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Where Former Wisconsin Football Players Will Call Home This NFL Season

Where are former Wisconsin football players, and what is their status with their current NFL team?



Jonathan Taylor; Wisconsin Football
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that time of the year again! NFL training camps are starting back up which means Wisconsin football isn’t far behind. For most Wisconsin fans, we are eagerly following Packers updates on Twitter and various sites. But Badger fans are also interested in how former Wisconsin football players are performing on their respective teams.

When Badgers are drafted into the NFL or signed as undrafted free agents, we sometimes lose track of where they are. Players are on the move each offseason and sometimes we don’t even realize they changed teams.

So, let’s get a quick refresher on where you can find former Wisconsin football players at the start of NFL training camps.

Wisconsin Football Players in the NFL

Arizona Cardinals

Corey Clement – RB

Clement has bounced around the league over the last few seasons. He played a part in the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl victory in the 2017 season. Since then, he’s had stints on the Giants, Cowboys, Ravens, and most recently the Cardinals. He seems to have carved out a role as RB2 with Arizona backing up John Connor.

Baltimore Ravens

Kevin Zeitler – OG

Zeitler continues to be one of the best offensive guards in the NFL. He is entering his 12th season in the NFL and his third with the Ravens. He is essentially a lock to make Baltimore’s 53-man roster.

Buffalo Bills

David Edwards – OG

Edwards is one of the former Wisconsin football players on the move this offseason. He spent his first four years with the Rams in Las Angeles before becoming a free agent this offseason. He signed a 1-year deal with the Bills to add some line depth in Buffalo.

Chicago Bears

T.J. Edwards – LB

After a successful start to his career in Philadelphia, Edwards was one of the bigger free agents this offseason. He signed a 3-year, $19.5 million deal with his hometown Chicago Bears.

Jack Sanborn – LB

Sanborn broke out for the Bears last season. He worked his way up the depth chart and when he got a chance to log serious snaps he didn’t disappoint. He is now viewed as a starting linebacker for the Bears and will be a lock to make their roster.

Dallas Cowboys

Tyler Biadasz – OC

Biadasz is entering his fourth season in Dallas with the Cowboys and coming off his best year as a pro. He played and started in 16 games for the Cowboys last year and earned Pro Bowl honors. In the past two seasons, he’s missed just one game. He continues to anchor the stout Dallas offense line at center.

Jake Ferguson – TE

As a rookie last season, Ferguson spent a good amount of time as the backup to Dalton Schultz. With Schultz departing in free agency, Ferguson will have a good chance to win the starting tight end job for the Cowboys this season.

Denver Broncos

Former Wisconsin Football player, Russell Wilson

Jan 8, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) calls out in from the line of scrimmage in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson – QB

Wilson is entering his second season with the Broncos after the blockbuster trade. It was a rough year for Wilson last year, but many think he will right the ship this year with new head coach Sean Payton leading the way.

Matt Henningsen – DE

Henningsen continues to do things the hard way. He walked-on at Wisconsin at now he is climbing up the Broncos depth chart after going undrafted in 2022. In his rookie season, he played in all 17 games with Denver tallying 21 total tackles and a sack. He figures to be in the running for a starting spot this year.

Faion Hicks – CB

After being drafted in the 7th round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Hicks spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad. He appeared in two games for the Broncos but just on special teams. He’s going to be battling for a roster spot again this season.

Houston Texans

Tyler Beach – OT

Beach went undrafted this year but signed with the Texans as an undrafted rookie. Beach is likely a player who could sneak onto a practice squad for Houston but has an outside chance at making the 53-man roster.

Michael Deiter – OG

Deiter was drafted in the 3rd round in 2019 and started 15 games for the Dolphins as a rookie. Since then, he started just eight of the 41 games he played in the last three seasons. He became a free agent this offseason and signed a 1-year deal with the Texans. He’ll compete for a backup role on the Houston offensive line.

Dare Ogunbowale – RB

Ogunbowale started his career in Houston as an UDFA and after stints with Tampa Bay, Washington, and Jacksonville, he returned to Houston in 2022. He spent last season as the third running back for the Texans and I’m assuming this year will look similar. He’ll have to make an impact on special teams too.

Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor – RB

After having an elite season in 2021, Taylor struggled a bit in 2022 with injuries. He played in just 11 games but still totaled 861 yards on the ground. If he can stay healthy, Taylor should return to form and be one of the top running backs in the NFL.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kendric Pryor – WR

Pryor joined the Bengals last season as an undrafted rookie but didn’t make the final roster despite some impressive preseason performances. He was signed by the Jaguars to their active roster where he spent the entire season but was frequently on the inactive list. Pryor will attempt to make the Jaguars’ 53-man roster again in 2023.

