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Four-Star OL Hardy Watts Commits to Wisconsin Badgers


The Wisconsin Badgers line up for a play during the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Camp Randall Stadium in 2023.
© Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Interior offensive lineman Hardy Watts, a four-star recruit from Massachusetts, announced his commitment to play for the Wisconsin Badgers in 2025. He is currently the highest-ranked commit in this class.



Who Is Hardy Watts?

Watts plays for Dexter High School in West Roxbury, Mass. He received offers from many of the top college football programs, including Michigan and Clemson, but ultimately decided to make Camp Randall his home for the foreseeable future. According to On3, for the 2025 recruiting class, he is listed as the top recruit in Massachusetts, the 14th best IOL in the country, and 215th overall.



What Is the Impact On Wisconsin?

With Watts' commitment, the Badgers now have the 21st-ranked recruiting class for 2025, which includes five offensive linemen. Of the six four-star commits in this class, three are offensive linemen.



Why would Watts choose the Badgers? One reason is Wisconsin's consistent production of top offensive linemen playing on Sundays, with 28 OL drafted in the past 33 seasons—29 if you include the Indianapolis Colts' selection of Tanor Bortolini in the 2024 NFL Draft.



Wisconsin has earned the reputation of being "Offensive Line U," but the line's performance has slipped in recent years. Despite the drastic switch to an "Air Raid" offense under coach Luke Fickell last season, the Badgers' success still largely depends on their offensive line. Adding a player of Watts' caliber helps strengthen and deepen this crucial position for Wisconsin.


Scouting Watts

At 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, Watts has the bear-sized frame the Badgers typically look for in their offensive linemen. However, Wisconsin also expects their OL to move well in space, and Watts' lacrosse background is a great indicator of his ability to combine size with speed. As shown in the clip below, Watts possesses the nastiness to finish his defender once he gets his hands on them.



Going into the 2024 season, the Badgers are projected to have three seniors starting on the offensive line, creating opportunities for new starters in 2025. However, given the influx of talent Wisconsin has brought to this position group in recent years through recruiting and the transfer portal (six OL in the 2024 class and three OL in the 2023 class), expect Watts to play in a few games his freshman year while maintaining his redshirt eligibility.






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