Wisconsin running back Nakia Watson enters transfer portal

Watson enters transfer portal after rushing for 191 yards in 2020
Wisconsin running back Nakia Watson (14) runs from Iowa defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg,...
Wisconsin running back Nakia Watson (14) runs from Iowa defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg, left, during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 28-7. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)(Charlie Neibergall | AP)
Published: Jan. 1, 2021 at 5:35 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin is entering its second straight offseason with questions surrounding its running back room.

A UW Athletics spokesman has confirmed the reports.

Watson was expected to be one of the lead backs for the Badgers this season after with the departure of back-to-back Doak Walker winner, Jonathan Taylor to the NFL. Instead he had just 53 rush attempts for 191 yards and three touchdowns. Watson’s 3.6 yards per carry this season were a career low in his two seasons playing for the Badgers.

After seeing 19 carries for 62 yards in the season opener win against Illinois, Watson had 34 in his next four games played, and wasn’t available in regular season finale against Minnesota and the Duke’s Mayo Bowl against Wake Forest.

Freshman Jalen Berger emerged as the Badgers best back midway through the season, averaging 15 rushes a game, totaling 301 yards on the ground and leading the team with 5 yards a carry for any player totaling 35 of more carries this season.

Garrett Groshek is undecided on whether or not he will return for his extra year of eligibility, and just because Watson has entered the transfer portal doesn’t mean he is gone. Some players do this just to see their options to play elsewhere. Regardless of Watson’s decision, what is likely for Wisconsin is for the fifth straight season, the Badgers lead back will be from New Jersey, as one of the best run games in the country has been passed down from Jonathan Taylor to Jalen Berger.

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