3. Jim Leonhard’s defense
Jim Leonhard was a stud for three seasons at Wisconsin from 2002-2004. He was never the most athletically gifted player, yet he relied upon his extremely high football I.Q. and instincts to take over games. And these are the same skills that have translated to his high success as a defensive coordinator.
The Badgers also lost a TON of talent off last year’s team including Nick Nelson, Natrell Jamerson, Jack Cichy, Leon Jacobs, Alec James and Garret Dooley. Still, they have plenty of talent remaining.
Leonhard will be tasked with the difficulty of managing the inexperienced Badgers and ensuring there isn’t a huge dropoff from one of the best defenses in the country last season. Even given Wisconsin’s increased firepower, Hornibrook will likely throw a few interceptions which back the defense into unfriendly territory. If Leonhard’s unit can harness the magic they showed last year in those situations, the unit should be okay in the long run.