AP NEWS

Defensive backs

August 29, 2017 GMT

Depth chart

Cornerbacks Projected starters

25 Derrick Tindal 5-11 181 Sr. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

11 Nick Nelson 5-11 208 Jr. Glenarden, Md.

Backups

29 Dontye Carriere-Williams 5-10 192 Fr. Miami

31 Lubern Figaro 6-0 188 Sr. Everett, Mass.

The rest

19 Titus Booker 5-11 195 So. Round Lake Beach, Ill.

20 Faion Hicks 5-10 186 Fr. Miami

21 Caesar Williams 6-0 183 Fr. Grand Prairie, Texas

24 Madison Cone 5-9 178 Fr. Kernersville,N.C.

27 Christian Volpentesta 5-9 191 Fr. Highland Park, Ill.

Safeties

Projected starters

14 D’Cota Dixon 5-10 204 Sr. Oak Hill, Fla.

12 Natrell Jamerson 6-0 198 Sr. Ocala, Fla.

Backups

2 Patrick Johnson 5-11 204 So.Washington, D.C.

8 Joe Ferguson 6-1 195 Sr.Madison

The rest

10 Seth Currens 6-3 213 Fr.Pickerington, Ohio

13 Evan Bondoc 6-1 201 Jr.Madison

25 Scott Nelson 6-2 194 Fr.Detroit

26 Eric Burrell 6-0 187 Fr.Severn, Md.

28 Blake Mielke 6-2 200 So.Hartland

31 Tyler Mais 6-1 202 Fr.Waunakee

THE SKINNY

UW lost four-year starter Sojourn Shelton and Team MVP Leo Musso from last year’s secondary, but the coaching staff believes Nelson and Jamerson can excel in their first years as starters. The starting four should be fine, but developing more depth in the secondary was an important goal this offseason. Carriere-Williams nearly played last year as a true freshman and is competing with Figaro for the No. 3 cornerback spot. Defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard said he’s been impressed with Ferguson and Johnson, but they have yet to play a large role for UW’s defense.

GLASS-IS-HALF-FULL FORECAST

Jamerson’s transition to safety continues to run smoothly and Nelson, a transfer from Hawaii, lives up to the hype. Second-year players Carriere-Williams and Johnson emerge as breakout players, giving the Badgers a solid nickel corner and depth at both positions.

GLASS-IS-HALF-EMPTY FORECAST

Musso and Shelton were too valuable to fully replace, and the Badgers are a little more leaky against the pass than anticipated. The young secondary players aren’t ready to emerge yet, leaving little depth.

THE NUMBER

405 Pounds Jamerson bench pressed this summer. He gained 10 pounds in the offseason after switching from cornerback to safety.