Badger Bits: Russell Wilson retrospective, Ben Brust and more

Harry How

Happy Friday!

It feels like just yesterday that Russell Wilson was making fans scream under the Camp Randall Stadium lights on a Thursday night against UNLV. That obviously continued throughout the entire season, but it's been three years since Wilson was on campus. What's even crazier is the fact that 31 other teams essentially thought that wasn't good enough for the NFL. When it's all said and done, I'm not afraid to tab him as the best quarterback to ever set foot on campus. (OK, that might be a slight exaggeration since there will continue to be a long history of Wisconsin football, but it's looking that way right now). SB Nation's Field Gulls chronicled Wilson's story from his unbelievable performance as a Rose Bowl runner-up to Super Bowl champion.

Speaking of thinking crazily, how different would Bo Ryan's squads throughout the last four years without Ben Brust, who was initially on his way to Iowa? Very, very different. Whether it was his immense hustle from end to end, the sweet three-point jumper or his luscious buzz cut, Brust made his way to becoming the school's all-time leader in three pointers and No. 1 in our hearts. Phil Mitten concludes our Senior Salute with the Hawthorn Woods, Ill., native. Per @BadgerMBB, Brust will be training in Las Vegas in an effort to continue his playing days.

No matter how much time elapses since the Badgers' 74-73 loss to Kentucky, it'll still be unacceptable to sulk despite all the glory that accompanied the team's first Final Four appearance since 2000. The undefeated run to start the season. The mild road bump in the middle of the season. And the NCAA tournament monkey coming off the back of Bo Ryan-coached teams. It was all great, and SB Nation's Off the Tackle Empire lets you relive all the fantastic moments.

Sojourn Shelton proved his worth last year, by and far separating himself as the team's best shutdown cornerback. But an important part of his game is to continue to play at a high level with consistency from play to play and game to game. That was on display during a particular spring practice in which head coach Gary Andersen and cornerbacks coach Ben Strickland called him out on the inconsistent effort, writes Jesse Temple of Fox Sports Wisconsin. There are a lot of shades of Jamar Fletcher in Shelton, but the best players give a 110 percent effort from start to finish, and Shelton needs to recognize his immense worth on what could be a shaky secondary.

Shelton was one of a few Wisconsin freshmen to see legitimate playing time last year, so which 2014-15 freshmen will succeed Shelton's impressive rookie campaign? SB Nation did a fantasy draft compiled of the incoming players, and two future UW incomers made the list. With his 108th pick, Bud Elliott selected Jaden Gault, and Nam Le took George Panos with the 237th overall pick.

Wherever James White lands in the NFL, he's going to make a coaching staff and organization extremely happy. While he possesses great speed off the edge with moves that will break defenders' ankles, his best utility in the NFL will be his pass-blocking ability, especially on 3rd-and-long. But I'll leave the scouting report to Andrew Rosin, who breaks down the running back's game. If I had to take a stab in the dark as to the highest and lowest rounds White will be selected, I'll go with a high of five and a low of seven.

Some of White's former UW teammates will certainly be taken higher than him, and NFL.com's Gil Brandt has three Badgers in his top-125 list of NFL Draft prospects. Chris Borland checked in at No. 73, Jared Abbrederis at No. 107 and Dezmen Southward at No. 113.

Quick Hitters

After a Big Ten tournament championship in 2013, the expectations were high for Yvette Healy and Wisconsin's softball program. The team struggled to start the year, but is now riding the wave of a 10-game winning streak as it battles for its NCAA tournament life, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus reports.

Bo and the boys will throw out the first pitch at Miller Park on May 9 when the Milwaukee Brewers face the good ole New York Yankees.

In the not-very-good-news department, UW officials OK'd Dominic Cizauskas to participate in Mukuwango's 2014 WIAA state tournament game, with the amended ban order being received by Gary Andersen and Barry Alvarez. Cizauskas was recently charged with sexual assault after an incident that allegedly took place while he was on an official visit in December, and his initial dismissal from the game was felt strongly by Chris Cole, the detective on the case. In an email obtained from News 3, Cole had this to say:

"[The ban] is appropriate given the seriousness of the alleged crime, the fact that Cizauskas has associated on campus who he is known to visit increasing the likelihood of contact with the victim or other witnesses in this matter."

Video of the Day

Cheers to the weekend, boys and girls. What better way to kick off the weekend before Mifflin, I mean the first of May, with powerful-speedster-Heisman-Trophy-candidate-all-round-awesome running back Melvin Gordon. The Kenosha Bradford native lit the match under Wisconsin's tail against Nebraska in the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis, including this filthy 56-yard run against the Cornhuskers.


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