Alabama? Clemson? Ohio State? Nope, its Wisconsin that leads the nation in preseason All-American selections named by CBS Sports.
In Wednesday’s post by Adam Silverstein, six Badgers were named to the the list, more than any other program in college football. In addition to the nods for the players, Paul Chryst was predicted as Co-Coach of the Year by the CBS Sports panel, sharing the honor with Washington’s Chris Petersen.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jonathan Taylor was named to the first-team list. Taylor is coming off an impressive 2017 in which he racked up 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns. It appears that many college football analysts think he will have an even better 2018 campaign. While part of that reasoning comes from the raw talent that Taylor posses, another aspect comes from the offensive line in front of him. Two of those members also made their way onto CBS Sports’ lists.
Tackle David Edwards was named to the first-team list, while guard Beau Benzschawel was named to the second team. Both players started all 14 games in 2017, with Benzschawel starting 36 consecutive games over the past two seasons. Both players are members of one of the most experienced offensive line units in the country, which returns all five starters from a season ago. This unit led the Big Ten in sacks allowed last season with 1.5 while also opening holes for Taylor and company to run through.
While much of the preseason focus has been on the offense, CBS Sports did show some love to the Badgers’ defense as well by placing T.J. Edwards and D’Cota Dixon on their third-team list. Both have racked up various watch-list nominations all preseason including the Nagurski and Bendarik awards. With a large portion of the defense being replaced from 2017, the Badgers will rely heavily on the leadership and experience of Edwards and Dixon to carry them in 2018.