After looking at what the Wisconsin 2023 offense could look like, we next look at the defense. Overall, the defense was young with the exception of the secondary. It should still be a good unit overall.
- Defensive Ends: Isaiah Mullens and Rodas Johnson
- Nose Tackle: Geo Paez
- Outside Linebackers: Kaden Johnson and Darryl Peterson
- Inside Linebackers: Jordan Turner and Maema Njongmeta
- Corners: Ricardo Hallman and Alexander Smith
- Nickelback: Jason Maitre
- Safeties: Hunter Wohler and Kamo’i Latu
Jason Maitre is a Boston College transfer who just committed to Wisconsin from the transfer portal. He’s played over 800 snaps in the nickel, a position the Badgers used quite a but under Jim Leonhard. It is unclear yet what Mike Tressel will want to do, but we should see a ton of Maitre in his last year of eligibility.
John Torchio has yet to announce if he will return to Wisconsin next season. He mentioned the day before the Guaranteed Rate Bowl he was still weighing his options. If he returns, it would be a first team all Big Ten safety in the back of the Wisconsin defense. The safety position would go from good to one of the best units in the Big Ten.
I think linebacker could be a question again next season. Turner and Njongmeta now have a full year of experience so it will be worth noticing how they respond as second year starters. The Badgers also have to replace both outside linebacker spots. We don’t know much about Kaden Johnson or Darryl Peterson, but both players have huge upsides and have a ton of talent.
Isaiah Mullins also recently said on his Twitter page he would return for another season. There isn’t a lot of depth on the defensive line for the Badgers. Mullins returning helps secure that for another year. It will also be tough replacing Keeanu Benton at nose tackle, but Geo Paez has experience and should fill in nicely.
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