10. DE Isaiahh Loudermilk
Loudermilk has only played in two games this year but his performance against Iowa was so massive that it had to land him on this list.
In those two games, Loudermilk has a tackle for loss and a batted down pass. He was also key in shutting down Iowa’s early fourth-down attempt where Nate Stanely tried to gain a yard on a quarterback sneak.
The defensive line was in rough shape even through the BYU game. Loudermilk wasn’t getting consistent snaps and likely wasn’t 100% back into game shape. Olive Sagapolu could only do so much with the inexperience around him. Loudermilk’s experience isn’t plentiful but it’s more than the other defensive ends on the roster have. And Loudermilk is far more talented too. It showed in the overall performance of the defensive line last weekend in Iowa City.
I wasn’t feeling too comfortable moving forward about this position group and I honestly didn’t expect Loudermilk’s return to fix the problems on the line. I’m happy to say I think I was wrong. In Jim Leonhard’s 3-4 defense there is only three down lineman. Adding in just one more trusted, consistent player to the mix is huge.
The Badgers have young guys that can rotate around the other end position while Loudermilk continues to entrench himself as a starter and major player. I look forward to seeing this young man grow into a great Badger who will take over the reigns as the leader of the unit next year.