With a full season under his belt, redshirt sophomore Chikwe Obasih will be a critical piece to Wisconsin’s defense if they want to retain its top five unit. Playing all 14 games last season, including seven starts, Obasih made the successful leap from the scout team to the rotation. Partnering with his teammates, Obasih will be a huge threat come football season.
Strengths: Obasih has a thick frame at 6-3 and 263 pounds that he uses to his advantage play in and play out. He has the ability to disrupt plays because of his athleticism and has pure toughness that cannot be taught, which is partially attributed to grinding on the scout team as a freshman. Obasih is at his best when he taps into that toughness.
Weaknesses: Obasih is still raw from a technical standpoint, as there were times last season where he abandoned proper footwork or technique and relied on pure strength. The inconsistent footwork also hurt his lateral quickness. This is mainly because of his thick frame which is not his fault. Obasih will need to work on his lateral quickness if he wants to continue to be an effective wall on the defense. Why is he #11: Obasih cracks the top 15 with ease mainly because of his importance to the Badgers’ defensive success. Wisconsin’s defensive line will be young this season with veterans Warren Herring and Konrad Zagzebski having graduated. There were flashes last season where Obasih really shined, which means he has plenty to prove this season. He will need to utilize every part of his game if he wants to become a staple on the Badgers’ defense. Overall: Having tremendous work ethic, which has allowed him to soar up the depth chart, Obasih has his goals set high in 2015 after he called last season “underwhelming.” He has the potential for big plays but will need to use defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield’s teaching points to his advantage if he wants to dominate Big Ten play. Look for Obasih to become an important part to the team’s success in the near future.