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Where Does the Wisconsin Football Running Back Room Rank Nationally?

Phil Steele ranked the top RB rooms in the Big Ten and in all of college football — and Wisconsin football came in among the nation’s best.



Wisconsin Badgers football running back Chez Mellusi with assistant coach Devon Spalding
Apr 11, 2023; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin running backs coach Devon Spalding talks with running back Chez Mellusi (1) during practice Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

New head coach Luke Fickell and offensive coordinator Phil Longo took over the Wisconsin football program and inherited a talented stable of running backs to build their offense around. 

Returning in 2023 are back-to-back second-team All-Big Ten performer Braelon Allen and fifth-year RB Chez Mellusi, who make up one of the better 1, 2 punches at tailback in the country and will be one of the focal points of the Badgers’ new-look offense. 

Behind them, however, there are some question marks regarding who the No. 3 tailback will be this season — but that’s a conversation for another day

Wisconsin Football Running Back Room Ranks Top 5 Nationally, No. 4 in the Big Ten.

Recently, Phil Steele, the best preseason magazine writer on the market, ranked the top running rooms in the Big Ten conference and all of college football, with Wisconsin football coming in among the best in the country.

Ahead of the 2023 season, the Badgers RB room is listed as the nation’s No. 5 group of tailbacks and No. 4 in the Big Ten behind Michigan (Blake Corum + Donovan Edwards), Ohio State (TreVeyon Henderson + Miyan Williams) and Penn State (Nick Singleton + Kaytron Allen). 

The headliner, as previously mentioned, is Braelon Allen. The 6-foot-2, 238-pound tailback finished last season with 230 carries for 1,242 yards (5.4 YPC) and 11 touchdowns. He also caught a career-high 13 passes for 104 yards. Pro Football Focus credits him with 671 yards after contact and 2.92 yards after contact per attempt. 

If he and Chez Mellusi can stay healthy, there is a chance the Wisconsin football backfield will look deserving of a higher Big Ten ranking under the direction of new OC Phil Longo — however, it’s hard to be upset about being named the No. 5 RB room in the country. 

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Trevor Lovec is a freelance sports writer, correspondent, and a diehard Northern Iowa fan. He covers Wisconsin football & basketball, plus a little Badgers recruiting for