Cole Van Lanen – OG

Van Lanen started his career with the Packers. I’m sure plenty of Wisconsin football fans followed him closely while with the Packers because a good chunk of Badgers fans are Packers fans. But then he was traded to Jacksonville and I’m sure he fell off the radar for many of us. In his first year with the Jaguars, he played in 16 games, primarily getting special teams snaps. I’m sure he’ll be competing for a roster spot again this year.

Kansas City Chiefs

Wisconsin Football inside linebacker Leo Chenal

Nov 13, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Leo Chenal (54) celebrates after a sack during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Leo Chenal – LB

Chenal was drafted by the Chiefs last season and enjoyed a Super Bowl victory in his rookie year. He played in all 17 regular season games for the Chiefs, starting eight of them. He had 35 total tackles and a sack in 2022. He’ll continue to be a part of the Kansas City defense going forward whether he is a starter or a rotational player.

Las Angeles Rams

Logan Bruss – OG

Bruss was drafted in the 3rd round by the Rams in the 2022 NFL Draft. He missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury. Now that he is back, he will essentially be replacing former Wisconsin football player, David Edwards. He is expected to be a big part of getting their running game going again in 2023.

Rob Havenstein – OT

Havenstein has been a consistent right tackle for the Rams since he joined them in 2015. He is entering his ninth season in the NFL and continues to be a mainstay for Las Angeles.

Miami Dolphins

Alec Ingold – FB

Ingold is one of the few fullbacks in the NFL that is consistently used. He was in for 40% of the offensive snaps for the Dolphins last season. That might not seem like much, but for a fullback in today’s NFL, that’s a pretty high number. Unless Mike McDaniel, who comes from the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree, decides to stop using a fullback, I would expect Ingold to have a spot on Miami’s roster this season.

Andrew Van Ginkel – OLB

Van Ginkel has been one of Miami’s most consistent pass-rushers since he arrived in 2019. His production dipped a bit last season going from 9.5 sacks combined in 2020-21 to just 0.5 last season. At the very least he should make the team as a rotational pass rusher.

New Orleans Saints

Zack Baun – LB

In three seasons with the Saints, Baun has mostly been a special teams player. He played in just 10% of the defensive snaps and 81% of the special teams snaps. That could change this year as he is in competition for a starting linebacker spot.

Ryan Connelly – LB

Connelly signed a deal with the Saints this offseason after being with the Vikings the three seasons. He was primarily a special teams player but last season he played 31% of the defensive snaps for Minnesota. With the linebacker depth in New Orleans, I think Connelly is competing for a depth role and a lot of special teams.

Ryan Ramczyk – OT

Ramczyk is entering his seventh season as the Saints starting right tackle. In the time he’s been in New Orleans, he has consistently been one of the best players at his position. Ramczyk will be the starting right tackle in Week 1.

New York Jets

Joe Tippman – OC

Tippman was drafted this year in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. He will be in the driver’s seat to be the starting center for Aaron Rodgers and the Jets this season. If you watch Hard Knocks on HBO keep a look out for Tippman as the popular documentary is in New York this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Former Wisconsin football linebacker, T.J. Watt

Dec 18, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Watt – OLB

Watt is entering his seventh season with the Steelers this year and is one of the top edge rushers in the NFL. He played in just 10 games last season as he battled an injury. Now that he is fully healthy, look for Watt to continue his domination in 2023 for Pittsburgh.

Isaiahh Loudermilk – DT

In his first two seasons in Pittsburgh, Loudermilk played in 26 games, starting five of them. He has 30 career tackles and one sack. He’ll be a nice depth player for the Steelers again this year.

Nick Herbig – OLB

The most productive pass-rusher for Wisconsin football since T.J. Watt is Nick Herbig. Now, they get to play together in Pittsburgh. Herbig is coming into an interesting situation at his position with the Steelers. They have Watt and just signed Alex Highsmith to an extension. So there isn’t a clear path for him to start in the near future. But at the edge position, depth is always necessary so I’m sure Herbig will get plenty of run in his rookie season.

Keeanu Benton – NT

In addition to Herbig, the Pittsburgh Badgers added Keeanu Benton through the draft. He should also get a good chance to start this year, playing in the nose tackle position that was occupied by Tyson Alualu last season.

San Francisco 49ers

Troy Fumagalli – TE

Fumagalli is a guy who has been around the league with various stints on practice squads since 2020. He has spent time with the Texans, Patriots, and now the 49ers. Then he joined the San Francisco practice squad last year and returns to the 49ers to compete for a roster spot in 2023.

Washington Commanders

Rachad Wildgoose – CB

Wildgoose looks to hang on with the Commanders again this year. Before his time as a Commander, he was on the Bills and Jets before signing with Washington last summer. Last year, he played in 15 games, starting three games. He logged 21% of the defensive snaps and tallied 16 total tackles and three passes defended.

