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Wisconsin Football Needs This Duo of Upperclassmen to Step-up

This duo of Wisconsin football upperclassmen needs to take the next step on the field in 2023.



Wisconsin Badgers throwback football helmet
Sep 7, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers helmets sit on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin won 48-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin football team is set to embark on the first season of their newest chapter. With Head Coach Luke Fickell leading the team, the program expects to look much different this upcoming season.

While the coaching changes will certainly bring changes on the field as well, the individuals on the team will also be responsible. The team will need to play their best football in order to contend for a Big Ten Championship in 2023. Perhaps, what the Badgers need to most is for two of their veteran leaders to step-up big.

Wisconsin Badgers Reliant on Veteran Leadership Heading Into 2023 Season

The Wisconsin football team struggled a year ago to fully solidify themselves as a strong, all-around team. The up and down nature of the 2022 season affected the team, but now the Badgers have a chance to start fresh under the new coaching regime. Many of the current players on the roster are expected to take another leap forward this coming season after showing promise a year ago.

In particular, two veteran leaders on the defensive side of the football are expected to step-up for the Badgers.

The ‘Fresh Start’: Wisconsin Football Linebacker Jordan Turner 

After a particularly difficult off-season, Jordan Turner is hoping to have a breakout season. Turner was suspended indefinitely earlier this month after receiving an OWI. The Badgers reinstated Turner 11-days later and the veteran has since returned to team activities. Turner took responsibility for his actions immediately following his suspension with an apology he posted to Twitter.

A season ago, Turner recorded 68 tackles, five for loss, and two sacks as he settled into his role on defense. This season, Turner is expected to take another leap forward after his solid year in 2022. The veteran linebacker will be a crucial part of the Wisconsin defense due to his strength and tackling ability. The leadership and experience that Turner provides will allow the younger linebackers to develop as well.

A Change Of Scenery: Wisconsin Football Defensive Lineman Darian Varner 

The former Temple Owl, Darian Varner, is one of the prizes transfers that coach Luke Fickell landed for the Badgers. A season ago, Varner recorded 38 tackles, 12.5 for loss, and 7.5 sacks. Varner was a force on the defensive line for the Owls and had a career-high 3.5 sacks against Tulsa in 2022.

Defensive line has been an area where the Badgers have struggled as of late. Wisconsin does not have the depth or strength at the position they were hoping for, which means the team will rely on the veterans at the position. Varner is a red-shirt Junior with plenty of game experience. If Varner can put together a strong 2023 season, the Badgers defense would receive a great boost at a position of need.

The Wisconsin football team will have an amazing season. However, the Badgers will only reach their goals with the help of their talented veterans.

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Jarrett Guerrera is a graduate of Western New England University with a Bachelor's in English. Jarrett played rugby at the collegiate level, and has been a sports fanatic all his life. Jarrett is also a contributor for Wisconsin Sports Heroics.