Badgers add pair of former UCLA players from transfer portal

Wisconsin has dipped back into the transfer portal to boost the talent at two positions of need.

The first to announce was former UCLA cornerback Jay Webb. The Corona, Calif., native said earlier this month he would be returning to Westwood for a sixth season. But he entered the transfer portal Monday and announced his decision to join the Badgers on Tuesday.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Webb played in 43 games over the last four seasons for the Bruins, including 16 starts. He tied for the team lead with three interceptions this past season and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors from the Associated Press.

About a 1/2 hour after Webb made his announcement, wide receiver Keontez Lewis followed with his commitment.

Like Webb, Lewis comes from UCLA but with a lot less experience. He saw action in 11 games as a true freshman this past fall, including one start. The 6-foot-3 Lewis did not have a reception.

Lewis was a 3-star recruit out of East St. Louis (Ill.), ranked as the No. 74 wide receiver in the country in the class of 2021. He chose the Bruins over offers from more than a dozen schools, including Oregon, Auburn, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.

Webb is the second cornerback added from the portal, joining Toledo’s Justin Clark. The Badgers lost multi-year starters Caesar Williams and Faion Hicks, both of whom earned All-Big Ten honors last season. Webb and Clark figure to battle senior Alexander Smith, junior Semar Melvin and a host of others to replace them.

Wisconsin also lost seniors Danny Davis, Kendric Pryor and Jack Dunn at wide receiver. Junior Chimere Dike figures to be the top option heading into spring, with redshirt freshman Markus Allen and Skyler Bell the next in line. Lewis, who will have three years of eligibility left, should compete for time.

The Badgers also added Arkansas kickoff specialist Vito Calvaruso from the portal late last month.