Wisconsin football 2024 depth chart projection 1.0: Defense

Wisconsin football enters the 2024 season with an identity that needs to be rebuilt.

I wondered aloud throughout last season what the team’s identity was. It wasn’t exceptional at throwing the ball, it was inconsistent on the ground and the defense was good but not great. The same was the case in 2022 under Paul Chryst and Jim Leonhard — even the great defensive identity was slipping away.

Related: Way-too-early record predictions for every Big Ten football team in 2024

The good news is Luke Fickell is a defensive head coach with a strong history on that side of the ball. If I bet on any part of the team reaching dominance, it would be the defense.

Fickell and his staff attacked the transfer portal all offseason to help reshape a roster that didn’t quite fit his and Mike Tressel’s schemes.

We will see if those moves pay off as spring practice gets underway. But first, here is our first depth chart projection for the Badgers’ 2024 defense:

Defensive Tackle

Wisconsin nose tackle Curt Neal (92) celebrates after making a tackle for loss against Iowa on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Iowa won the game, 12-6. Credit: Tork Mason-USA TODAY NETWORK

Starter: Curt Neal

Backup: Ben Barten

 

Curt Neal should lead a group in the middle of the defense that lost Gio Paez and Rodas Johnson after last season. Neal will look to improve on his 13 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss as he becomes the full-time starter.

Defensive End

Wisconsin defensive end James Thompson Jr. (90) bats away a pass by Minnesota quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis (8) during the first quarter of their game Saturday, November 25, 2023 at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wisconsin beat Minnesota 28-14.

Starters: James Thompson Jr, T.J. Bollers

Backups: Ben Barten, Cade McDonald

 

James Thompson Jr. returns as…


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/wisconsin-football-2024-depth-chart-125120523.html

Author : Badgers Wire

Publish date : 2024-02-05 12:51:20

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