First impressions on the depth chart

There are three major stories regarding the official depth chart released Thursday for the Northern Illinois game, the biggest of which is actually the linebackers.

Badger fans should be excited about all three developments.

Everyone will focus on the fact that UW will be using a two-headed quarterback attack and a two-headed running back attack, but more importantly a linebacker finally stepped up and earned a starting job because of impressive play over the last week or so.

That linebacker is of course redshirt freshman Mike Taylor who has shown flashes of brillance on the practice field for a while now, but has been slowed down by injuries. He finally appears healthy and impressed the coaches enough to earn a start at outside linebacker opposite of senior Jaevery McFadden. Meanwhile, junior Blake Sorensen was moved back to the middle where he is surprisingly listed as a co-starter with Culmer St. Jean.

This seemingly last second jumble at linebacker is good news for Wisconsin football. Previously all we had seen was a somewhat boring group of linebackers that weren't showing a whole lot of brillance at the position. The emergence of Taylor and the move back to the middle by Sorensen means something positive is happening with the linebackers -- certainly a good sign for a defense still maligned by a number of questions.

As for Scott Tolzien and Curt Phillips being named co-starters on the depth chart, I think it simply means that the UW coaching staff doesn't know who is the better option right now and they learned their lesson last season that you don't have to force the issue by prematurely naming a concrete starter. Allan Evridge was clearly not the guy last year, but Wisconsin wasted half their season before they figured that out.

Tolzien will likely take the first snaps against Northern Illinois, but Phillips will get his reps and the opportunity to run the football. Think Tim Tebow's freshman season, just don't think Tim Tebow. Phillips is talented, but not that talented.

Your thoughts on the depth chart? Check it out after the jump:

OFFENSE
Quarterback
16 Scott Tolzien, 6-3, 205, Jr. OR
10 Curt Phillips, 6-3, 228, Fr.
18 Dustin Sherer, 6-3, 220, Sr.

Running Back
30 Zach Brown, 5-10, 210, Jr. OR
32 John Clay, 6-1, 248, So.
28 Montee Ball, 5-11, 225, Fr. OR
22 Erik Smith, 6-0, 198, Fr.

Fullback
34 Bradie Ewing, 6-0, 231, So.
42 Sam Spitz, 6-0, 245, Fr.

Wide Receiver
1 Nick Toon, 6-3, 212, So.
85 David Gilreath, 5-11, 170, Jr.

Wide Receiver
6 Isaac Anderson, 5-10, 177, Jr.
23 Maurice Moore, 5-10, 180, Jr.

Tight End
89 Garrett Graham, 6-3, 250, Sr. OR
84 Lance Kendricks, 6-4, 236, Jr.
82 Jake Byrne, 6-4, 260, So.

Tight End
84 Lance Kendricks, 6-4, 236, Jr. OR
36 Mickey Turner, 6-3, 250, Sr.
43 Rob Korslin, 6-4, 260, So.

Left Tackle
68 Gabe Carimi, 6-7, 325, Jr.
58 Ricky Wagner, 6-6, 313, Fr.

Left Guard
78 Jake Bscherer, 6-7, 310, Jr.
60 Jake Current, 6-3, 304, So. OR
79 Ryan Groy, 6-5, 310, Fr.

Center
74 John Moffitt, 6-5, 320, Jr.
72 Travis Frederick, 6-4, 336, Fr.

Right Guard
70 Kevin Zeitler, 6-4, 317, Fr.
76 Bill Nagy, 6-3, 310, Jr.

Right Tackle
67 Josh Oglesby, 6-7, 330, So.
66 Peter Konz, 6-5, 315, Fr.

DEFENSE
Defensive End
50 O’Brien Schofield, 6-3, 248, Sr.
93 Louis Nzegwu, 6-4, 245, So.

Defensive Tackle
45 Dan Moore, 6-2, 283, Sr. OR
95 Patrick Butrym, 6-4, 291, So.
77 Dan Cascone, 6-3, 3-1, Sr.

Defensive Tackle
79 Jeff Stehle, 6-6, 310, Sr.
64 Jordan Hein, 6-3, 286, Sr.

Defensive End
99 J.J. Watt, 6-6, 287, So.
90 Anthony Mains, 6-6, 223, Fr.

Linebacker
47 Jaevery McFadden, 6-2, 230, Sr.
41 Kevin Rouse, 6-0, 232, So.

Linebacker
15 Culmer St. Jean, 6-0, 233, Jr. OR
9 Blake Sorensen, 6-1, 231, Jr.
56 Matt Groff, 6-2, 234, Fr.

Linebacker
53 Mike Taylor, 6-2, 221, Fr.
44 Chris Borland, 5-11, 235, Fr.

Cornerback
7 Aaron Henry, 6-0, 195, So.
26 Antonio Fenelus, 5-9, 185, So.

Strong Safety
2 Jay Valai, 5-9, 201, Jr.
17 Josh Peprah, 5-11, 205, Fr. OR
37 Kevin Claxton, 6-1, 218, So.

Free Safety
21 Chris Maragos, 6-0, 198, Sr.
24 Shelton Johnson, 6-0, 183, Fr.

Cornerback
10 Devin Smith, 5-11, 188, So.
29 Niles Brinkley, 5-10, 188, Jr. OR
12 Dezmen Southward, 6-1, 210, Fr.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Punter
98 Brad Nortman, 6-3, 209, So.
90 Ryan Wickesberg, 6-1, 215, So.

Kicker
18 Philip Welch, 6-3, 200, So.
96 Alec Lerner, 5-7, 172, Fr.

Long Snapper
62 Kyle Wojta, 6-2, 231, So.
57 Drew Woodward, 6-4, 212, Sr.

Holder
21 Chris Maragos, 6-0, 198, Sr.
90 Ryan Wickesberg, 6-1, 215, So.

Punt Returner
85 David Gilreath, 5-11, 170, Jr.
26 Antonio Fenelus, 5-9, 185, So. OR
7 Aaron Henry, 6-0, 195, So.

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