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Badger Bits: The curious journey of Josh Oglesby

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Josh Oglesby's Wisconsin career didn't go as expected, but he's still in a position to help the Badgers win the Rose Bowl Monday.
Josh Oglesby's Wisconsin career didn't go as expected, but he's still in a position to help the Badgers win the Rose Bowl Monday.

As anyone with even the slightest interest in recruiting news likely does, I remember when Josh Oglesby committed to play for the Badgers. As good as Wisconsin's offensive line always seemed to be, he seemed like a guy who could really take it to the next level, if there was such a thing. At the very least, he wouldn't need much help from Wisconsin's unofficial offensive linemen development program -- the one the Badger coaches use to turn really big guys into skilled, mauling offensive linemen -- to get on the field and make an impact.

A two-time high school All-American, Oglesby was one of the most highly-regarded players the Badgers have ever successfully recruited. Every recruiting site loved Oglesby, and depending where you looked, he was either the No. 1 or No. 2 tackle in the high school class of 2006. He was also an honor roll student, which seemed to make him a good fit at Wisconsin. The only concern was a knee injury Oglesby suffered his senior year that caused him to miss most of the season.

Knee injuries have a tendency to linger and give players problems for years, and that was certainly the case with Oglesby. After redshirting his first year on campus, Oglesby's Wisconsin career got off to a good start as he backed up Gabe Carimi and Eric Vanden Huevel as a redshirt freshman, appearing in every game and starting three of them. But then Oglesby's knees started acting up again, causing him to miss 11 games during his sophomore and junior years and leaving Badger fans questioning whether he'd ever fulfill the massive potential he came to campus with in 2006.

Six knee surgeries later, Oglesby was able to stay healthy this season and started all but one game at right tackle. He's been good in pass protection and even better in the run game; Wisconsin's backs average 6.1 yards per carry when rushing to his side of the field, better than their middle- and left-side averages. He earned first-team all-Big Ten honors and it looks like he'll get a shot in the NFL, but first, he'll have to deal with an Oregon defense that leads the nation in sacks. His ability to handle speed rushers on the edge could go a long way towards determining how successful Wisconsin's offense will be in the Rose Bowl.

But the fact that he even has an opportunity to do so speaks highly of his determination and reliance.


Before you read anything else, be sure to check out the final segment of Adam's excellent four-part Q&A with Addicted to Quack.

And here's the corresponding fourth part from Addicted To Quack.

Kevin Claxton is banged up but will play in the Rose Bowl.

Bret Bielema and Chip Kelly are both coaches on the rise. Here's a comparison.

Mike Taylor and Chris Borland overcame a lot to elevate their play this season.

The Badgers have had plenty of time to break down Oregon's offense and work out ways to stop it, something that has worked against the Ducks in the past.

Here's a nice piece from Off Tackle Empire on the importance of the Rose Bowl to the conference as a whole.

One of my favorite articles of the day came from Brian Bennett, who simply transcribed most everything Aaron Henry had to say yesterday. Badger fans will miss Henry, but reporters will miss him even more.