Here are your Badger Bits for Friday, August 13th!
Wisconsin backup quarterback Curt Phillips has been recovering quickly after tearing his right ACL during spring practice, according to Tom Mulhern at Madison.com. After Phillips tore the ligaments in his right knee on March 20th, there was speculation that he might not even be able to play a down of football this season- but Phillips has recovered rapidly enough that he has participated in almost all of the team's drills during fall camp. Phillips gives most of the credit to the UW training staff for speeding up his recovery, especially strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert:
"‘Herb’ was working on me one-on-one," Phillips said. "I’ve always been a pretty fast healer, but we were definitely getting after it."
Phillips' speedy recovery, barring any setbacks, would be a huge boost to Wisconsin's depth chart at quarterback. Without Phillips backing up Tolzien, the Badgers are lacking a player with any experience at the college level. Redshirt freshman Jon Budmayr is currently the number two backup to Scott Tolzien, but Budmayr has yet to play a down at the college level. True freshman Joe Brennan and walk-on junior Nate Tice will sort out the third string spot during fall camp. Having Phillips back for even part of the season would take a lot of pressure off of Tolzien, and give Wisconsin's young dual-threat quarterback a change to build up some more game experience during Tolzien's final season at the college level.
Phillips' injury has also given him a chance to shake the stigma of being more valued for his legs than his arm:
"It seems like guys are coming back and being ready to go," Phillips said of other players returning from torn ACLs. "But to be honest, I’m pretty excited about it. I can no longer be labeled as ‘that running quarterback.’
"Now, I can work on some of the other things that might be labeled as a weakness."
More Badger news after the jump!
Fall camp continues for the fifth day today, as the football team has their first full-pads practice. Yesterday's practice featured a lot of red-zone work, in half-packs. Make sure to check out UWBadgers.com for more videos and pictures from fall camp! You can also check out the report from day three of practice here.
Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema was a guest on ESPN's Scott Van Pelt radio show on Tuesday. Bielema discussed his team's offensive balance, how the schedule plays out for the team, and Scott Tolzien's road to becoming the starting quarterback.
Wisconsin has three of it's famous traditions featured on LostLetterman.com's list of the Top 100 College Football Traditions. The playing of 'Jump Around' between the third and fourth quarter was ranked #10, the fight for Paul Bunyan's axe took #46, and the UW Marching Band's famous '5th Quarter' took home #98.
ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg of the Big Ten Blog has his interview up with Wisconsin safety Jay Valai. Rittenberg has repeatedly mentioned Valai as one of his favorite Big Ten players to interview.
Wisconsin senior linebacker Culmer St. Jean was featured in an article from his home state of Florida. Bielema has called St. Jean one of the players "he can't wait to watch" during the upcoming season. St. Jean took a quiet second place on the team last year with 63 tackles.
ESPN2 has announced that it will carry two of Wisconsin's non-conference basketball games this year, including the annual game with in-state rival Marquette. ESPN2 will also carry the Badgers' Big Ten/ACC challenge matchup against North Carolina State.
And finally, in keeping with 'Wisconsin Week', the Big Ten network has been airing '100 Years of On, Wisconsin!' In case you can't catch the program during it's regular schedule, here is the YouTube version.
22 days until kickoff!