Badger Bits: Football team wraps up summer conditioning

Here are your Badger Bits for Friday, July 30th:

The Wisconsin football team wraps up its summer conditioning program today, and is set to begin their pre-season camp on August 9th according to Tom Mulhern at Madison.com. The article contains some interesting quotes from UW's strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert, which provide some insight into the mindset of the team as they move closer to the start of the season. Herbert seems quite intent on making sure his players don't take their national standing for granted:

"I put it on them since day one and they haven't missed a beat since," Herbert said. "The detail and the work ethic. They have talent, do they get sloppy? Do they think they are too good? Do they think they have arrived? Do they think, because a magazine may say they're 12th or eighth or sixth (in the nation), that they are?"

Herbert also mentions that running back John Clay has recovered well from having surgery in the off-season on both ankles, and is getting closer to being physically ready for the opening game against the UNLV Rebels on September 4th. Clay has also worked hard in the summer to trim off some excess weight according to Jeff Potrykus at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Linebacker Mike Taylor is also feeling better after tearing his ACL against Iowa in 2009, but will get time off during camp on days with more than one practice.

Mulhern has a shorter interview with Herbert up on Madison.com as well.

More Badger news after the jump!

UW Men's Basketball standout Jon Leuer recently gave an interview to UWBadgers.com. Leuer answers questions about playing with Team USA over the summer, and talks about how it felt to play against some of the best basketball players in the world. 

The men's basketball team will face Manhattan in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic, which begins on November 25th, according to a report from Madison.com. The if the Badgers beat Manhattan, who went 11-20 last year, they could end up with an opportunity for payback against Boston College's Steve Donahue, who coached Cornell to a win over the Badgers in the 2010 NCAA tournament.

The Rivalry, Esq. had a piece up a while ago concerning the difference between Wisconsin and Minnesota football fans as part of their Wisconsin week during spring ball. It's worth the read just to hear some complimentary things about the Badgers coming from a Gopher fan:

Look, when it comes right down to it, I have to defer to Russ Mantooth when it comes to Wisconsin football:  "From deep down in my stomach, with every inch of me, I pure, strait, HATE you.  But damnit do I respect you."

Former Badgers O'Brien Schofield and Garret Graham have both signed contracts with the Cardinals and Texans, respectively. Both contracts are for four years, with Graham making $3.1 million and Schofield getting $2.2 million.

UW Marching Band director Michael Leckrone is pessimistic that the band will be able to make the trip out to Las Vegas with the football team. The band is scheduled to go on the road to the game with Purdue in West Lafayette, on November 6th.

And finally, UNLV has been picked to finish eighth in the Mountain West Conference for the 2010-11 season by the Las Vegas Review Journal. UNLV and Wisconsin will kick off the football season on September 4th at 10 PM CST.

36 days until kickoff!

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