Madison, Wis. – Coming into the 2023 season, the Wisconsin football team will look much different. The new-look staff has made immense changes in a short period of time, but the question is what will these changes look like?
Upon the hiring of Head Coach Luke Fickell, the Badgers’ fans knew the team would look much different under new leadership. However, what the fans did not expect was to see these changes occur as quickly as they have. One of the biggest changes that Fickell has made has involved ramping up multiple position groups.
Wisconsin Badgers Top Position Groups Shift Following Luke Fickell Hiring, Staff Changes
Former Ohio State Interim Head Coach and Cincinnati Head Coach, Luke Fickell, knows exactly how to build a team. Fickell took over a struggling Bearcats team and brought in some of the highest-rated recruits the program has ever seen. Now, the exceptional coach is doing the same for the Wisconsin football team as the Badgers hauled in an impressive transfer class. The 2024 recruiting class has also been a major hit for the Badgers and Fickell as they currently have the 12th ranked class, according to Rivals.
Now, heading into the 2023 season, the Wisconsin football team will boast a talented roster with a capable staff. Here are the top position groups for the Badgers heading into this upcoming season.
The Top Wisconsin Football Position Group: Linebacker
It would be hard to choose a different group to lead this list due to the amount of talent the Badgers have. Both inside and outside linebackers are positions the Badgers have plenty of depth at. Between Jeff Pietrowski, Darryl Peterson, Maema Njongmeta, and Jordan Turner, Wisconsin has the talent they need to succeed.
Under the guidance of Mike Tressel, the linebackers for the Badgers should thrive in their new defense. In particular, the linebackers should thrive because the Badgers will be able to expose their depth at the position. Tressel, Fickell, and Longo all like to rotate players around and with the depth at the position, this should be a positive for the defense.
The Wisconsin Football Usual: Running Back
For a program to consider themselves “Running Back University”, they need to back it up with the right balance of production and talent. The Wisconsin football team has done just that year after year, and 2023 will be no different with Offensive Coordinator Phil Longo calling the plays. Longo has produced multiple NFL-ready running backs including Michael Carter and Javonte Williams. Longo will do the same with his talented running back room, led by Braelon Allen.
Considering how successful Allen has been in his two collegiate seasons, it would be extremely difficult to not include this position group. Allen alone would propel the group, but he also has the help of Cade Yacamelli and Chez Mellusi behind him. The Badgers have plenty of talent in their room, which will help Longo as well due to his history of utilizing multiple running backs.
The New Hardest-Workers: Secondary
It is rare for one specific position group to benefit from a hire the most. However, the secondary of the Wisconsin football team will benefit the most from Luke Fickell and Mike Tressel joining the staff. While Tressel is a linebacker specialist, he led a Bearcat defense that led the country in pass efficiency defense in 2021.
The Wisconsin football secondary will be led by Ricardo Hallman and Kamo’i Latu. A season ago, Wisconsin struggled in their secondary and allowed 2656 yards through the air and along with 18 touchdowns. Wisconsin also allowed 7.06 yards per play through the air compared to 2.9 yards per play allowed on the ground. The Badgers are eager to show they have put in the work to level-up from their performance last season.
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