Wisconsin Football lands 5 on preseason AP All-America Team

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 09: Michael Deiter (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 09: Michael Deiter (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Wisconsin Football is well-represented on the preseason AP All-America Team

The Associated Press released its preseason All-America team earlier this afternoon, and Wisconsin Football had five players make the cut.

Wisconsin joins Clemson in leading the nation with three players on the first team. The first-team Badgers are linebacker T.J. Edwards, running back Jonathan Taylor, and guard Beau Benzschawel. Edwards is one of three players to make the preseason first team who ended last season as first-team All-Americans.

Wisconsin also landed tackle David Edwards and guard Michael Deiter on the second team. Overall, the Badgers tied Alabama for the most combined players on the preseason All-America team with 5.

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I wouldn’t qualify them as snubs at this point, but there are a few other Badgers I think could play their way onto the AP’s final All-American team when it is released in December.

The best candidate is probably Andrew Van Ginkel.

Van Ginkel’s style of play should certainly help attract the attention of the AP voters. He is a playmaking machine who is just as capable of making a huge interception as he is a key sack. Van Ginkel’s coming out party was his performance in the Big Ten Championship Game against Ohio State, where he almost single-handedly kept Wisconsin in the game with his pick-6 off J.T. Barrett and his fumble recovery after stripping Mike Weber.

The senior outside linebacker had a fantastic performance last season in a reserve role, and he is poised to be one of the Big Ten’s breakout players this fall now that he’s a starter. He should be the next Badger linebacker selected in the NFL draft.

Another Badger who could find himself an AP All-American in December is senior safety D’Cota Dixon, who is one of the nation’s top safeties when healthy.

Despite missing some time last season due to injury, Dixon still racked up 55 tackles, good for fourth on the team, and was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches.

If he can stay on the field all season, he should be primed to close out his Wisconsin career with his best season yet.

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It tends to be the case that teams that are more successful have more players receive individual accolades like this.

If Wisconsin once again has several players named to the AP All-American team this winter, it probably means that the team had a pretty successful season.