Free Agents

Melvin Gordon – RB

The former Wisconsin football standout started last season with the Broncos before being released in November. Eventually, he caught on with the Chiefs last season on their practice squad and got a Super Bowl ring out of it. He’s currently a free agent, and unfortunately, with the current running back market being what it is, I wouldn’t expect Gordon to sign on with anyone anytime soon.

Derek Watt – FB

Unlike Ingold, Watt is still looking for a team in a league where fullbacks are all but obsolete. If a team has an injury at the position during camp Watt might be able to take advantage and catch on with a team for the season.

Follow along on Badger Notes throughout the NFL training camp and the preseason to keep up to date with how former Wisconsin football players are doing with their current teams.

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Christian Borman on Twitter @ChristianBorman

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Wisconsin Football Team Suffers Devastating Blow on Injury Front



Wisconsin football; Badgers running back Chez Mellusi suffers devastating injury
Sep 22, 2023; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (1) is taken off the field in a cart after suffering an injury during the second half at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin football program has been hit hard by a gut-wrenching twist of fate, with Badgers sixth-year running back Chez Mellusi suffering what appears to be a season-ending injury.

The news has left both the team and fans in shock and has raised questions about the team’s running back depth moving forward.

Mellusi, who returned for a sixth season to make a significant impact on the team, had been a crucial part of the Badgers’ offense. His experience and versatility provided a valuable dimension to the team’s running game, making him a key asset for Head Coach Luke Fickell.

In all likelihood, Mellusi will finish the season with 40 carries for 268 yards (6.7 YPC) and four touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 212-pound tailback also caught two passes for 14 yards.

Wisconsin Football Faces Uncertain Future Without Chez Mellusi

The injury occurred during the fourth quarter of the game, leaving Chez Mellusi visibly shaken, and he was carted off the field, surrounded by his teammates. It was a stark reminder of the physical toll that football can take on even the most dedicated and talented athletes.

While the full extent of Mellusi’s injury hasn’t been disclosed, the ole eye test suggests it could be a season-ending setback. Wisconsin football now has a significant void to fill in their running back rotation.

One of the critical challenges facing Luke Fickell and his coaching staff is finding a suitable replacement for Mellusi. His unique skill set and experience will not be easily replicated, and the team will be forced to rely on converted fullback Jackson Acker and Cade Yacamelli to fill the No. 2 role behind Braelon Allen.

The loss of Mellusi is not just a blow to the team’s on-field performance but also a heartbreak for a player who had worked tirelessly to contribute to the Badgers’ success.

As the Wisconsin football team navigates this challenging period, the focus now shifts to rallying together and finding a way to continue their season on a positive note. The road ahead is undoubtedly more arduous without Mellusi, but adversity has a way of uniting a team and bringing out their best.

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

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Wisconsin Football Defeats Purdue: Here’s What Stood Out



Wisconsin football; Badgers QB Tanner Mordecai and Bryson Green
Sep 22, 2023; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) celebrates with Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Bryson Green (9) after running for a touchdown during the first half at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

In their Big Ten opener at Ross-Ade Stadium, Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin football program (3-1, 1-0 B1G) secured a 38-17 victory over Purdue (1-3, 0-1 B1G), extending the Badgers winning streak against the Boilermakers to an unprecedented 17 consecutive games.

Here are a few things that stood out from the Wisconsin Badgers week four victory over Ryan Walters and the Purdue Boilermakers. 

Wisconsin Football Utilized Tanner Mordecai as a Dual-Threat QB on Friday Night

Wisconsin football needed to get off to a fast start after three consecutive subpar first-half performances, and the Badgers offense answered by jumping out to a 14-0 start behind the legs of quarterback Tanner Mordecai

He finished the game with 14 carries, amassing 58 yards and scoring twice on the ground while also completing 63% of his passes for 174 yards & one interception.

While Mordecai’s performance wasn’t flawless, his ability to create plays with his legs did help create running opportunities for Braelon Allen. As a result, Allen carried the ball 16 times, racking up 116 yards and scoring two touchdowns.

This new dynamic clearly caught Purdue off guard and played a crucial role in providing the much-needed quick start for the Wisconsin football offense.

Wisconsin Football Just Became Real Thin at Running Back

Chez Mellusi‘s return for a sixth season has had a significant impact on the Badger offense.

Thriving in Phil Longo’s system, Mellusi entered the game as Wisconsin’s leading rusher. Unfortunately, he sustained what appeared to be a significant injury in the fourth quarter, likely marking the end of his collegiate career.

With Mellusi out of the picture, Wisconsin football will now turn to converted fullback Jackson Acker and presumably Cade Yacamelli to fill the No. 2 role behind Braelon Allen.  

