Every year, head coach Paul Chryst has the tough task of replenishing Wisconsin’s roster with new talent, and this year is no exception. The Badgers lost 11 players to the NFL this past offseason and need to inject youth and stability to a roster that could compete for a Big-Ten Championship. Nick Herbig and Braelon Allen had breakout seasons last year and will certainly help the Badgers their lofty goals. Correspondingly though, the Badgers will need to get breakout seasons from unproven players.
Badgers Breakouts on Defense:
Jordan Turner, Inside Linebacker
Turner slots in to be the teams starting inside linebacker next to Tatum Grass in 2022. The Farmington, Mich native stands at 6-1 225lbs and brings size and athleticism. Turner was a three year starter in high school, earning second-team all-state honors after his senior year. Pegged as a three-star recruit in the class of 2020, Turner made saw limited action in 2021. In six games, Turner recorded six tackles and picked off two passes. Wisconsin has had a long history of developing linebackers into stars. Players like Leo Chenal and TJ Edwards are just a couple that come to mind. Turner has the size to be someone who can carry the torch and be that next great Badgers linebacker.
Hunter Wohler, Safety
True sophomore safety Hunter Wohler could take that next step in being a premier secondary player. Besides being ranked as a four-star recruit, Wohler had quite the high school career. In addition to being a two-time AP and WFCA Wisconsin Player of the Year, Wohler won the Jim Leonhard Award and the 2021 Gatorade State Player of the Year award. Wohler appeared in all 13 games in 2021, recording 17 tackles. Wohler showed out in the final six games of the season, including a six tackle performance against Rutgers. With a winning pedigree and having former Badger safety Scott Nelson as a mentor, Wohler is ready to take what he learned and build upon the great foundation he laid down in 2021.
Badgers Breakouts on Offense
Jack Nelson, Tackle
A Badgers breakout list would be incomplete without the mention of an offensive lineman. Ranked as a four-star, the 6-7 lineman made an immediate impact after redshirting in 2020. Nelson started in all 13 games at right guard last season and earned All-Big Ten honorable mention. This season however, Nelson projects to be the teams starting left tackle while Logan Brown slides over to right tackle. Wisconsin has been known as an offensive line factory, churning out NFL draft pics year in and year out. Nelson could etch his name into being one of those products. Not only does he have the size, but he moves extremely well for his size. Without a doubt, with those tools, Nelson has what it takes to be an All-American at left tackle.