Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi is planning to return for a sixth and final season in 2024, head coach Luke Fickell revealed at his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday.
“I don’t know that Chez has announced [yet], but yeah, he is definitely planning on coming back,” Fickell shared. “[He’s] looking good. Not that he’s going to be able to suit up here for the bowl game, but he’s a guy that we’re going to count on a lot to be a great leader for us.”
Mellusi posted the news himself on X, sharing a heartfelt message and announcing his return to Wisconsin for another year.
Mellusi, a fifth-year senior, had suffered a fractured fibula in Wisconsin’s Week 4 win over the Purdue Boilermakers, ruling him out for the season.
While Mellusi had used his COVID-year of eligibility, he still had his redshirt year available, which is why he can return for a sixth season.
Mellusi had seen significant volume prior to his injury, working at a near 50-50 split with Braelon Allen, and seemed like a prime fit for offensive coordinator Phil Longo’s offense with his change-of-pace ability and fluidity as a runner in space.
With the veteran back in the fold, it becomes increasingly likely that the Badgers stay put at running back this offseason, rolling with their incumbents, as well as the three freshmen, Darrion Dupree, Dilin Jones, and Gideon Ituka, who signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.
Mellusi now takes the position of the top running back, while a competition will likely ensue for the backup spot between the rest of the pack.