Wisconsin depth chart: Joel Stave, Curt Phillips both listed at QB; Sojourn Shelton starting at CB

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Wisconsin's Week 1 depth chart is out, and it lists the starting quarterback as "Joel Stave OR Curt Phillips." Other notable highlights include freshman Sojourn Shelton at cornerback and Michael Caputo at free safety.

The Wisconsin Badgers revealed their depth chart Monday for Saturday's season-opener vs. UMass, including a variety of interesting decisions while also keeping several key position battles undetermined. Most notably, Joel Stave and Curt Phillips are both listed as the starting quarterbacks, with "OR" separating Stave on the first-team column and Phillips on the second-team.

Freshman cornerback Sojourn Shelton is also listed as a starter opposite junior Peniel Jean, though head coach Gary Andersen later said that since the Badgers will play a lot of nickel packages on defense, so the starting cornerbacks include those two and sophomore Darius Hillary.

OFFENSE
FIRST TEAM SECOND TEAM
QB 2 Joel Stave (So.) OR 10 Curt Phillips (Sr.)
RB 20 James White (Sr.) 25 Melvin Gordon (So.)
FB 34 Derek Watt (So.) 26 Derek Straus (So.)
WR 4 Jared Abbrederis (Sr.) 86 Alex Erickson (Fr.)
WR 9 Jordan Fredrick (So.) 3 Kenzel Doe (Jr.)
TE 48 Jacob Pedersen (Sr.) 49 Sam Arneson (Jr.)
TE 85 Brian Wozniak (Sr.) 81 Brock DeCicco (Sr.)
LT 61 Tyler Marz (So.) 74 Hayden Biegel (Fr.)
LG 79 Ryan Groy (Sr.) 71 Ray Ball (So.)
C 73 Dallas Lewallen (Jr.) OR 70 Dan Voltz (Fr.)
RG 75 Zac Matthias (Sr.) OR 54 Kyle Costigan (Jr.)
RT 78 Rob Havenstein (Jr.) 62 Walker Williams (Fr.)
DEFENSE
FIRST TEAM SECOND TEAM
DL 92 Pat Muldoon (Sr.) OR 51 Tyler Dippel (Sr.)
NT 96 Beau Allen (Sr.) 45 Warren Herring (Jr.)
DL 87 Ethan Hemer (Sr.) 91 Konrad Zagzebski (Jr.)
OLB 36 Ethan Armstrong (Sr.) 58 Joe Schobert (So.)
ILB 44 Chris Borland (Sr.) 59 Marcus Trotter (Jr.)
ILB 30 Derek Landisch (Jr.) 13 Conor O'Neill (Sr.)
OLB 97 Brendan Kelly (Sr.) 47 Vince Biegel (So.)
CB Sojourn Shelton (Fr.) 9 Jakarrie Washington (Fr.)
SS 12 Dezmen Southward (Sr.) 14 Nate Hammon (Fr.)
FS 7 Michael Caputo (So.) 19 Leo Musso (Fr.)
CB 21 Peniel Jean (Jr.) 11 T.J. Reynard (So.)
NB 5 Darius Hillary (So.)

SPECIAL TEAMS
FIRST TEAM SECOND TEAM
P 90 Drew Meyer (So.) 96 Stephen Salata (So.)
K (FG) 94 Kyle French (Jr.) 17 Jack Russell (So.)
KO 94 Kyle French (Jr.) 17 Jack Russell (So.)
LS 56 James McGuire (Jr.) 60 Connor Udelhoven (Fr.)
H 90 Drew Meyer (So.) 96 Stephen Salata (So.)
PR 4 Jared Abbrederis (Sr.) OR 3 Kenzel Doe (Jr.) 9 Jordan Fredrick (So.)
KR 3 Kenzel Doe (Jr.) 27 Kyle Zuleger (Sr.)

Initial observations:

  • Andersen said in his afternoon press conference that the quarterbacks know who will start Saturday, but there will be no public announcement made. Recent indications have pointed toward Stave as the guy, though it seems very likely we'll see both he and Phillips in the early going.
  • That leads nicely to the second point -- this depth chart should be considered as fluid as possible, particularly given the early injuries along the offensive line and the youth in the secondary. That will be one great difference from the Bret Bielema era, where depth charts barely changed week-to-week, save for injuries.
  • Alex Erickson getting that receiver spot behind Abbrederis is a nice indication of how well he performed this spring. Solid production from him will be huge for the offense.
  • All four of those tight ends could also be valuable contributors to the passing game.
  • The offensive line, again, is fluid. Voltz likely would've been the story had he not injured his hamstring, but it appears Lewallen will get early reps there since Voltz still hasn't returned to practice. Ryan Groy moves to left guard, though as we well know, he can play every spot on the line if need be.
  • The defense depth chart is probably even less strict considering the varying looks UW will run out of the 3-4 base scheme. Pat Muldoon and Tyler Dippel are separated by an "OR" at the first end spot, though we'll certainly see a lot of both. Same goes for the linebackers, depending on how many see the field at once.
  • Boy, is that secondary young. Again, Andersen reiterated that there are three starting corners. Still, Shelton is backed up by Jakarrie Washington, and while both have been impressive -- Shelton especially -- there's no total cure for the absence of experience.
  • Special teams is largely unchanged. Andersen said while having Abbrederis return punts "keeps him up at night," it's worth the risk at a unit he's previously called the most important.

More from Bucky's 5th Quarter:

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