MADISON - For the seniors on the UW roster, Saturday's regular season finale will mark the final time they play inside Camp Randall Stadium. Look inside for BadgerBlitz.com's tribute to the 2011 senior class.
It's amazing when you truly take a step back and soak in what Russell Wilson has accomplished during his one year in Madison. Not only did he come into the program seamlessly, he's done nothing but play at an incredibly high level. Wilson will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in UW history. A Big Ten title game appearance and potential Rose Bowl would be truly special.
Fenelus isn't overly demonstrative when he plays. Throughout his Badger career that just hasn't been his style. Instead he simply goes out each week, often times against the opponent's top receiver, and shuts them down. As Bret Bielema stated, Fenelus is one of the best corners he's coached.
When No. 1 plays well, UW (collectively) follows suit. His career has had its fair share of ups and downs, but Toon has proven on a number of occasions that his skill set is indeed something special. With potentially three games left, Toon has a legitimate shot at toppling the 1,000-yard receiving mark as a senior.
What can you say about Aaron Henry. As a player, he's been opportunistic. He's undergone injuries, position changes and coaching changes. But he never once publicly complained about anything. Instead he just politely answered every question and ended them with a sir or ma'am. His leadership, both on and off the field, will truly be missed.
The smile on Ewing's face shortly after the game when he scored his first touchdown is unforgettable. At that time Ewing was just a walk-on backup running back. To see him emerge as one of the preeminent fullbacks in all of college football is something truly special. Like Zeitler, Ewing has given his home school everything he has throughout the years.
Aside from his impressive Christopher Walken impersonations that have reverberated throughout Camp Randall this season, Lukasko has proven to be one of the better special teams players on the team. There can't be enough said about having a senior leader on those units.
Claxton had some turbulent times during his tenure as a Badger. Originally brought on campus to play safety, Claxton simply couldn't work his way up the depth chart. It's impressive to see how he handled the move from safety to linebacker and how he's having a good amount of success at the position this year.
Offor didn't see too much playing time at wide receiver throughout his career, but like Lukasko, Offor earned his stripes as a member of the special teams unit. He's also made Academic All-Big Ten during his time as a Badger.
Though his senior season hasn't gone according to plan due to a lingering quad injury, Philip Welch will still remembered as one of UW's best kickers. His 57-yard bomb in 2010 will go down in school history.
Hampton has played in every game this season, albeit mostly on special teams. There's something to be said about a guy that doesn't get much playing time on the defensive side of the ball but continually helps the team on special teams.
Russo, though cleared by the NCAA, hasn't played a snap this season. As a war veteran turned Badger player, it doesn't seem to matter. Russo is living out one of his lifelong dreams by simply being a part of this Badger team.
"It went by really fast. I can remember my first practice out here on this very field. It really hasn't hit me yet, but I'm sure the last time I run out of the tunnel it's going to really hit me. It's definitely a big day not only for me, but for all these other guys. I'd like to make sure we get out with a win."
"It's crazy. I never really thought I'd see the day. You knew in the back of your head that it would come eventually, but five years is a long time. I've grown accustomed to it. It's definitely earth shattering that it's coming to an end."
Byrne will never be remembered as real vocal player on the Badger squad. He quietly goes about his business as a primarily blocking tight end. He hasn't got many balls thrown his way throughout his career, but he's never once said anything bad about that notion. He just does his job.
Nzegwu earned his scholarship by impressing the UW coaches during one of its summer camps. Though he did that as a running back, Nzegwu has developed into a nice defensive end. He hasn't been as explosive as J.J. Watt or O'Brien Schofield, but he's continued to improve throughout his career and throughout his senior season.
Nortman will go down as one of UW's best punters. He'll also go down as one of UW's punters that didn't have to do a whole lot. Wisconsin's offense has been pretty efficient during Nortman's time in Madison, but that hasn't stopped him from blasting big punts when his team needed them. It can also be said that UW wouldn't have been in the Rose Bowl a season ago if it weren't for Nortman's fake punt against Iowa that gave the offense new life.
Butrym can easily be defined as one of the hardest working players in his class. He entered the program, added a bunch of weight, and has turned into a more-than-serviceable defensive tackle for the Badger defense. He's also been a leader both in the classroom and on the gridiron.