With a huge freshman season last year, cornerback Sojourn Shelton is looking to build on his already impressive collegiate career. “Shelton Island” is already a place where opposing quarterbacks do not intend on throwing to. Shelton is a lockdown threat who has impressive speed, athleticism and aggressiveness that make him a legitimate contender for one of the Big Ten’s premier corners.
Stats: Earned first letter, playing in all 13 games with 12 starts at cornerback ... became first true freshman to start a UW season-opener since Travis Frederick in 2009 ... tied for third in the Big Ten in interceptions with four, which also ranked No. 3 nationally among true freshmen ... his four INTs were the second-most ever by a UW freshman (Jamar Fletcher had seven as a redshirt freshman in 1998) and the most by a true freshman in school history … Shelton finished with 30 tackles (25 solos) and four pass deflections.
Strengths: Shelton has impressive athleticism that sets him apart from the rest. He has the ability to break up passing lanes and plays some of the most aggressive defense you will see from a Wisconsin cornerback.
Weaknesses: The only real weakness I can see is that Shelton is not the tallest guy, so it may be tough for him to disrupt passes intended for taller receivers.
Why he is where he is: Shelton is one of the most athletic players, as well as one of the big playmakers on the roster. He makes big-time plays on the defensive side of the ball and makes them often. Look for Shelton to be a huge threat this season to opposing offenses.
Overall: Shelton is a special player with impressive talent that the coaching staff saw from day one. The guy can play and has instincts that most corners do not. He knows how to play the game and play it well. If Shelton stays healthy, the Badgers’ secondary will be one of the toughest to throw on this season.
Up Next: If you have been following along (or even if you haven’t), it doesn’t take a rocket science to figure out who the most indispensable player on Wisconsin is this season.
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.