Jalen Berger

On the roster: Jalen Berger (Fr.), Julius Davis (RS Fr.), Garrett Groshek (RS Sr.), Isaac Guerendo (RS Soph.)

Incoming: Jackson Acker, Loyal Crawford, Antwan Roberts

Departing: Nakia Watson (transfer), possibly Groshek (graduation)

Projected starter: Berger

Berger emerged as the Badgers’ top tailback this year, using an explosive running style to get through the holes quickly and challenge defenses. Two of his longest runs of the year were called back by holding penalties, but he led all backs in gains of 10 or more yards.

Berger (above) also contracted COVID-19 late in the year, which forced him out of the Iowa and Minnesota games. Groshek had the best day of his Badgers career against the Gophers, rushing for more than 150 yards and he remained a solid change-of-pace back. He must decide if he’ll come back to the program for a sixth year.

If he doesn’t, the Badgers will be thin on experience behind Berger, who only played five games this year. Davis and Guerendo each played in just one game in 2020. All three running backs in the Badgers’ recruiting class are ranked as three-star players.

UW is rumored to be a front-runner to land Markese Stepp, a transfer tailback from USC. He’d add experience and a solid short-yardage option if he were to end up in Madison.

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