Badger Bits: Wisconsin's fall camp starts today

Mike McGinnis

The Badgers return to practice at Camp Randall Stadium Friday afternoon, eager to put one of the more fascinating offseasons the program's endured into the rearview mirror.

Fall camp does indeed start today, beginning with a Gary Andersen press conference at 2:45 p.m. CT that will be streamed live online at UWBadgers.com. From there, players and coaches will be available, and our Jake Kocorowski will be there to report all the goings on.

Badgers football position preview: Experienced ends aplenty in shift to 3-4 defense | Madison.com

Season previews roll on, and now Tom Mulhern gets to the defense. The d-line, along with the linebackers, will be counted on to carry the defense through any weaknesses exposed in the secondary, and you have to imagine there will at least be some early on. The strength of the line, especially with nose tackle Beau Allen missing the spring after ankle surgery, lies in the ends, and they absorb the focus of this preview.

Fall camp resources: Depth chart Burning questions

One of the keys to the new defense is Allen, who was told to drop weight down to about 320 after weighing around 330 in the spring.

"It's a hard position, two-gap is not easy," Kauha'aha'a said of controlling the gaps on either side of the center. "That's why we're looking for between 290-pound and 310-pound guys that are athletic enough to move and cause that center to get knocked back and not let him get up to the second level.

"The majority of time you're eating up two blocks and you've got to stay in there."

The Badgers also are looking for ends in the 275-pound range, which means adding weight for some players and dropping for others, such as Hemer, who was around 310 and was asked to get down to 290."

Badgers offer support for young fan of men's hoops team | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

This is from Thursday, but it's a fantastic story that is worth sharing. Fourteen-year-old Zavier Sims is a patient at UW Hospital and Clinics with a bacterial infection that spread to his brain, and he's also a member of the Wisconsin Blizzard AAU 14U team. He's attended the Badgers' summer camp before, and his aunt, Tonya Sims, is a Racine Park High School graduate who played for UW from 1997-2001.

Ryan Evans, Zavier's favorite player, has kept in touch with the family by phone. Josh Gasser, Frank Kaminsky, Duje Dukan and Evan Anderson recently visited Zavier in the hospital, and the result was incredible.

"It was one of the first times he had been able to stand," Tonya Sims said. "His mom asked him if he wanted to take a picture so we helped him stand. It was a touching moment."

Best of wishes, Zavier. You sound like a remarkably tough kid.

"HUGE" pre-football media days coming at 1 p.m. CT | @UWBadgersdotcom

Disclaimer, and I don't think it's an unreasonably cynical one: These sorts of announcements rarely live up to whatever hype proceeds them. Often, they're a new ticket package, some new gameday feature or something in that vein.

But naturally, after we retweeted the above tweet yesterday afternoon, Twitter gave us a few suggestions. The announcement of LSU on the schedule for 2014 and beyond could be one possibility, though I'm personally predicting an official unveiling of the new Camp Randall Stadium scoreboard that's apparently been blowing the roofs off west-side houses.

There were some other suggestions and "predictions" ranging from the remarkably bold to the awesome-but-unfortunately-unlikely. It's your guess as to which one was which.

That came after UW players tweeted out some pictures of the iPads they redceived from Barry Alvarez. This, though, would be the day.

I'm not quite sure if Brian, a Corn Nation contributor, was serious here. He might've been? Either way, this isn't happening.

Dang, he could be on to something...

YO.

YO.

YO.

Wrapping up: If you like SB Nation and you're a fan of SIZZLE reels, you'll enjoy this SB Nation SIZZLE reel for sure:

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