Wisconsin Football: Why Russell Wilson's Start Is Important to the Badgers

Max ManasevitContributor IIIAugust 23, 2012

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #16 of the Wisconsin Badgers looks to pass the ball in the second quarter against the Oregon Ducks at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Russell Wilson will start for the Seattle Seahawks this Friday against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter

If Wilson plays well, it’s possible he could be the stating quarterback in the regular season. Wilson’s play on Friday will be just as important to his new pro team as it will be to his old college one.

The Wisconsin Badgers, coming off two consecutive Big Ten titles, are on the cusp of joining college football’s elite. 

The team always has one of the best offensive lines in the country, starts this season with a legitimate Heisman candidate in Montee Ball and boasts a solid coaching staff led by Bret Bielema.

Yet the team still struggles to bring in 4- and 5-star recruits. The team did manage to bring in one somewhat high-profile quarterback in Bart Houston, but that seems to be more of the exception than the rule.

For the second straight year, Wisconsin will have to plug in an ACC transfer to lead the offense. The Badgers, however, will not be able to find a top-level transfer every year.  

With the glut of recruiting talent Michigan and Ohio State bring to campus every year, the Badgers need to start luring more talented recruits to Madison in order to stay competitive in the Big Ten.

Having a former Badger signal-caller leading an NFL team might be the recruiting catalyst Wisconsin needs. Nothing makes a school more appealing to elite high school players than the belief that it will eventually land them a job in the pros.

Top quarterbacks may have eschewed Wisconsin in the past because of the team’s focus on the ground game. If Wilson can parlay one year of leading Bielema’s pro-style offense into a starting job with an NFL franchise, the myth of Wisconsin not being a suitable fit for top high school signal-callers will be busted.

The Badgers have produced some top level NFL talent the past few years.

Defensive end J.J Watt was a beast for the Texans last year. The Browns’ Joe Thomas may be the best offensive tackle in the league. 

Lineman though, both offensive and defensive, just do not create the same buzz that quarterbacks do. If Russell Wilson wins the starting job in Seattle, the reverberation will be the loudest in Madison.