Posted On: 08/24/20 10:00 AM
One of the things that coaches at all levels want to see is a well rounded athlete. They love to have kids on their team who are involved in more sports than just the one they decide to specialize in at the collegiate level. Some of the most talented and successful athletes come from a background of playing several sports. The importance of this is that during these other sports, during the football off-season, kids develop traits that are key in those sports, but can also translate to the field. The reason coaches love to see this is that they know they can’t teach absolutely everything to a player in the span of one season. For example, when a receiver comes in with the knowledge and experience of boxing out because they played basketball or a lineman understands the importance of body control and balance because they wrestled, that takes away the need to focus on developing those nuances and they can instead focus on the key fundamentals of football. Wisconsin is full of athletes who participate in football and basketball. Ahead, we are going to look at the best football- basketball combo athletes in the state!
Jayden JacksonJaydenJackson6'3" | WRWhitefish Bay | 2021WI, WR- Whitefish Bay Jayden is one of the best pure athletes in the state of Wisconsin and currently is ranked inside the Top 25 of our football rankings and inside the Top 20 of our basketball rankings. On the gridiron, Jayden does it all. He made an impact as a QB, WR, and DB during the 2019. He really shows off his basketball skills when he is at receiver. Jackson does a very good job of boxing out defenders creating a larger target for his QB. On the basketball court, Jackson really shines. His nearly 20 PPG last season led the way for Whitefish Bay as they advanced to the WIAA Sectionals. As of August 15, Jayden has decided that he will be choosing basketball over football when it comes to playing college athletics. Congratulations and best of luck, Jayden! Jayden's 2019 SZN Drew BiberDrewBiber6'5" | WRCedarburg | 2021StateWI, WR- Cedarburg Biber might be the best example of how basketball traits show up on the football field. On the court, Drew led his team to the Regional Finals with his 20+ PPG and 9+ RPG. It is through that consistent rebounding that Biber has developed skills that show up on the basketball court. Biber already has a huge catch radius and target area for his QB, but add in his ability to box out and create separation between the ball and the defenders at the catch point and you get one of the best receivers Wisconsin has to offer. Which leaves no surprise as to his decision to play college football at the FBS level after his commitment to Northern Illinois. Biber 2019 Season Highlights Dylan KuehlDylanKuehl6'5" | WRHoricon/Hustisford | 2021StateWI, WR- Hustisford Last year, Dylan was a dominant receiver for Hustisford as they played their way to a playoff qualifying season. He clearly knows how to use his huge frame to create space and it shows as he averaged over 18 yards per reception! Where he truly shines however, is on the hardwood. Dylan led Hustisford to a 22-4 record and the Sectionals with his huge stat line of 24 PPG, and 6+ RPG. His play has led him to receive interest from a few D2 schools and this past Saturday night he committed to Northern Michigan to play basketball! Congratulations, Dylan! Kuehl's 2019 Highlights 0859" first="Hayden" last="Doyle"], DB- Brookfield East Hayden is a beast on the field and the court. On the field, Hayden plays defensive back for Brookfield East and has become one of the best ball hawks in the state. He posted 7 interceptions last season on the way to a Division 2 State Championship. On the court, Doyle put up 21 PPG last season. He helped lead his team to a 20-5 record and a Sectionals appearance. Doyle is one of the best dual sport players on this list and I could see him playing at the next level in either sport, or both. Hayden’s 2019 SZN Jevan BoytonJevanBoyton6'5" | WRMadison East | 2021StateWI, WR- Madison East Jevan is an imposing presence on the football field. While his team struggled to collect wins, Boyton was still able to go out and perform well, earn a top 100 ranking for the 2021 class, and show what he has to offer college teams. I expect to see him start to gather a lot of attention as a pure athlete who could play WR, TE, or OLB at the college level. That is if he chooses football. Boyton is also a very talented basketball player. Last season, he led Madison East to a Sectionals victory before the season was ended due to the pandemic. This summer, Jevan has spent the summer climbing the rankings and making a strong impact. As a top 50 basketball player and top 100 football player in Wisconsin, Jevan should start to collect plenty of options for the next level. Jevan's 2019 SZN Dylan LisitzaDylanLisitza6'0" | WRWisconsin Rapids | 2021StateWI, WR- Wisconsin Rapids Dylan is a fun receiver to watch on tape. He faced some of the best defenses that the Division 1 level had to offer and consistently made plays. He really relies on his route running to win the rep and you can see where his basketball career shows up. His quick feet and loose hips that make his routes so sharp are also what help him create separation for shots on the hardwood. His role as PG for the Rapids team and the Wisconsin Playmakers have also increased his vision in both fields. On the grass, he can see openings in coverage, and on the court it helped him to become the leader in assists for his team last season. Lisitza vs Wausau West Parker LawrenceParkerLawrence6'0" | WRHortonville | 2021StateWI, WR- Hortonville Lawrence is a playmaker. It doesn’t matter the sport. At receiver, Parker cut up defensive backfields on his way to 700+ yards. It was possible thanks to his impressive agility and play speed. Both traits show up on his basketball film. This is a great example of the importance of playing multiple sports. Instead of training almost year round for one sport, Parker has had to use and develop that agility and speed against live competition. It has led to success as well. Last season he helped lead Hortonville to a 20-5 record, while also leading the team in PPG with 14+. Parker’s 2019 Season JP BenzschawelJPBenzschawel6'7" | OLGrafton | 2021StateWI, OL- Grafton Next up we have Badger commit, JP BenzschawelJPBenzschawel6'7" | OLGrafton | 2021StateWI. Benzschawel is committed to the football team in Madison, but he wouldn’t be as ready as he is if it wasn’t for the experience of playing multiple sports. Last season, J.P. led his basketball team in RPG, which probably doesn’t surprise many because of his huge frame and really impressive arm length. Where you can see basketball being most evident in his football game is in his movement. J.P. is one of the most smooth movers I have seen at the high school offensive line position. He looks more like a TE when he gets out in space to lead plays. This can be linked right back to basketball. Being able to slide side to side, backing down defenders, and boxing out all have helped him remain light on his feet. He is a true dancing bear on the court and the field. J.P.’s 2019 Highlights Marcus MbowMarcusMbow6'6" | OLWauwatosa East | 2021StateWI, OL- Wauwatosa East Marcus is a similar case to J.P. Mbow is a big time college football recruit who has already committed to Herm Edwards at Arizona State. A lot of his movement skills look to have developed further thanks to his basketball career. To move as easily and as under control as Marcus does at his size is no easy feat. Yet, Mbow does it with a natural ease. This jumps off the screen of his basketball film. With an athlete this size you would expect to see him post up and look for layups, put backs, and rebounds. Instead, you will see film where Mbow will have the ball outside the three point line, make a move, and work his way to the rim with impressive burst. There is no doubt basketball has helped develop him as the football player he is turning into. Mbow's 2019 Season Marko RajkovicMarkoRajkovic6'5" | TEFranklin | 2021StateWI, TE- Franklin Marko is another well rounded athlete. He is a reliable tight end for the Franklin football team. Where he is best is on the hardwood. He finished in the top three for points, rebounds, and assists for the basketball team and has really began to see his stock start to climb. Rajkovic helped lead Franklin to the Regional Finals and an overall 13-10 record. Marko moves very smoothly and shows a second gear with the ball in his hands both on the court and on the football field. He has also shown that he isn’t afraid to play gritty. Marko is more than willing to go to the ground to finish a layup in hopes of an and one opportunity or to lower his shoulder on the field and run over defenders after the catch. Raj 2019 Highlights