Cornerbacks generally get their kicks blanketing speedy, shifty wide receivers, but Josh Wiseman is just a bit different.
The Dixon High School graduate is a redshirt junior at Wisconsin-
Platteville, and he is partial to the action at the line of scrimmage.
“My strength lies in run defense because I really like being physical, and I really like laying the wood,” Wiseman said.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Wiseman added 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason to better handle his business this season, which begins Saturday, Sept. 7 with a home game against East Texas Baptist. He is particularly excited about his portion of the defense that includes former Eastland-Pearl City Wildcatz standout Walter Ollie, a transfer from Loras College; Luke Johnson, who prepped at Rockridge; and Tyler Reinhart, a product of Slinger, Wis.
Wiseman and Johnson are cornerbacks, Reinhart is a strong safety, and Ollie is a free safety.
“I’m excited because we have a young team and we have a great
secondary coming in this year,” Wiseman said. “That’s going to be our biggest strength. We’ve always had a high-powered offense. The offense has always had our backs, so I just hope our defense can step it up this year and become a good contender in the nation to be one of the best defenses out there.”
Wiseman sat out his freshman season with a torn hamstring, then was on the team but didn’t play as a sophomore during his redshirt freshman season. As a junior, he cracked the starting lineup as a redshirt sophomore midway through the season, only to pull that same hamstring in the third-to-last game against Wisconsin-LaCrosse.
He gutted out a game the following week against Wisconsin-Stout, then sat out the finale against Wisconsin-Whitewater.
In six games, Wiseman posted 22 tackles, including 11 solos, along with two pass breakups and 1.5 tackles for loss.
“Josh is a quality young man with some great athletic ability,” UW-Platteville head coach Mike Emendorfer said. “We’re excited to see what he’s able to do this coming year in 2019.”
The Pioneers started 4-1 a year ago, only to drop their last five to wind up 4-6. That included a 2-5 mark in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“We hit the injury bug pretty bad,” Wiseman said. “We had eight starters go down throughout the year, and it was really tough to overcome, especially once we got into conference play. In the WIAC, every team is good and every game is a battle. It was tough to overcome.”
Now 100 percent healthy, Wiseman is looking forward to the upcoming season and what lies ahead. He is on track to graduate with a degree in criminal justice in May, and aspires to become a state policeman. He will still have one more year of eligibility remaining for football, however, and hasn’t ruled out the possibility of playing for the 2020 UW-Platteville Pioneers.
It’s a challenge he enjoys taking on.
“Being a cornerback, especially in college, is do or die every play,” Wiseman said. “You’ve got to play with the best athletes out there, and you can get beat at any moment. The difficulty of the position, that’s what really gets me going.”