Wisconsin adds another key player from transfer portal

Luke Fickell has continued to say Wisconsin will not be a program that relies on the transfer portal to build its roster but will use it to fill holes here and there. Fickell and his staff did that again Thursday afternoon getting a commitment from Temple defensive lineman Darian Varner.

Varner was committed to Virginia Tech, held a signing ceremony on Dec. 21 and had a profile on the Hokies website as of Thursday afternoon. But that apparently didn’t deter the Badgers, who got Varner on campus for a visit this week and quickly flipped his commitment.

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Varner is another significant addition for Wisconsin, joining quarterbacks Tanner Mordecai and Nick Evers, along with defensive back Jason Maitre. Varner was a first-team All-AAC pick this season after posting 7.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. In two years with the Owls, he had 10.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss.

A native of Norfolk, Va., Varner joins a defensive line group that includes returning starters Rodas Johnson and Isaiah Mullens, along with a significant contributor in James Thompson Jr. Varner has three years of eligibility remaining.