Our 2018 high school football preview series takes a look back at the Class of 2014 in the Madison area, which produced an NFL Draft pick and several ties to Northern Illinois.
We took a look at all of the Madison-area players who were ranked by WisSports.net, as well as some who made their way to Division 1 college football at some point in their college careers. Some ranked players never suited up for a college program, but a couple of those stories are noted below.
Click on the player's name to see their current college bio or Twitter profile.
Daurice Fountian (Madison Memorial), WR, Played at Northern Iowa (now on the Indianapolis Colts): After a productive career at Northern Iowa, Daurice Fountain is off to the NFL. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts. He was the only Madison-area prospect drafted this season, but his former Madison Memorial teammate Jester Weah (Pittsburgh) was signed by Houston after the NFL Draft. (pictured above)
James Nachtigal (Fort Atkinson), LB, Senior at Army: Nachtigal followed up a promising sophomore season, which included a forced fumble, 3.5 sacks, and five tackles for losses, with a much larger role on the team in 2017 in which he recorded 103 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, and five sacks. According to his bio, he hasn't missed a game yet in college heading into his senior year. (pictured above)
Isaiah Lesure (Mount Horeb/Barneveld), WR, Senior at Western Illinois: Entering his senior season, Lesure is expected to take on a much more productive role within the Leathernecks' offense. He's got 50 career catches and eight career TD receptions, and a touchdown pass as well.
Colin Conner (Iowa-Grant), OL, Senior at North Dakota State: A two-year starter for the defending national champion Bison at left tackle, Conner was named to the MVFC Honor Roll in 2015 and again in 2017, and earned the 2017 MVFC Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award. Conner didn't make top 15 linemen in the state heading into his senior high school season (although he was in the 'others to watch' category), but we've included him here for his achievements. (pictured above, #64. #36 is his teammate, Cam Pedersen, an Eau Claire, Wis. native)
Gus Wedig (Big Foot), LB, Senior at Minnesota-Duluth: Wedig is a special teams ace, serving as the team's primary long snapper, and made his first career start in a DII playoff game as a sophomore. He's up to 109 career tackles, 11.5 for a loss, and has recorded two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, four sacks, and three blocked kicks in his career with the Bulldogs as he heads into his senior season.
Aaron Fischer (Sun Prairie), FB, Senior at Northern Illinois: Fischer isn't listed on the 2018 roster for NIU, but he does include in his Twitter bio that he's #33 for the Huskies for the 2018 season at fullback, so we'll go with it. He's played behind Shane Wimann for his entire career. Wimann, a Wisconsin Dells Class of 2013 product, was picked up by the New England Patriots after the 2018 NFL Draft. Fischer has only played in a handful of games in college, with one career carry. Fischer's Sun Prairie teammate, Devin Webster, a defensive lineman, is a senior at NIU. (pictured above)
David O'Gorman (Watertown), DL, Senior at UW-Whitewater: After playing at Northern Illinois for two seasons (a redshirt year and a season without seeing any action), O'Gorman transferred closer to home and has appeared in 19 games over two seasons with the Warhawks. He's been productive the past two years, forcing two fumbles and recovering one during his junior season and interception a pass in his sophomore campaign.
Mike Garvey (Sun Prairie), LB, Played at UW-La Crosse: Garvey's career came to an end this season as an honorable mention linebacker in the WIAC his senior year. He recorded 38 tackles, 7.5 for a loss, a forced fumble, and a blocked kick. Garvey played this past season with former Sun Prairie teammate Michael Marchese.
Michael Marchese (Sun Prairie), WR, Senior at UW-La Crosse: After starting out at Division 2 Southwest Minnesota State, where Marchese played both football and baseball in 2016, his most recent season there, he transferred to UW-La Crosse. He has one season of eligibility remaining.
Ryan Curran (Sun Prairie), QB, Senior at UW-Whitewater: Curran was a backup quarterback for the Warhawks the past four seasons, who has attempted 18 passes in his career with one touchdown. He's been recognized for his academic prowess, including the 2017 Chancellor's Scholar-Athlete award. Curran is majoring in criminology and has a goal of becoming an FBI agent.
Adam Stiner (Verona), OL, Senior at North Dakota: Stiner has played in six games during his career at North Dakota, mostly in a reserve or special teams role. Stiner is a kinesiology major who received academic honors every year he was in high school.
Craig Evans (Sun Prairie), DL: It has been an interesting journey for the former Wisconsin commit and second-highest-rated player in the state for the class of 2014, who de-committed from the Badgers and signed with Michigan State instead out of high school. After leaving Michigan State, Evans played at Arizona Western, a junior college, where he racked up 58 tackles (18.5 for a loss and 5.5 sacks) and two blocked kicks before signing with former Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen at Oregon State. Now, facing the prospect of a six-game suspension in the NCAA from an incident that led to his departure from Michigan State, Evans is reportedly set to try and put himself on the radar of the NFL by playing at least one season at the NAIA level in Oklahoma at Langston University, although as of early July 2018 he was not listed on the team's online roster. (pictured above)
Jaden Gault (Monona Grove), OL, Attends Wisconsin: Gault was a highly-rated prospect coming out of high school, and was the state's top prospect according to WisSports.net. Gault was forced to step away from football for health reasons in 2014, before his career got going at Wisconsin. According to his social media, he still attends UW-Madison.
Marcus Collins (Madison La Follette), TE, Attended North Dakota State: After his freshman season at North Dakota State, he left the program, but some hints from 2015 and 2016 on social media show he was still at the school, participating in intramural football. Collins received a ring for being on the 2014 national championship team at North Dakota State.
Brandon Toman (Madison Memorial), QB, Attended UW-Eau Claire: After having the fortune of throwing to two future NFL receivers (and playing on a team with a boatload of talent at Madison Memorial), Toman headed north to play for UW-Eau Claire, but was only on the roster for one season.
Sam Eckert (East Troy), TE, former walk-on at Wisconsin: There isn't much to go on, either in social media or news articles. Eckert walked on at Wisconsin to a loaded position group, but after his freshman season, he didn't appear on the official Badgers roster.
Terrell McFadden (Madison West), WR, Attended Central Lakes College (JUCO): McFadden played in two games at Central Lakes College in Minnesota, but didn't record a stat. He's still pretty active on social media and often retweets highlight reels of area high school athletes.
All photos: Getty Images