According to a report early Friday evening by 247Sports' Ryan Bartow, Wisconsin will hire John Settle as its new running backs coach to replace Thomas Brown.
Per Bartow, Settle is expected to be in Madison on Monday to begin his second stint with the Badgers starting Tuesday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus also reported on Twitter Friday evening that head coach Paul Chryst is poised to bring Settle back:
Source confirms that, as expected, #Badgers set to bring Settle back as RB coach. Fan boards must be, um, interesting.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) February 28, 2015
Settle spent last season with Chryst at Pitt as a running backs coach, overseeing a rushing attack led by running back James Conner -- who ranked seventh in the FBS in rushing yards with 1,765 yards and scored 26 touchdowns in 2014. The team ranked 15th in the FBS in rushing yards (249.5 yards per game).
In between his college coaching stays, Settle jumped to the NFL and oversaw the running backs for both the Cleveland Browns (2013) and the Carolina Panthers (2011-12).
As running backs coach at Wisconsin for five seasons from 2006-2010, Settle set a high standard in his time with the Badgers. In 2010, Wisconsin almost boasted three running backs who rushed for over 1,000 in a season, with James White (1,052) and John Clay (1,012) going over that mark -- but Montee Ball coming up just short by only four yards (996). Per the Pitt athletics website, it would have been the first time in FBS history a team would accomplish that feat.
Settle's running backs also had six 1,000-yard rushing years in his first coaching stay in Madison: three by P.J. Hill, two by Clay and White's freshman year.
Though perceived to not be as stronger of a recruiter, Settle has shown the pedigree to mold quality college running backs. He'll inherit Corey Clement -- who's poised to take over a heavy workload with the departure of Melvin Gordon -- and a young, unproven set of back-ups with Dare Ogunbowale, Taiwan Deal, and Caleb Kinlaw. Those running backs will be challenged by 2015 commits Jordan Stevenson and Bradrick Shaw, who could have a chance to receive playing time. Settle will also have the opportunity to build a relationship with 2016 verbal commit Antonio Williams, who noted he plans to enroll early.