Most Indispensable Badger - No.14

With the college football season just around the corner, BadgerNation brings back its list of the 20 most important players to the Badgers' success in the 2015 season. Having the ability to be an impact player in all aspects of the offense, senior fullback Derek Watt is critical to UW's success.

With 34 career games and three years starting experience under his belt entering his senior campaign, Derek Watt is looking to expand his role as a critical piece to the Wisconsin offense this season. Coming off an injury-ridden junior season, Watt will need to remain healthy if he wants to continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the run game and expand his opportunities in the passing game. Watt has plenty of expectations to fulfill as the season progresses.

Strengths: Watt has great instincts as well as impressive athleticism for a fullback. His impressive technique is what makes the Badgers’ running game continue to churn out impressive numbers game in and game out. He’s such a pure athlete that the Badgers coaching staff hopes to get him involved in certain passing routes as a tight end.

Weaknesses: Watt has only four career carries for 15 yards. Why? It’s hard to label this as a weakness (because Watt doesn’t have many others for us to point out) but it’s curious that the previous staff, which seemed so geared toward getting him the ball more, hardly gave him opportunities in short yardage situations.

Why he is #14: Watt cracks the top 15 because he has been such a vital piece to the offense over the past few seasons and will need to be again. It’s not surprising that some of program’s best rushing performances – team and individual - over the past three years have occurred with Watt lined up in the backfield. His impressive versatility puts him in a class by himself and he will continue to be an important part to the Badgers’ run game success. Without Watt, the Badgers will need to rely on the offensive line that much more.

Overall: Watt has had an impressive career at Wisconsin and this season will be even more critical than the rest with a young line in front of him. He will continue to give the backfield plenty of running room. Practicing in the spring with a clean bill of health, if he can stay on the field, look for Watt to finish out his career as one of the most solid fullbacks in school history.

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