Most Indispensable Badger - No.26

Leading up to the season opener Aug.30, BadgerNation will announce its list of the 30 most important players to the Badgers' success in the 2014 season. Battling through injuries to make 21 starts the last two years, fifth-year senior Kyle Costigan - No.26 on our list - has been a staple on UW's offensive line.

Kyle Costigan has been known to have knee problems up the wazoo, battling through considerable pain throughout the past two seasons. With 21 starts the last two season, one wouldn’t guessed by watching him that he was limited physically. With a giant frame of 6-5 and 315 pounds, Costigan is a driving force to be reckoned with. His play at right guard this past season has shown fans and coaches that Costigan can play and be effective.

Strengths: Costigan is incredibly strong and has impressive movement even with multiple knee procedures done. He also has incredible work ethic that can be seen when he overcomes each knee procedure.

Weaknesses: Costigan will never be at full strength, so the key with him is limiting his reps during practices to keep him healthy for Saturdays. He still needs to work on polishing up his technique and the fundamentals of being a guard after switching from defense to offense a few seasons back.

Why he is where he is: Twenty-six is a safe choice for Costigan but don’t be surprised if he plays out of his mind this season and creates huge holes for his offensive weapons behind him.

Overall: Costigan is a special player that can use his strength and agility to his advantage as an interior lineman against quick defenders. He has the ability to punish whoever comes in contact with him with his uphill outlook on blocking. Look for Costigan to be a huge contributor on the offensive side of the ball when he creates holes for running backs.

Up Next: Overcoming a wealth of injuries to perform at a solid level in the spring, No.25 on our countdown provides depth to Wisconsin.

Note: This is not a list of the team's 30 best players or a series about past success, but rather a list of which players are the most critical to the team’s success in 2014. The list was created based on a player’s overall importance, impact on the field, the player’s position and expectations. True freshmen were not considered for this season.

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