Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 29, 2016

Wisconsin is aiming to get back to the summit in the Big Ten West. But there is work to do as Paul Chryst begins his second season in Madison coming off a 10-3 debut and second-place finish in the West.

Chryst has talent back to work with. The offense returns the likes of RBs Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale, WRs Robert Wheelwright and Jazz Peavy, TE Troy Fumagalli and offensive linemen like Dan Voltz and Michael Deiter. The defense has back LBs T.J. Edwards, Jack Cichy and Vince Biegel, along with NT Arthur Goldberg, E Chikwe Obasih and CB Sojourn Shelton. K Rafael Gaglianone also is back.

Key personnel is gone, however, including DB Darius Hillary and OT Tyler Marz. And the coaching staff has been impacted with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda leaving for the same post at LSU. Chryst tabbed Justin Wilcox from USC to take over. How will that impact the defense, which was excellent under Aranda?

Here is a look at the top five Badgers to replace from 2015.

S Michael Caputo. No one laid the lumber better than Caputo, arguably the hardest hitter in the Big Ten. He tallied 65 tackles last season (fourth on the team), including seven TFLs. He also defended 10 passes. Caputo leaves campus with 244 career tackles and myriad bone-jarring hits. He was a consensus second-team All-Big Ten pick.

WR Alex Erickson. He emerged as one of the Big Ten?s top wideouts. Not bad for a guy who arrived on campus as a walk-on. Erickson caught 77 passes (second in the Big Ten) for 978 yards and three TDs last season. Erickson was first-team All-Big Ten by the media and was second team by the coaches, a true big-play threat who could stretch the field.

S/WR Tanner McEvoy. Few players were as versatile, as McEvoy could play wideout, safety and quarterback. He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the media and coaches. He tallied 42 tackles and had six interceptions, second in the league. McEvoy also caught 10 passes.

LB Joe Schobert. A true playmaker with a nose for the ball, Schobert earned Big Ten Linebacker of the Year honors. He led the team with 9.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss, second in the Big Ten. A former walk-on, Schobert was a whirling dervish who had a nose for the ball and often was unblockable.

QB Joel Stave. Yes, he had his limitations and often struggled for consistency. But Stave was an experienced quarterback who won a lot of games in Madison. Last year, Stave hit 60.8 percent of his passes for 2,687 yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He leaves school with 7,635 passing yards with 48 touchdowns and 37 picks.