Jonathan Taylor’s impressive Badgers debut

We’re back with another edition looking at the playing time and statistics of the younger players on the roster of the Wisconsin Badgers. If you’re new to this weekly feature, welcome.

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To recap last season, only six “true” freshmen played, although three didn’t take the field in the opening game (of course, also keep in mind Wisconsin opened with LSU in 2016 and blew out Utah State this year), as well as 14 redshirt freshmen.

In addition to a host of “true” freshmen who never got in a game, 12 redshirt freshmen didn’t play — of those, five are no longer on Wisconsin’s roster.

In Paul Chryst’s first season as head coach, just four “true” freshmen played while 17 of 18 redshirt freshmen got playing time.

That brings us to 2017.

Five “true” freshmen saw action for Wisconsin vs. Utah State as well as 15 of 24 redshirt freshmen (not including players out of the season). Of those, Jonathan Taylor’s game stands out.

The freshman running back got off to an ignominious start — dropping a pass on his first chance at a touch. But he more than made up for it.

Taylor woke up the Wisconsin offense on the first play of the second half (his third rush overall), busting loose for 41 yards. Later, he had a great touchdown run in which after being bottled up at the line of scrimmage, he cut back right and outran everyone to the corner of the end zone.

Taylor would finish with 87 yards on nine carries with that one touchdown. But more than that, he excited Badgers fans with what he might have in store for the future.

Here’s the complete rundown from Game 1 vs. Utah State:

“TRUE” FRESHMEN
Adam Bay, LS
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Jack Coan, QB
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Madison Cone, CB
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Danny Davis, WR
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Jonathan Taylor, RB
Utah State: 9 rushes, 87 yards, TD

Have not played
Michael Balistreri, DE; Tyler Beach, OL; Logan Bruss, OL; Ethan Cesarz, ILB; Jake Collinsworth, ILB; Sam DeLany, WR; Alex Fenton, OL; Jake Ferguson, TE; Izayah Green-May, OLB; Matt Hennigsen, DE; Faion Hicks, CB; Hunter Johnson, RB; Collin Larsh, K; Kayden Lyles, OL; Tyler Mais, S; Scott Nelson, S; Emmet Perry, WR; Josh Seltzner, OL; Blake Smithback, OL; Danny Vanden Boom, QB; Aaron Vopal, OL; Coy Wanner, TE

BADGERS DATABASES

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN
Christian Bell, OLB
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo)

Luke Benzschawel, TE
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Tyler Biadasz, C
Utah State: Started, did not record a statistic

Noah Burks, OLB
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo), 1 QBH

Eric Burrell, S
Utah State: 2 tackles (1 solo)

Dontye Carriere-Williams, CB
Utah State: 5 tackles (2 solo)

Seth Currens, S
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Jack Dunn, WR
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Garrett Groshek, RB
Utah State: 2 rushes, 29 yards, TD; 1 tackle (solo)

Patrick Kasl, OL
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Isaiahh Loudermilk, DE
Utah State: 3 tackles (2 solo), 1 sack, 1 TFL

Mike Maskalunas, ILB
Utah State: 1 tackle, 1 FR

Keldrick Preston, DE
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo), 1 QBH

Cole Van Lanen, OL
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Caesar Williams, CB
Utah State: 1 tackle (solo)


Have not played
Josh Bernhagen, LS; Cade Green, WR; Deron Harrell, WR; Adam Krumholz, WR; Gabe Lloyd, TE; Kare Lyles, QB; Kendrick Pryor, WR; Hegeman Tiedt, OLB; Cristian Volpentesta, CB

Injured, out for season
Sam Brodner, RB; Mason Stokke, ILB

 

“TRUE” SOPHOMORES
Quintez Cephus, WR
Utah State: Started; 3 catches, 31 yards, TD

David Edwards, RT
Utah State: Started, did not record a statistic

Patrick Johnson, S
Utah State: Played, did not record a statistic

Anthony Lotti, P
Utah State: 3 punts, 129 yards

Garrett Rand, DE
Utah State: 1 QBH

Bradrick Shaw, RB
Utah State: Started; 18 rushes, 84 yards, 1 TD; 1 catch, 10 yards

A.J. Taylor, WR
Utah State: 3 catches, 38 yards

Have not played
Griffin Grady, ILB

Dave Heller is the author of Ken Williams: A Slugger in Ruth’s Shadow, Facing Ted Williams – Players From the Golden Age of Baseball Recall the Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived and As Good As It Got: The 1944 St. Louis Browns