Corey Clement stiff arms a Maryland defender as he hits the hole. Jim Oxley photograph
I’m going to stop using the phrase “replace Melvin Gordon” as that clearly isn’t possible. Gordon was a special talent, and his production will be tough to move on from.
Instead of replace, the Badgers will be looking to reload the position with several talented players, and it looks like they have plenty of candidates.
Corey Clement will slide into the starting role and finally get his chance to shine. Badgers fans expect big things from the junior, who has been either second or third string his first two seasons on campus, but has performed admirably in that role.
It doesn’t appear any of the other running backs on board will challenge Clement for the starting role, but backup snaps are up for grabs.
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Dare Ogunbowale has a head start on the backup gig, and with a season at running back under his belt, has impressed so far in spring ball. He began his Wisconsin career on defense, but switched to running back a couple of weeks into the season last year when injuries limited running back depth.
Ogunbowale performed well in the third-string role, and will be looking to secure the backup gig come the season opener.
Behind Ogunbowale, much like at the quarterback spot, plenty of players look to compete for playing time. Back this year are Taiwan Deal and Caleb Kinlaw, who both sat out last year with injuries.
JUCO transfer Serge Trezy, recruited as a defensive back, has been given a chance at running back, and has looked strong so far.
Rounding out the group are redshirt freshman Mark Saari and redshirt sophomore Austin Ramesh. Ramesh has seen time at fullback, and had a strong showing in last year’s spring game.
All these players will be looking to make an impact in the spring game, as the Badgers will soon be adding recruits Austin Stevenson and Bradrick Shaw to the mix.
It’s a talented group of players, and in the Badgers offense, there are plenty of carries to go around. The spring game could give us a better idea of who is the leading candidate for a backup role.
Next: Offensive line