On the roster: Michael Balistreri (RS Jr.), Keeanu Benton (Soph.), Boyd Dietzen (RS Soph.), Matt Hennigsen (RS Jr.), Rodas Johnson (RS Fr.), Cade McDonald (Fr.), Gio Paez (RS Fr.), James Thompson Jr. (Fr.), Bryson Williams (Jr.)
Incoming: Mike Jarvis
Departing: Isaiahh Loudermilk (NFL), possibly Rand (NFL)
Projected starters (end, nose tackle, end): Rand, Benton, Henningsen
Loudermilk’s departure might be the most impactful loss of the offseason for the Badgers. He was a stud on the defensive line and was able to play as effectively in base as he was nickel.
But the group has experienced players ready to play next year — Rand (above) was Loudermilk’s running mate for years, Benton has shown flashes of being a big-time playmaker, and before an injury last season, Henningsen was a solid piece of the end rotation.
Thompson and McDonald saw the field as freshmen in 2020, but Thompson suffered a season-ending right leg injury against Michigan, so his status for the offseason is unknown.
Depth may be a concern with this group moving forward, but they’ve got a solid top group to lean on.