I wouldn’t be shocked if I’m playing guard," Barten said. "They said offense, though, that’s their plan. But obviously whatever’s best for me and the team when I get down there.”

Wisconsin's 2020 class includes the four-star products in Wedig and Nelson, along with Barten, Tanor Bortolini and Dylan Barrett. Looking at the guard spots, both redshirt seniors Jason Erdmann and David Moorman exhaust their eligibility after the 2019 season. Redshirt sophomores Kayden Lyles and Josh Seltzner both have played this year and could be seen as projected starters heading into the spring, though there is Michael Furtney and, potentially, Joe Tippmann jockeying for positions in the two-deep.