Indianapolis – The highest-rated defensive player in the 2022 University of Wisconsin enlistment class is not on the team’s preliminary roster.
Coach Paul Crest told reporters at Big Ten Media Days that Sun Prairie’s four-star 247Sports defender Isaac Hamm is taking classes at Madison College and not on the Badgers roster. A UW official said Hamm could still make the squad at some point this season.
“I appreciate what he’s doing now,” Crist said. “He’s taking lessons, he’s not in Wisconsin, he’s finishing some things, so he’s obviously hopeful. He’s doing that and we’re in touch.
“He’s working on a few things….I appreciate what he’s doing to have a good summer.”
Hamm was not expected to be an immediate contributor as he was recovering from shoulder injuries and was joining a host of positions loaded with outside full-backs and defensive ends. But the prospect of Hamm losing is a blow to the 2022 Badgers recruiting class that ranked 44th nationally at 247Sports and 46th on Rivals with Hamm.
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Hamm chose UW on early signing day in December because of the possibility of an Ohio scholarship, he told reporters that night at the signing ceremony. He and his father had dinner with Chryst and assistant coach Chris Haering the week before the signing, and that conversation sealed the deal to keep him in state.
“It’s got the homey and family vibe from (UW), the culture and traditions are amazing and that’s something I really wanted to be a part of,” Hamm said in December. “It was one of those things that creeps up on you and you get so close, it becomes a more difficult decision. With a little time and talking with my family and coaches, we came to that consensus after a long time.
“We didn’t want to rush to make a choice, but now that we’re here and we’ve made that choice, I know for sure it would be the best choice for me.”
Hamm, who did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday, helped Sun Prairie go 6-0 in the WIAA modified spring 2021 season and then 14-1 last fall en route to a WIAA Division 1 state championship game appearance.
According to wissports.net, Hamm has received 73 assists, 18 for losses, nine sacks and two compulsory formations in 11 substitute games. He counted a total of 29 interventions when he was young, nine of which were for loss, including five sacks. It also forced five holdings.
Hamm was awarded the State Journal All-Area Player of the Year in 2021, the WFCA’s Big School Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team selection by the WFCA and Associated Press.
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