Jan 2, 2012; Pasadena, CA, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball (28) and tight end Jacob Pedersen (48) react after a touchdown in the second quarter against the Oregon Ducks in the 2012 Rose Bowl game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Breaking Down the Badgers: Backs and Tight Ends


Continuing our series of positional breakdowns by looking at the backs and tight ends. This is the bread-and-butter of the Badgers’ offense right here. And possibly the jam.

Breakdown

Running Backs

1. Montee Ball

A man who needs no introduction. If he’s not in the Heisman hunt at the end it will be a great shock. Has had a few bumps along the way this offseason but he seems to be fine after the concussion and, for now, all systems are go.

2. James White

Good enough to be a featured back, but with Montee Ball on the squad, he’s a #2. Of course at Wisconsin the #2 can put up #1 numbers. Will be integral to the offensive attack all year.

3. Melvin Gordon

He could probably carry the load as a #2 or even #1 back right now, but he’ll wait his turn.

4. Jeffrey Lewis

He’ll have a front-row seat to some great football games this season.

5. Kyle Zuleger

Special teams stand-out.

6. Vonte Jackson

Our Heisman candidate in 2015?

Fullbacks

1. Sherard Cadogan

Looking to fill a Bradie Ewing-sized hole in the Badgers’ line-up. That’s a tall task.

2. Derek Watt

J.J.’s brother has been moved over from linebacker to provide some depth at a thin position. He’s still learning how to play offense but could be a factor this year.

3. Derek Straus

4. Kevin MacCudden

Not a lot of experience between these two guys. Hence the decision to convert Derek Watt.

Tight Ends

1. Jacob Pedersen

He’ll be a huge part of the Badgers offense this year. A preseason John Mackey award candidate. Danny O’Brien will find him early and lean on him heavily.

2. Brian Wozniak

Injuries have hampered him. If healthy, could provide a downfield threat.

3. Sam Arneson

Blocking tight end who is improving his pass catching and could push Wozniak for the #2 job.

4. Brock DeCiccio

Pittsburgh transfer has a chance to play. He’s very big.

5. Austin Traylor

Highly-rated recruit and talented future star tight end. He won’t be needed this year with all the depth, obviously.

Lowdown

The Badgers always ask for big production from their running backs and tight ends, and this year will be no exception. The running attack should be devastating and the aerial attack should be solid with Jacob Pedersen providing a versatile target from the tight end spot. The question mark is fullback. Cadogan has a lot to prove and Derek Watt could end up starting there before it’s over. Matt Canada has lots of weapons to work with here and it should be fun watching him put this whole thing together.

Tags: Jacob Pedersen James White Montee Ball Wisconsin Badgers