Most Indispensable Badger - No.22

Leading up to the season opener Aug.30, BadgerNation will announce its list of the 30 most important players to the Badgers' success in the 2014 season. One of the more experienced players at the position, receiver Alex Erickson is looking to validate the scholarship he received in the offseason.

Having a full season under his belt after redshirting in 2012, Alex Erickson is looking to impact the Wisconsin more now that Jared Abbrederis has departed to the NFL. Like Abbrederis, Erickson is a former walk-on who earned a scholarship after impressing the coaches from the playing time he earned last season. His 3 starts and 13 appearances make him a fairly experienced receiver for a receiving core that lacks legitimate experience.

Stats: Played in all 13 games with three starts … Caught nine passes for 127 yards, averaging 14.1 yards per carry … Has four receptions for 49 yards in the regular-season finale against Penn State.

Strengths: Erickson has great hands and is very fluid after the catch. He is able to weave in and out of tackles while still gaining plenty of yards after the catch. His play gives off an Abbrederis-esque feel.

Weaknesses: Erickson is still working on running smoother routes consistently. He is still working on controlling his body better but that will come with more experience. He also lacks some speed after the catch. All these things might have been corrected had he participated in spring practices.

Why he is where he is: Erickson is here because he is not the biggest threat the Badgers have on offense or defense, but he could potentially be an X-Factor due to the Badgers’ lack of quality depth or experience at the wide receiver position.

Overall: After coming into Madison as a walk-on and earning himself a scholarship, it is evident that Erickson is a hard worker that knows what it takes to be a successful Big Ten receiver . Having a chance to be a starter for the season opener, look for Erickson to make an impact more and more as the season goes on with the loss of Abbrederis.

Up Next: With massive position loss at the position, No.21 on our list has a chance to use his experience to earn a starting role in fall camp.

Note: This is not a list of the team's 30 best players or a series about past success, but rather a list of which players are the most critical to the team’s success in 2014. The list was created based on a player’s overall importance, impact on the field, the player’s position and expectations. True freshmen were not considered for this season.

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