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Wisconsin football: depth chart released

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A quick rundown of the Wisconsin depth chart heading into the opener against Illinois.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 07 Big Ten Championship Game Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With kickoff against Illinois now under a week away, the Wisconsin Badgers football team released their depth chart.

Here is a quick look at which players made the two-deep.

Quarterback

  1. Graham Mertz
  2. Chase Wolf
  3. Danny Vanden Boom

No surprise here. Paul Chryst announced that Graham Mertz was receiving the first team reps with Jack Coan injured, it is now officially #MERTZSZN

Running back

  1. Garrett Groshek

OR

  1. Nakia Watson

Wisconsin will likely spread the carries out between Groshek, Watson, and Isaac Guerendo. Freshman Jalen Berger could also make his way into the rotation as well, but for now Groshek and Watson share the top spot.

Fullback

  1. Mason Stokke
  2. John Chenal

This was expected. Stokke could see a bigger role in the offense now as a senior though.

Wide receiver

  1. Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor
  2. Jack Dunn and Adam Krumholz

The four seniors round out the two-deep at wide-out, with Chimere Dike also earning significant reps with the first team as well. All five receivers should factor into the gameplan Friday night.

Tight end

  1. Jake Ferguson
  2. Hayden Rucci

Barry’s grandson is the obvious choice for the No. 1 spot, and he should be in store for a big season. It is nice to see a healthy Hayden Rucci already ready to help the team out as an in-line blocking tight end as well.

Left tackle

  1. Cole Van Lanen
  2. Logan Brown

The Badgers top offensive lineman maintains his starting spot, but Logan Brown locking down the backup role is crucial for the future of the position. Brown is a former five-star recruit, and he appears to be ready to step up if needed.

Left guard

  1. Josh Seltzner
  2. Michael Furtney

Josh Seltzner must have had a great camp in order to retain his starting spot. With the addition of Jon Dietzen, many people thought that his role might be in jeopardy, but Buffalo Head will look to use the experience he gained last year to be the consistent starter. Behind Seltzner is former three-star sophomore Michael Furtney.

Center

  1. Kayden Lyles
  2. Cormac Sampson

The primary question at center was whether or not Kayden Lyles would be healthy. It seems as though he is ready to roll for the opener. Former tight end Cormac Sampson will back up Lyles. On paper, this looks like a best case scenario.

Right guard

  1. Jon Dietzen
  2. Joe Tippmann

Dietzen has made waves since coming back to football, and he has quickly reestablished himself as a leader on the offensive line. One of the strongest players on the entire team, he definitely adds some physicality to the line. Behind him, Joe Tippmann is a young up-and-coming offensive lineman that the staff is high on.

Right tackle

  1. Logan Bruss

OR

  1. Tyler Beach

The battle at right tackle appears to still be raging on after Dietzen grabbed the right guard role. Logan Bruss was the consistent starter a year ago at the position, but there was a lot of chatter about him sliding down to right guard to allow Tyler Beach to take over the tackle spot. Bruss and Beach are both very talented, so this is a good problem to have for the Badgers.

Defensive end

  1. Isaiahh Loudermilk
  2. Isaiah Mullens

Loudermilk has been a starter for the better part of the past couple seasons. The 6-foot-7 senior has lost some weight and looks to have his best year on campus. Mullens did some nice things as a reserve last year and has a likely role in the rotation as well.

Nose tackle

  1. Keeanu Benton
  2. Bryson Williams

The Badgers have solid depth at the nose tackle position, with the return of starter Keeanu Benton and former starting nose tackle Bryson Williams back from injury. Benton has huge potential, and the Badgers hope he builds on his stellar freshman year.

Defensive end

  1. Garrett Rand

OR

  1. Matt Henningsen

The Badgers rotated Rand and Henningsen interchangeably last year and that will probably continue this season. Both players should see a lot of playing time, and are a big reason for optimism surrounding the line.

Outside linebacker

  1. Izayah Green-May

OR

  1. Nick Herbig

Very rarely do the Badgers have true freshman that have a starting spot heading into a season, but Nick Herbig is a different breed. Izayah Green-May was the odds on favorite to get the starting nod, but this depth chart definitely gives an indication of how high the staff is on Herbig. The freshman from Hawaii looks the part and has already turned heads in practice.

Inside linebacker

  1. Jack Sanborn and Leo Chenal
  2. Mike Maskalunas

Maskalunas was listed as the backup at both inside linebacker spots, highlighting possibly a lack of confidence in the freshmen vying for the fourth linebacker role. Maskalunas is a solid contributor and will be part of the rotation, but Sanborn and Chenal will definitely be the key players inside.

Outside linebacker

  1. Noah Burks
  2. C.J. Goetz

There was little question that Noah Burks would be one of the starters, but Goetz grabbing the job behind him is noteworthy. Goetz has earned the trust of the staff and has made some significant strides since last season.

Cornerback

  1. Rachad Wildgoose
  2. Donte Burton

Wildgoose is consistently one of the best cornerbacks for the Badgers, regardless of if he is playing in the slot or on the outside. Donte Burton emerging as the fourth corner is also intriguing given the large number of solid options fighting for that spot.

Cornerback

  1. Caesar Williams

OR

  1. Faion Hicks

The presumptive top two corners for the Badgers share the other corner job. Both Williams and Hicks will see the field a lot with how much Wisconsin uses their nickel package, but them sharing the role is still eye opening.

Free safety

  1. Eric Burrell
  2. Titus Toler

Burrell is one of the most important members of the defense, and is a vocal leader now entering his senior season. The emergence of Titus Toler though behind him is exciting. The highly regarded redshirt freshman should see the field in 2020.

Strong safety

  1. Collin Wilder

OR

  1. Scott Nelson

Collin Wilder has been seen in practice with the first team a lot since the loss of Reggie Pearson. Scott Nelson is also a starting quality safety, but he is also recovering from a knee injury that resulted in him missing the entirety of last year.

Punter

  1. Andy Vujnovich

OR

  1. Conor Schlichting

It’s never a great sign to have two starting punters, but the goal has to be for one of them to grab the job early this year.

Field goal kicker

  1. Collin Larsh
  2. Jack Van Dyke

Larsh was hit or miss last year, but he enters the season as the unquestioned starter. Hopefully he can parlay the experience he gained last year into a strong year.

Kickoff

  1. Jack Van Dyke
  2. Collin Larsh

Wisconsin has traditionally had two kickers split the duties of placekicker and kickoff specialist, and this year will be no different. Freshman Jack Van Dyke grabbed the kickoff role and he has a big leg.

Long snapper

  1. Adam Bay
  2. Peter Bowden

There was no doubt that Bay was going to be the starter, but redshirt freshman Peter Bowden snagging the second spot is good news for the future of the position.

Punt returner

  1. Jack Dunn
  2. Danny Davis III

No changes from last year. Dunn will be the primary punt returner.

Kickoff returner

  1. Stephan Bracey
  2. Chimere Dike

A youth movement at the kick return spot, with a pair of freshman both grabbing the top two spots. Bracy is quick and has a ton of wiggle. Hopefully he can help the Badgers out with field position.