Replacing talented players is one thing, but the University of Wisconsin football team’s defense has to replace leadership and elite production from two departing seniors next season.
Zack Baun and Chris Orr both leave significant holes to fill for the Badgers, but the leadership void their departures create is something the unit will need to figure out quickly this offseason.
As for on-field talent, a bevy of returning starters should help UW maintain the strong defense it showed in 2019 when it finished fourth in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense, sixth in rushing defense, 10th in scoring defense, 12th in passing defense.
Let’s take a look at how UW’s roster on defense sits a couple of months before spring practices. Players’ years in school are what they’ll be when the 2020 season begins, and you can read more about the incoming recruits and watch their highlights here.
— Colten Bartholomew
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Chris Borland’s senior year of 2013 was arguably his best, as he won the conference’s defensive player of the year and linebacker of the year awards en route to a first-team All-American selection by the Football Writers Association of America.