Fickell says fullback versatility key in modern college football

Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell speaks during an NCAA college football news conference at...
Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell speaks during an NCAA college football news conference at the Big Ten Conference media days at Lucas Oil Stadium, Thursday, July 27, 2023, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(Darron Cummings | AP)
Published: Aug. 12, 2023 at 10:10 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - “Versatility” is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot in sports, as position-less athletes become more common. Wisconsin head football coach Luke Fickell says versatility is key trait of modern football, but especially for his fullbacks.

Classic fullbacks are a dying breed, as offenses become more pass-dominant. Even a historic running program, like Wisconsin, no longer has any fullbacks listed on the roster. Iowa and Nebraska are the only Big Ten schools with fullbacks listed this year.

Additionally, the Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes only have a combined eight fullbacks listed on their 2023 rosters.

However, Fickell said while those guys might not be listed on the Badgers’ roster as true fullbacks, he the position still has a place in the game, just labelled differently.

“I still think there is a place [for fullbacks on the team,]” Fickell said. “I mean, I guess you label people as ‘fullbacks.’ I think the only evolution of the game is that guy is labelled a little different now. He’s more of a specialist. He’s either an H-back, he’s a tight end-hybrid. It’s just the ability to do more than one thing is so key. I think, you know, they’ll be surprised to see guys line up in similar type of positions and do similar types of things, but don’t get labelled as just as one thing.”

The Badgers are 21 days away from kickoff at Camp Randall against Buffalo on September 2 at 2:30.

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