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Wisconsin Football position-by-position breakdown: Running Backs

With the first transfer period done, let’s evaluate the offense and create a potential depth chart.

The Wisconsin Badgers have significantly improved their roster with an overload of talent at several key positions, which has come following a coaching change to former Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell.

With the amount of competition at several positions, and with the first transfer portal period officially over, let’s evaluate every position group heading into 2023.

Last week, we evaluated the new-look quarterback room, and today comes the running back room, which returns Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi for another season.

Running Back

Starter: Braelon Allen

Backup: Chez Mellusi

Competition: Julius Davis, Grover Bortolotti, Nate White

The running back room is one of the more straightforward rooms for the Badgers in 2023, as Wisconsin returns Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi, their top two running backs from a year before.

Allen comes in as the clear No. 1 running back, and could be set up for his best year yet, as offensive coordinator Phil Longo’s scheme and the new weapons should help extend the fields, forcing defenses to respect the pass, instead of consistently stacking the box on a play-by-play basis.

Mellusi isn’t necessarily the fastest running back or the strongest option or the most elusive player.

But, he’s been consistent and has had the trust of the coaching staff, although there is a possibility that he could be eclipsed, should another backup prove as a more capable third-down back, allowing Allen to take up the early-down work.

Julius Davis has been with the program, entering his redshirt senior season, and elevating to the third spot on the depth chart currently with the departure of Isaac Guerendo to the Louisville Cardinals.

The Badgers added freshman Nate White, while Grover Bortolotti is a redshirt sophomore, and could certainly add another body in the room, be it this year with the second recruiting window, or push harder in the 2024 class, since Allen, Mellusi, and Davis could all depart at the end of the season.

But, for the most part, the Badgers retain a similar identity with their running back room, although they could look down the depth chart for some speed at the position to complement Allen in the running game, similar to how Michael Carter complemented Javonte Williams when Longo was with the North Carolina Tar Heels.