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Wisconsin football: three of the Badgers best set to return for their senior year

Faion Hicks, Jack Sanborn and Jake Ferguson all announced their return to Madison for 2021 via social media.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off of a Duke’s Mayo Bowl victory, the Wisconsin Badgers football team received huge news Saturday morning with Faion Hicks, Jack Sanborn and Jake Ferguson all announcing their return to Madison for the 2021 season.

The trio of players all took to social media to state their intentions, and represent a major coup for the program as they look to bounce back next season.

All three players had the opportunity to test the NFL waters, but it appears will be back for another year.

Jack Sanborn, the team’s leading tackler this past season, was the first to announce Saturday morning. The junior inside linebacker is a two-year starter that has amassed 139 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and four interceptions in three years on campus. He will be one of the top returning linebackers in the Big Ten, and will be a crucial team leader. Next season Jack will be joined by his younger brother Bryan, who is an incoming freshman linebacker in the 2021 class.

Next up, TE Jake Ferguson, took to Twitter to publicize his decision as well. Ferguson led the team in receiving yards with 305 yards on 30 catches, with four touchdowns. For his career he has nearly 100 receptions for over 1100 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Ferguson was the most surprising news of the day, as most had him projected to forego his season and enter the NFL Draft. The Madison native will be one of the best tight ends in conference once again next season, and has a chance to improve his draft stock with a big senior year. Most importantly, him using the #BarrysGrandson was pure gold, and we get another year of announcers discussing that ad nauseum.

Lastly, junior cornerback Faion Hicks declared his intent to come back as well. One of the teams top defensive backs the past couple seasons, Hicks return will be huge for the secondary. The South Florida native has been a consistent presence the past three seasons at cornerback, and should maintain his starting role in 2021.

With all three players set to return next year, the Badgers should have higher expectations than the results of 2020, and give the team some added experience to lean on with hopefully a more normal off-season to get better.