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Report: John Settle emerging as top candidate for Wisconsin running back coach opening

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Yet another familiar face could be returning to Madison to fill out Paul Chryst's staff.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

When the abrupt news of Thomas Brown's departure from Wisconsin for Georgia broke on Monday, John Settle's name was quickly tossed around as a possible candidate to round out Paul Chryst's staff at running backs coach.

On Tuesday, Settle became further linked to the position, as both the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and 247Sports.com followed with reports of their own. The Journal Sentinel says Settle "has emerged as the leading candidate" to replace Brown. 247's report was less specific (and also paywalled), but it suggested a decision from Wisconsin could be coming soon, as in over the next few days.

Settle, 49, was Wisconsin's running backs coach from 2006-10 while Chryst was the offensive coordinator. He spent 2011-12 with the Carolina Panthers, and then 2013 with the Cleveland Browns. In 2014, Settle reunited with Chryst at Pitt.

In his first stint with Wisconsin, Settle coached a remarkable succession of running backs: P.J. Hill, John Clay, James White and Montee Ball. Considering he hasn't been known as an ace recruiter and has spent only one of the past four seasons in college football, Settle's production at UW and his pro experience must be holding significant weight.

At running back next year, the Badgers bring back Corey Clement as a junior, plus Caleb Kinlaw and Taiwan Deal as redshirt freshmen. Dare Ogunbowale could also be in the mix, at least starting in the spring. Four-star recruit Jordan Stevenson and three-star power back Bradrick Shaw also figure to be in the mix.