Most Indispensable Badger - No.21

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. Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen is looking for somebody to step up at the safety spot next to Michael Caputo. No.21 list has a chance to be that guy.

A local product from just up the road in Waunakee, Leo Musso is looking to continue to make an impact on the defensive side of the ball this season. With the amount of players UW lost at the safety spot following last season, Musso will be battling for the starting safety spot opposite Michael Caputo.

Stats: Played in all 13 games last season, with one start, after redshirting in 2012 … Made 11 tackles, one tackle for loss and one interception … In his only start against Ohio State, Musso made a career-high five tackles (four solo).

Strengths: Musso’s athleticism allows him to survey the field and figure out where the play will develop even before it is finished. He has the ability to cover a large portion of the field because of his quickness as a former high school tailback.

Weaknesses: Musso continues to transition into a defense-only player. He seems to have the general knowledge of the scheme. When it comes to specific formations, he has admitted in the past that it’s been a tough transition he continues to work on.

Why he is where he is: I chose to put Musso here because he is the most likely option, along with A.J. Jordan, to start opposite Michael Caputo in the Wisconsin secondary. He has the potential to make an impact when he does see the field.

Musso has the potential to be a productive safety for the Badgers when the number 1 safety is out for a few reps. His impressive athleticism will be used to his advantage a whole lot as he will look to be a versatile defensive threat for the Badgers.

Up Next: With the departure of key players in front of him, No.20 has a chance to be a full-time starter for the first time in his career.

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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