Wisconsin Badgers: 5 Most Impactful Seniors

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Oct 31, 2015; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Alex Erickson (86) rushes for a touchdown after catching a pass during the second quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Erickson

Another walk-on, Alex Erickson has been a dependable target for Joel Stave over the past two years. His soft hands and route-running ability has made him a player that Wisconsin will miss following the 2015 season.

Erickson enrolled at UW-Madison during the fall 2011 semester but did not play football until he walked on the next season, which cost him a year of eligibility, and redshirted in 2012. He played in all 13 games in 2013 with three starts and recorded nine catches for 127 yards.

Wisconsin desperately needed somebody to step up last season with the legacy that Jared Abbrederis left in Madison. Abbrederis was tied for the school record in career receptions and second in receiving yards and touchdowns. He also set a new team record with kick return average and ranked No. 5 in punt return average.

Erickson stepped in and filled Erickson’s slot immediately. In his second game of his junior season, Erickson caught 10 balls for 122 yards and a touchdown and took control from there. Wisconsin did not have any other receivers step up, and Erickson played a big role as he led the Badgers in most receiving categories with 55 catches for 772 yards and three touchdowns.

In his senior year, Erickson has already surpassed some of his season totals. He has 63 catches for 831 yards and three touchdowns. The Badgers saw an emergence of Rob Wheelwright this season, but another injury has had him sidelined. Erickson also started returning punts this season and has 18 returns for 154 yards, an 8.56 average, which ranks No. 36 in the nation.

Erickson has been the main target in the Badgers’ offense for two years in a row, and Wisconsin will need somebody to step up in 2016 just like he did.

Honorable mention

Darius Hillary

Derek Watt

Tanner McEvoy

Austin Traylor

Jordan Fredrick

Drew Meyer

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