Wisconsin Football: Badgers Skill Position Depth Chart for 2017

Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tight End

The Starter: Troy Fumagalli

The Backup: Kyle Penniston

The Wild Card: Zander Neuville

Again in this position, the starter is clearly defined. If there were any doubts about that, they were quickly silenced in the Cotton Bowl as Troy Fumagalli had 6 catches for 83 yards and a score. He was the #1 target all afternoon and Western Michigan simply had no answer for the tight end. Fumagalli is both a receiving and blocking tight end that will be on the field the majority of the snaps next fall, and should be the primary target all season along with Peavy.

The big question at the tight end position is how the Badgers will replace blocking specialist Eric Steffes, who was an intracul part of the Badgers running game this season. If you are lining up at tight end for Wisconsin, you aren’t just there to catch the ball, you’re there to block just as much. Kyle Penniston will step into the second tight end role next year as a clear threat in the passing game, but we haven’t seen much of him blocking wise. Penniston was a four star recruit, and clearly has a lot of talent, but will have to prove himself in the running game if he wants to be in the second tight end position.

What’s likely to happen next fall is that Penniston will split time with Zander Neuville, who appears to be much more of a blocking specialist and could step right into the void left by Steffes. The converted defensive end is much more comfortable in his current role, and with another year of practice should continue to develop as a great tight end option. Its a position that the Badgers are always deep in, and utilize well, and with this crew the potential to continue that tradition is there.