Wisconsin Badgers Spring Football Update: An In-Depth Look At The 2011 Team

The Wisconsin Badgers are two weeks into spring practice and next year's team is starting to take shape. UW held a scrimmage in practice Saturday and new names are emerging on the depth chart.

Here's an in-depth look at what you might have missed so far and what you need to know going forward this spring:

Who is out and who is limited?

LB Chris Borland - The redshirt sophomore is still recovering from shoulder surgery and is not participating in live contact this spring, but should be back for summer conditioning and be 100 percent for fall camp. Borland will make the switch to middle linebacker when he returns and will be relied on to be a leader on defense.

WR Nick Toon- Toon is out after undergoing foot surgery on a fractured bone. The wide receiver battled turf toe for much of last season, but should be 100 percent for fall camp.

OT Josh Oglesby - Limited after surgery on a torn ACL last fall. Still a candidate to start at right tackle, but will be pushed hard by younger players if he can't recover quick enough.

QB Curt Phillips - Limited after tearing his ACL a second time. His recovery has been remarkable and he will push sophomore Jon Budmayr for the starting quarterback job this fall.

DE Tyler Dippel - Limited after shoulder surgery. Will be in the mix come fall for the difficult task of replacing J.J. Watt.

LB Ethan Armstrong- Also out after shoulder surgery. Should be OK for the season and provide some depth behind Borland at Mike linebacker .

DE Konrad Zagzebski - Also a victim of shoulder surgery; will be in the mix come fall.

Minor injuries suffered in camp:

C Peter Konz- Suffered a  high right ankle sprain in Saturday's scrimmage. Sprains continue to be an issue for Konz, who is certainly one of the most valuable assets of UW's running game.

FB Bradie Ewing - Suffered a minor shoudler injury and was wearing a green non-contact jersey Saturday. Did not participate in the scrimmage.

TE Brian Wozniak - Suffered an MCL tear and will miss 4-6 weeks. The coaching staff originally feared it was a worse injury.

TE Sherard Cadogan - Suffering from a bruised foot, but the injury is not serious.

Michael Trotter - Minor toe injury suffered Saturday.

Who are the new guys I should know about?

WR Kenzel Doe - The true freshman enrolled early and is already turning heads in spring ball. He appears to be the favorite to take over David Gilreath's vacant kick/punt return duties. With the lack of depth at wide receiver, he could play a role in UW's passing game immediately as well.

WR Isaiah Williams - Again, there is a lot of opportunity available at wide receiver right now and Williams, a redshirt freshman, is one of the guys who is taking advantage of that opportunity.

OT Casey Dehn and OT Rob Havenstein - With Oglesby limited after his ACL injury, Dehn (RS sophomore) and Havenstein (RS freshman) have switched off at right tackle on the No. 1 unit and both appear capable of stepping in on the right side if Oglesby fails to take back his spot on the line.

LB Marcus Trotter- The redshirt freshman linebacker has turned some heads filling in for Borland and Armstrong in the middle. This is a good sign for a unit that appeared to have zero depth after Culmer St. Jean and Blake Sorensen graduated.

OL Ryan Groy - The coaches believe the redshirt sophmore can have a role on the offensive line, but he's had some trouble snapping the ball at center this spring.

LB Greg Russo - The 25-year old Army vet is trying to earn a walk-on spot on the team after having not played in a football game since 2002. The coaches believe he has a ton of physical talent, but he's got a long way to go to grasp the technique and defensive assignments. Potential may be enough to earn him a shot though.

Position outlooks:

Quarterback: RS sophomore Jon Budmayr is the favorite right now and is getting the majority of snaps with the No. 1 offense. RS junior Curt Phillips has a chance to apply some pressure in the fall. RS freshman Joe Brennan and true freshman Joel Stave have been pretty inconsistent throughout the spring.

Running back: Junior Montee Ball has dropped 18 pounds since the Rose Bowl, but hasn't lost any strength while looking a tad faster. Sophomore James White continues to improve. The two will battle for the starting spot, but as we saw last year, it probably doesn't matter. Both will play a lot and both will have a lot of success as long as they are healthy. Veteran Zach Brown provides some depth and RS freshman Jeff Lewis is a darkhorse to make an impact.

Wide receiver: Nick Toon and Jared Abbrederis look like your two starters come fall, with RS sophomore Jeff Duckworth as the No. 3. Williams and Doe are definitely in the mix, however, as is redshirt freshman Chase Hammond who is playing with a cast on his hand right now.

Tight end: It looks more and more like Jacob Pedersen is going to be your next star tight end in the passing game with Jake Byrne as the blocking threat. We had Manasseh Garner listed as a tight end last year and he'll work primarily at that position this year although Bret Bielema said he will be flexed outside like Travis Beckum and Lance Kendricks were in the past.

Offensive line: Ricky Wagner is your new left tackle, moving over from the right side. RS sophomore Travis Frederick is back and should be a stud at left guard. Konz is your center and Zeitler your right guard like last season. Right tackle is an open competition and will stay that way in the fall with Oglesby getting a fair crack to take his job back.

Defensive line: Jordan Kohout and Patrick Butrym are still your tackles with Louis Nzegwu and David Gilbert on the outside. The defensive ends could really use some compeition behind them and Pat Muldoon and Brendan Kelly are attempting to fill that role right now. Dippel will also be in the mix in the fall. Beau Allen is your obvious backup at tackle and will receive a lot of playing time.

Linebackers: There's a ton of potential in this unit, but health and experience are major obstacles right now. If Borland and Mike Taylor are healthy this fall, UW's linebackers could be among the best in the Big Ten, but that's a big "if". Senior Kevin Claxton looks like your strong side linebacker right now, but the coaching staff loves RS sophomore A.J. Fenton's speed and athleticism. Redshirt sophomore Conor O'Neill will backup Taylor and Ethan Armstrong and Marcus Trotter will be the backup at Mike LB. Trotter is getting almost all the work with the No. 1 defense right now with Borland and Armstrong out.

Cornerbacks: Antonio Fenelus and Devin Smith are your starters, with Marcus Cromartie set to take over as the nickelback. Peniel Jean is also in the mix. This is really a position where UW could use a true freshman to come in and surprise.

Safety: Aaron Henry is now your veteran leader in the secondary and is the sure starter at free safety. He's backed up by Dezmen Southward who figures to get more playing time this season. Shelton Johnson takes over a strong safety for Jay Valai.

For more spring football updates and in-depth spring game coverage April 23, be sure to follow Adam Hoge on twitter @B5Q.

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