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Wisconsin Football Features a LOADED 2024 Running Back Class



Wisconsin Badgers football legends Melvin Gordon, Montee Ball, and James White.
Oct 6, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running backs Melvin Gordon (25), Montee Ball (28) and James White (20) walk off the field against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers defeated the Fighting Illini 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

When Luke Fickell and his coaching staff took over the Wisconsin football program, they inherited one of the nation’s best 1, 2 punches in Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi. However, the future of the position group after 2023 was murky at best.

Behind the established thunder and lightning backfield are unproven options like converted fullback Jackson Acker, former safety Cade Yacamelli, true freshman Nate White, and walk-on Grover Bortolotti as the top options.

Some work needed to be done to reconstruct that position group for the future, that’s for sure. But after a few recent commitments from 2024 running back recruits, I consider those concerns completely alleviated.

A Look at the 2024 Wisconsin Football RB Commits

The first domino to fall for Wisconsin football in the 2024 recruiting cycle was three-star tailback Gideon Ituka out of Gaithersburg, Maryland

According to the industry-generated 247Sports composite rankings, Ituka is the No. 933 overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting class, the No. 78 RB, and the No. 23 player in Maryland.

The 5-foot-10, 220-pound RB gives the Badgers a patient, between the tackles runner with good vision and the strength to move the pile in short-yardage situations. Ituka could make for a rock-solid committee back with some seasoning.

Then came one of the highest-rated players on the internal Wisconsin football recruiting board, four-star RB Darrion Dupree out of Chicago, Illinois.

According to the industry-generated composite rankings, Dupree is the No. 366 recruit in the 2024 class, the No. 32 running back, and the No. 8 prospect to hail from Illinois.

The four-star recruit from Mount Carmel High School is a one-cut runner with effortless straight-line speed once he gets in the open field. Dupree also has impressive contact balance, consistently plays bigger than his size, and is versatile enough to be a weapon in the passing game.

I’m incredibly high on Dupree’s upside with the Wisconsin football program and think he could become a foundational piece for the offense to build around.

Finally, the Badgers somewhat surprisingly found a way to add another four-star tailback, Dilin Jones, out of Olney, Maryland, into the mix.

According to the 247Sports composite rankings, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound athlete is a top 200-recruit nationally and the No. 13 RB in the country.

Jones gives Wisconsin football a running back prospect that’s essentially the complete package. He can run with power, make you miss in the open field, doesn’t give up on a play, and has the potential to hit a home run if he finds some green.

Watching him develop will be a real treat because Jones has a chance to be a three-down back, just like Darrion Dupree.

Final Thoughts

New Wisconsin football running back coach Devon Spalding has plenty of dynamic options to develop moving forward and continue his upward trajectory up the coaching ranks.

Nobody in their right mind would ever compare this trio to Wisconsin’s legendary group that featured Melvin Gordon, Montee Ball, and James White. Still, it’s fun to think about the potential of the Badger backfield under the new regime.

A few months ago, I was worried about the future of the position group. Today, I don’t have a worry in the world. As long as Wisconsin football can keep this LOADED trio together and get them on campus — the sky is the limit in Phil Longo’s air raid offense.

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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.