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Who Becomes the Backup Nickel Cornerback for Wisconsin Football?

Wisconsin football has plenty of question marks to sort through during fall camp, perhaps none more under the radar than backup nickel CB.



Wisconsin Badgers Football starting nickel cornerback Jason Maitre
Wisconsin Badgers cornerback Jason Maitre (23) greets a member of the media during Wisconsin Badgers football media day at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023.

When Luke Fickell took over the Wisconsin football program — he made several notable offseason transfer portal additions. Although it didn’t come with the same fanfare as others — one of the most critically important pickups came from the Badgers bringing in slot cornerback Jason Maitre from Boston College. 

Maitre, a 5-foot-10, 188-pound CB, comes to UW with a ton of experience, 41 games worth, to be exact. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s logged 2,155 career snaps across five seasons. 

Of those, 179 came in the box, 700 at free safety, 824 from the slot, and 438 came as a boundary corner. So versatility is the name of his game — even though Maitre will handle the starting slot corner spot.  

This past season, Maitre registered 42 tackles, seven stops, six pass deflections, four pressures, one sack, and one interception. His physical style of play should be a tremendous asset for a Wisconsin football secondary, replacing most of its cornerback snaps from last season

This is a long-winded way of bringing me to one of my most prominent question marks — that I’m hoping the Badgers can answer during fall camp — who is the No. 2 nickel corner? 

Wisconsin Football Has a Serious Void to Fill in the Slot Behind Jason Maitre

When I look at the Wisconsin football fall camp roster — I don’t see an immediate logical option that pops off the page as the No. 2 nickel corner on the depth chart. That doesn’t mean UW won’t be just fine when fall rolls around — I just don’t have a clue who that player will be. 

Throughout the spring, that player was walk-on Amaun Williams. However, he’s no longer with the team. Another player that could make sense is redshirt junior Max Lofy — but he still hasn’t practiced due to a nagging injury. 

And if we’re being honest, Lofy wasn’t terrific in his 150 snaps last season. He finished 2022 with a PFF grade of (54.3) — which they consider below average. Additionally, Lofy was targeted 15 times and allowed 12 catches. It’s worth noting, however, that he did show flashes in a more featured role against Washington State. 

Walk-on safety Owen Arnett has seen time in the slot early during Wisconsin football fall camp. But it is unlikely that he will hold that spot down once games begin in September. 

Could transfer additions Nyzier Fourqurean or Mike Mack II shift inside when necessary? They obviously make the most sense on the boundary, but sometimes concessions need to be made to get your best options onto the field. 

Perhaps the backup nickel cornerback spot is less of a concern, given how Mike Tressel plans to deploy multiple fronts for Wisconsin football. But it’s a development worth watching while fall camp rolls on. 

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Dillon Graff is a Substack Newsletter Best Selling Author and the Owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, B5Q, Saturday Blitz, and Fansided.