During the summer doldrums of sports news, many college football fans are starved for news and information regarding their favorite teams.
With that in mind, we at B5Q have decided to take a more detailed look at each walk-on contributor and scholarship player on the Wisconsin Badgers football roster for 2020 in a running feature, our 2020 returnee profiles.
Each weekday we will breakdown one player on the football roster to look back at their recruiting process, their career as a Badger to this juncture and lastly preview their potential contribution to the team in 2020 and beyond.
Up next in our series, Garrett Groshek.
Name: Garrett Groshek
Position: running back
2020 eligibility: redshirt senior
Recruiting info out of HS: N/A
2016 recruitment: As a quarterback out of Amherst High School, Garrett Groshek was not highly recruited at the division one level. Despite being an all-conference MVP, and State Champion at Amherst, Groshek did not see division one offers during his high school career. In spite of that, Groshek did receive a good amount of interest at the division two level and could have easily accepted an offer from a handful of schools. However, Groshek felt he could play at a higher level than what others saw and accepted a preferred walk on offer from the Badgers. In the early days at UW, Groshek started out as a quarterback, but quickly transitioned to the running back room given his solid frame and speed.
Career statistics: 168 carries, 916 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns, 57 receptions, 492 yards receiving, one touchdown reception
2019 statistics: 42 carries, 194 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 29 receptions, 289 receiving yards
Player overview: Groshek redshirted in 2016 while making the transition over to running back for Wisconsin. In 2017, Groshek saw plenty of the field getting 61 carries in his Freshman season. A year later Groshek became a vital part of the offense, getting a career high in rushing attempts. Last season, Groshek’s numbers may have fallen a bit but his role was just as important. Groshek can be best described as a Swiss army knife, I mean look at the picture above, he can do it all. Last season he was huge in pass blocking as well as in the passing game, hauling in 29 receptions for 289 yards last fall.
Best case scenario for 2020: There are plenty of touches and carries that will need to be replaced this fall with the departure of Jonathan Taylor. Groshek will certainly be a guy that vies for plenty of those opportunities. Given his athleticism and ability to both run and catch the football, I could see Groshek becoming a three down back for the Badgers. However, there is a lot of talent in the running back room that may allow Groshek to be used just to his strengths. Best case scenario for him is that the Badgers continue to find creative wrinkles to use him in and allow Groshek to thrive in that role in larger capacity this fall.
Likely role on team in 2020: Groshek can do whatever is asked of him for this team in 2020, and while I do expect him to get more touches this season, I also expect the Badgers to continue to use him in a similar role. Groshek is the best pass blocker in the running back room, and will likely take on most of that role again. He’s also a big threat in the pass/screen game, so expect to see much of the same role for Groshek on third down.
The real change for him will come on first and second down as the Badgers look for him to likely take more traditional carries between the tackles. I don’t expect Groshek to be your every-down horse, but I do see him getting more touches in the run game than he has in previous seasons. With a lot of talent in the running back room I expect the Badgers to get a lot of guys touches, but don’t be surprised if Groshek’s numbers take a big jump in 2020.