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Wisconsin Football Senior Day Honoree List Has a Major Name Missing



Wisconsin Badgers Football
Oct 8, 2022; Evanston, Illinois, USA; A general view of a Wisconsin Badgers football equipment bag during a game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

When Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin Badgers football team take the field against the Nebraska Cornhuskers — they’ll do so with a lot to play for.

The Badgers’ record is currently 5-5, and they desperately need a win to protect a 21-year consecutive bowl appearance streak. But UW will also honor its seniors — who will play in their final game at Camp Randall Stadium in front of the Wisconsin Badgers faithful.

Upon examining the 20 players listed that will be honored before kickoff on Saturday, I noticed one name was conveniently missing — who could significantly impact the Wisconsin football offense should they return to the program next season.

Wisconsin Football Left Chez Mellusi off the Senior Day List

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 name missing was none other than running back Chez Mellusi, who suffered a season-ending leg injury against the Purdue Boilermakers.

Mellusi finished the season with 51 carries for 307 yards (6.0 YPC) and four rushing touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 12 yards. Injuries are never easy — but it was clear Mellusi was an excellent fit in Phil Longo’s offense and has been sorely missed this season.

Mellusi’s omission carries a little extra weight because the 5-foot-11 tailback could have an additional year of eligibility remaining if he were to apply for a medical hardship — that he would likely be granted.

The expectation is that Braelon Allen will declare for the NFL draft at the end of the year — leaving the Wisconsin football team to rely on one of Jackson Acker, Cade Yacamelli, Nate White — or one of the three incoming freshmen in the 2024 recruiting class to carry the load at running back.

Nobody knows for sure if Mellusi is seriously considering a return at this point — but his not being on the list could mean he’s keeping his options open. I’d love to see Mellusi back because the program will likely want to add an experienced back in the transfer portal regardless to allow the younger players more time to develop.

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Trevor Lovec is a freelance sports writer, correspondent, and a diehard Northern Iowa fan. He covers trending Wisconsin football and basketball social media topics.