By Tom Lea
Senior free safety Aaron Henry is everything you want in a player. He has a desire for the game, a will to become as good of a player as he possibly can and a natural tendency to lead by example. He's a class act both on and off the field and earns the respect of his teammates with consistent and reliable play making ability. So in short, he fits in very well at the free safety position.
That's probably why Bret Bielema thought it would be a good idea to move him from cornerback to safety when he wasn't able to perform to the best of his abilities. And for the most part, it's been a seamless transition.
Henry was a stalwart defensively a season ago. He led the team in fumble recoveries, finished second on the sqaud with a couple of interceptions (both of which went for touchdowns) and logged 58 tackles. Whenever there was a loose ball, it seemed as though Henry was 'Johnny-on-the-spot' and in the right position to corral it. The defensive play a year ago, whether it was J.J. Watt wreaking havoc up front or Henry making plays at the back end, often times helped out UW's most explosive offense in school history.
Knowing Henry is returning for one more year should be exciting if you're a Badger fan. If for nothing else, Henry will be a proven leader in a secondary that should be improved under second-year assistant Chris Ash.
Henry will need to play well, though, for UW's defense to function at it's highest rate. If his first four seasons on campus are any indication, it seems as though that will be an expectation that can be lived up to. It seems as though Henry has a newfound confidence since suffering a torn ACL during bowl prep his freshman season.
He played without many noticeable reservations a year ago, and knowing he's another year removed from any injuries to his knee, combined with the fact he played an entire season without missing a game a year ago, Henry should be in for a big year.
You can't go wrong with that.
UP NEXT: No. 9 on our list is one of the more veteran players at a position of absolute need for Wisconsin.