Just two days after stud wide receiver Quintez Cephus declared for the NFL draft, the Badgers are likely looking at losing another wide receiver. 247Sports was the first to report that sophomore wide receiver Aron Cruishank had entered the transfer portal.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise with the departures of AJ Taylor and Quintez Cephus opening up the door for a ton of snaps and opportunity alongside Kendric Pryor and Danny Davis.
The sophomore tied a school record with two kickoff return touchdowns on the year and was selected second team all-Big Ten return specialist by both the media and Big Ten coaches. Cruikshank finished 14th in the nation in kickoff return yards and his two kickoff return touchdowns are second in the nation. Only seven other players returned two or more kickoff returns for scores with fewer kickoff returns and his average of 29.3 yards per return was good for fifth in the nation.
As a receiver, Cruikshank totaled just four catches for 40 yards across his two years at UW but there is tons of opportunity on the offense now with Jonathan Taylor, AJ Taylor and Quintez Cephus out of the picture so you figured the numbers could jump. However, much like Taylor, Davis and Pryor, Cruikshank had begun to be schemed to get the ball in his hands with end arounds and jet sweeps. He racked up 13 rushes for 138 yards and a touchdown in 2019 and 19 rushes for 189 yards and two touchdowns total. His usage fell off following an early fumble in the Minnesota game where he then saw just one combined rush in the next two games against Ohio State and Oregon.
The transfer portal can be confusing. Wisconsin can elect to cancel the scholarship from the former three-star recruit per Rivals and 247Sports, four-star recruit per ESPN, at the end of the semester that they look to transfer. Once the student-athlete puts his name in the transfer portal, coaches are allowed to contact him, but the sophomore will still have to sit out a full academic year unless he files for a waiver.
Here is a helpful article Sports Illustrated wrote to explain the transfer portal:
Jon McNamara of Rivals network is reporting that Rutgers is a potential landing spot for the sophomore wide receiver where he might be interested in joining some of his high school teammates. Greg Schiano, new head coach at Ohio State played a big role in the recruitment of Cruikshank while he was at Ohio State.
Cruikshank’s departure now leaves another hole in the special teams at kick returner. He had become a weapon at returner but now Wisconsin will also need a new returner along with a new punter and kickoff specialist.