Jeff Duckworth only caught 15 passes last season for Wisconsin but he appears to be a likely candidate for the Badgers' No. 2 receiver position.
We are finally closing in on August, meaning fall camp is just around the corner. It's an exciting time for all us football-hungry fans as preseason watch lists are released and reporters over-analyze teams' depth charts.
These depth charts are a particularly popular topic in fall camp, as players battle for remaining starting positions. Unfortunately, Wisconsin's most recent roster shakeups come from the losses of Jordan Kohout (head injuries) and Casey Dehn (academics), leaving the Badgers with slightly less depth on the offensive and defensive lines.
On the perimeter, Wisconsin has been and will continue to be highly scrutinized at wide receiver. The production outside of Jared Abbrederis has been abysmal, to be brutally honest. Due to frustration with his players' during spring practice, new wide receiver coach Zach Azzanni would sometimes throw his hat at the ground, according to an article written by Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal. Even head coach Bret Bielema yelled at them in practice, assuring them if anyone could just hold on to the ball, they would receive playing time.
The lack of production at the position is not a recent revelation for Badger fans, but coaches typically serve as good PR for their teams, only pumping out positive information and embellishing any areas of weakness on their squad. It's clear Bielema and Azzanni certainly won't hand out any unwarranted praise and were obviously frustrated with the team's wide receiver situation.
In his article, Mulhern also outlined potential impact wideouts, particularly in redshirt sophomores Chase Hammond and Isaiah Williams. The two played well through spring practice, although Williams dropped two key passes in the Spring Game.
The Badgers' receiving corps features plenty of physically talented players who have been riddled by injuries and mental lapses (evidenced by the many dropped passes in spring practice). Since then, players have had about three months to improve, which will hopefully be enough to keep Azzanni and Bielema from having to lose their tempers — at least on a regular basis.
Fox Sports ranks the Badgers No. 10 nationally in its preseason countdown rankings.
As if you were not already pumped up enough for the season to kickoff, here's an awesome promotional video on why 'This Fall Belongs to Ball.'
The Badgers lost major leaders in Aaron Henry and Antonio Fenelus, but they also return a ton of experience to their secondary. Jeff Potrykus previews Wisconsin's defensive backs. He also thinks UW may have landed its next great walk-on athlete.
Two Badgers were listed on the first team of preseason All-Americans by CBSSports.com (an additional two made the the second team).
ESPN's Big Ten Blog sees Wisconsin's schedule as heavily backloaded with contests against Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State late in the season. Ironically, midseason matchups with Illinois and Purdue will probably prove to be the Badgers' most important games.
If you haven't seen it before, the Badgers get reminded daily of their ultimate goal (OK, maybe not ultimate, but ultimate within reason).
The recent loss of Jordan Kohout does not help the Badgers' defensive line rankings from ESPN's Big Ten Blog.