Due to Allen’s injury history, the new coaching staff intended to restrict his number of carries to safeguard his health. Now, Luke Fickell must determine whether they are still willing to adhere to this plan without a 1B tailback at his disposal.

This is a difficult situation for Wisconsin football in general, but it’s especially tough for Mellusi personally. I hope he makes a full recovery because it’s always disheartening to witness a player’s college career conclude in such a manner.

Prayers up. 

Other Wisconsin Badgers Musings 

Jack Nelson had another brutal game with at least three penalties. I’m not sure what’s going on right now — but I’m shocked at how poor and undisciplined the Stoughton native has been through four games. 


Wisconsin football found themselves a kicker. Nathaniel Vakos is now 7-for-7 on the season, and it looks like he’s the best placekicking option the Badgers have had since Rafael Gaglianone.


CJ Williams put together the best game of his Badgers career — which was great to see — finishing with five catches for 56 yards. It was an encouraging sign for the passing attack moving forward. 


The University of Wisconsin football program might not have a terrific defensive line this year — but James Thompson Jr. is most definitely a dude for the Badgers. He finished with six tackles, 2.0 TFLs, a sack, plus a pass-breakup. 

Wisconsin Football Team Suffers Devastating Blow on Injury Front

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.

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Disgruntled Wisconsin Football Fan Groans Over “Modern Music”



Wisconsin Badgers football
Oct 25, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; The Wisconsin logo at midfield of Camp Randall Stadium following the game between the Maryland Terrapins and Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin won 52-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This summer, Wisconsin Athletics hired an independent consultant to enhance the game day experience at Camp Randall Stadium. There were noticeable changes when Wisconsin Badgers football took the field to begin a new era under head coach Luke Fickell.

The pre-game video no longer features “Where the Streets Have No Name” by U2. Other music choices at Badgers football games have, apparently, ground the gears of at least one fan.

Wisconsin Football Fan Writes Letter to the Editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: There Is No Need for ‘Modern Music’ Blaring at Badgers Games

It all started with some Wisconsin football fans complaining about the volume of music. In a letter to the editor published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, one fan expressed displeasure with the songs themselves. The complaint over “‘modern music'” is written throughout, despite failing to define what that means.

Although I have a suspicion about what is left unsaid by (heavy quotes) “modern music,” I will take it at face value.

Wisconsin Basketball Fans React: Badgers Miss on 5-Star Recruit

I have been to more Wisconsin football games than I care to count. Truthfully, I am unsure what the complaint here is about. Is the occasional playing of “Fireflies” by Owl City (released 14 years ago in 2009) too “modern?” What about when the tradition of “Jump Around” began in 1998 when the song was a mere six years from its release? I would hope that writer Daniel Edelstein voiced his displeasure then.

Wisconsin Football Should Reject Modernity, Embrace Tradition

Our dear writer admits that “several generations of spectators’ tastes occur at the stadium” but seemingly casts this caveat aside. After ensuring those darn kids stay off the lawn, they argue, “a University of Wisconsin-Madison game is and should be a special experience — one that is different than the ordinary world.” Apparently, music from the 2000s and beyond is for the mere mortals. True enlightenment exists only in the form of songs by Neil Diamond and The Foundations.

I cannot imagine the response by this fan to Wisconsin football hiring offensive coordinator Phil Longo and implementing the Air Raid. I am certain the invention of the forward pass itself was blasphemous. Embrace tradition – run the damn ball.

All of this begs the question, where does tradition come from? Tradition is not established without it being done the first time. Frankly, I struggle to think of a tradition more human than blaring out the lyrics to the most popular song of the year in a crowded basement, bar, or football stadium.

University of Wisconsin Football Is for University of Wisconsin Students

Every player that suits up for Wisconsin football is a University of Wisconsin student. With an influx of television money, name-image-and-likeness endorsements, and a facilities arms race making college football a tradition more and more for the elite class every day, why can students not have one thing?

Wisconsin Football Fans React: Badgers Defeat Georgia Southern

Spending 28-ish Saturdays making unforgettable memories with friends. Finding camaraderie with their fellow students on the field singing “Mo Bamba” or “Paint the Town Red” should be celebrated. Regardless of which song it is, that event, that special moment when you see all of sections K through J singing as one – that is tradition.

I am not one to tell you how to fan. I will tell you, however, that you do not gain respect in my eyes by complaining that an event that only exists because of the labor of young people, spectated by young people, and is slowly getting stripped away from young people, is too oriented towards those young people.

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, and Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here. Like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin Badgers news, notes, opinions, and analysis. You can also follow Kedrick Stumbris on Twitter @KedrickStumbris.

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Join the Badger Notes watch party and stream Wisconsin Badgers games by following this link.

*Subscribe to BadgerNotes After Dark on Youtube and wherever you find podcasts. The official Wisconsin Badgers podcast of the Big Banter Sports Network.

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