Despite a change at punter and a new player getting looks in the return game, not much has changed going into the new season for the Badgers.
Drew Meyer graduated in spring of last year, which meant a punting competition would be the biggest change for special teams. True freshman Anthony Lotti won the starting punter job against redshirt sophomore P.J. Rosowski. Rosowski did win the kickoff specialty spot, for now, with senior Andrew Endicott in the #2 spot.
Newly named Cincinnati Bengals return man Alex Erickson was the former punt returner for the Badgers. In 2015, he returned 24 punts for 176 yards. This year, redshirt junior Jazz Peavy will be the main Badgers punt returner to start the season with senior Sojourn Shelton his backup. Peavy made 2 punt returns for only 9 yards in 2015. That being said, Peavy had a good fall camp and is expected to do well in his new role.
Junior cornerback Natrell Jamerson will be the starting kick returner along with running back Corey Clement in the end zone as the #2 guy.
Junior Rafael Gaglianone remains the starting kicker. He announced earlier in the summer that he would wear #27 to honor late Nebraska punter Sam Foltz, who was killed in a car crash in July. In 2015, Gaglianone made 18 of 27 field goals with his long at 49 yards. Gaglianone has been working on consistency in the offseason and will be playing with a purpose.
Wisconsin also announced that redshirt freshman Connor Allen will be the holder for Gaglianone. Senior Connor Udelhoven is the starting longsnapper once again.
Under the leadership of special teams coach Chris Haering, who is in his second year coaching at UW, the Wisconsin special teams should have a consistent and successful season. Players to watch for in this Saturday’s game will be Clement returning kicks, Peavy returning punts, and Lotti making his debut as the Badgers starter.