Wisconsin Football: Four Badgers who need more playing time

MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 11: Bradrick Shaw (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 11: Bradrick Shaw (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Wisconsin Football Aron Cruickshank
MADISON, WI – SEPTEMBER 08: Aron Cruickshank #1 of the Wisconsin Badgers is brought down by Jalin Burrell #13 of the New Mexico Lobos during the second half of a game at Camp Randall Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Aron Cruickshank

Cruickshank has already played in six games eliminating him from the possibility of redshirting this season. In those six games, he’s only gotten two touches outside of his kick return duties. For as explosive as he is, and as much as he shredded the defense in preseason camp, that’s unacceptable.

The concern over Cruickshank’s size is justifiable. He’s listed on the roster at 5-9 and only 154 pounds. Maybe getting him significant touches isn’t the best thing to do for an undersized freshman. I get it. But throwing him out on kick returns seems to go against that philosophy. Kick returns have some of the worst collisions on the football field, which Cruickshank has experienced first hand.

More from Badger of Honor

A lot of the talk this offseason was about how the offense could be one of the best the program had ever seen this year. With so many returning pieces on offense it seemed inevitable that the Badgers would evolve from their traditional, conservative ground and pound game. Or at least show the ability to if situations called for it. Aside from a few select spots, the offense has been much of the same.

If it’s for lack of trust in Alex Hornibrook then I get it. But it can’t be because there aren’t enough explosive players on the team. And if it’s because the coaching staff can’t scheme up those kinds of explosive plays, then we have a much bigger issue on our hands.

Cruickshank is as explosive and dynamic as they come. He’s itching to make a big play. You can tell after every kickoff when he pops up after being tackled how he was this close to breaking out and truly showcasing his speed.

Wisconsin needs to be able to threaten defenses with a wrinkle here and there. The jet sweep to Kendric Pryor works beautifully, but that’s really it. Garrett Groshek gets a wildcat snap here and there, and nothing else.

Aron Cruickshank needs the ball, period. He’s too explosive to not see more touches on offense than what he’s gotten so far.