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Down the home stretch

Down the home stretch

Brian Lucas (Assistant Director of Athletic Communications)

Three weeks down, one to go. The spring game is now officially just around the corner and the Badgers have 11 practices down. Last week saw three of the four practices in Camp Randall Stadium, which brought about a surge in energy from the players. Saturday, UW held another extensive live scrimmage, closely mimicking game situations for close to two hours. Take a look back at the week with the practice reports.

Spring practice report No. 8
Spring practice report No. 9
Spring practice report No. 10
Spring practice report No. 11

From an observer’s standpoint, Saturday’s scrimmage was extremely fun to watch. The defense dominated the first portion but the offense seemed to be jump started by a long catch by Nick Toon. With the first and second units rotating each series, the offense got some continuity going and put together some pretty good drives.

Dustin Sherer took most of the reps at quarterback with the No. 1 offense with Scott Tolzien and Curt Phillips each getting a series and splitting the reps with the twos. At running back, John Clay and Zach Brown split the series with the No. 1 unit while Erik Smith got almost all of the carries with the No. 2. A number of wide receivers rotated in with the ones and twos as did the tight ends. After a slow start catching the ball, they picked up their production as the day went on. Toon, Isaac Anderson, David Gilreath, Lance Kendricks and Garrett Graham (of course) all recorded multiple nice catches.

On defense, the line looks to have a bit more depth than last season as seven or eight players all rotated in with the first two units. At linebacker, the depth is getting a little hurt by injuries. The first unit of Jaevery McFadden, Culmer St. Jean and Blake Sorensen looks to be set but injuries to Erik Prather, Tony Megna and Mike Taylor have hurt the back-up situation. Luckily, only Prather’s seems to be serious. In the back end it looks as though Aaron Henry and Niles Brinkley have solidified their holds at the No. 1 cornerback positions with Antonio Fenelus in the mix to pick up some reps. All four safeties (Jay Valai, Chris Maragos, Shane Carter and Aubrey Pleasant) saw a lot of time on Saturday in the different defensive packages.

Phillip Welch got his first “live” action of the spring on Saturday and was perfect on three field goal attempts and three extra points. UW didn’t do any punting on Saturday but Brad Nortman displayed his leg strength earlier in the week, uncorking a couple beauties once the Badgers moved outside.

This week is final preparations for the Spring Game. The Badgers will practice in helmets and shorts on Monday, then go in full pads on Tuesday and Thursday. Monday’s forecast isn’t promising but things should start to clear up on Tuesday for a nice week weather-wise.

Last week we also got to know a couple more players in our Spring Spotlight. Defensive lineman Eriks Briedis speaks three languages, wide receiver Issac Anderson comes from a family of Gophers and linebacker Erik Prather, despite his recent injury, showcased his juggling skills.

Appears in Football Blog

Tagged with Football Blog, Spring Practice

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