Wisconsin Badgers XXXX during an NCAA Big Ten Conference college football game against the Purdue Boilermakers Saturday, October 17, 2015, in Madison, Wis. (Photo by David Stluka)

Top 10 players to watch for in 2016: Sojourn Shelton

Wisconsin cornerback Sojourn Shelton makes the list for players to watch for in the upcoming 2016-2017 season.

Other top ten player profiles: Clement, Ramczyk, and Biegel.

The 5’9″, 179 pound incoming senior from Fort Lauderdale began his UW career in 2013 after being an ESPN four-star recruit and 26th-ranked national cornerback from Plantation High School.

Shelton has started 37 games in his collegiate career with the Badgers and played in all 40 games of his three seasons. In his first season, Shelton started in seven out of the 10 games, was ranked the third-best true freshman in the nation and had the third-most interceptions in the Big Ten that season with four. He finished his season winning an All-Big Ten honorable mention and All-Freshman honorable mention.

In his most reason season with the Badgers, Shelton started all 13 games with the Badgers. Though he finished the season with only one interception, it proved to be a crucial one. Shelton’s fourth quarter interception against USC helped the Badgers defeat the Trojans in the 2015 Holiday Bowl. In the last two minutes of the game, Shelton intercepted USC’s quarterback Cody Kessler, the first turnover of the game. Wisconsin went on to win 23-21. The game was a nominee for the Big Ten Game of the Year.

Shelton was once again named All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2015. In his collegiate career, Shelton has recorded 5 interceptions, 98 total tackles and 20 pass breakups.

Shelton is expected to have another successful season, leading the Wisconsin defense, this time under new leadership with the arrival of defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.

With former Badger Darius Hillary signing with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent, the #2 cornerback spot will likely be taken by incoming junior Derrick Tindal, who started in two games in 2014 and played in 12 games in 2015. Tindal had a successful spring camp and is expected to play opposite Shelton. Incoming junior Natrell Jamerson is expected to claim the #3 cornerback spot.

With a seemingly difficult 2016-2017 schedule, the Badgers will need to rely on a strong defense to win games. Under the leadership of Wilcox, Shelton has the opportunity to lead the defense and make critical plays—more than just the one interception of last season.

Shelton will be in attendance at this season’s upcoming Big Ten Media Day in Chicago next week Monday and Tuesday. Shelton and teammates Vince Biegel and Dare Ogunbowale, will represent the Badgers along with head coach Paul Chryst.

Photo from University of Wisconsin Athletics.

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