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Badger Bits: Phillips returns to practice

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In case you didn't know, it's only the best time of the year right now. March Madness is as unpredictable as ever, fantasy baseball is heating up in tandem with the start of another MLB season, the weather is getting less frigid (for the most part), and college football is slowly returning with spring camps.

The Badgers are no exception- they had their first practice with pads last week, and story-lines are starting to emerge. First, a new wrinkle emerged in Wisconsin's quest for a new quarterback. Curt Phillips has started to practice again after he re-tore his ACL last year. It's only been five months since Phillips had surgery on the ligament, but he took some reps during 7-on-7 drills, according to Jim Polzin or

While he is not completely healthy, the fact that Phillips is practicing instead of sitting for most of spring camp is promising. But it also raises questions. Redshirt sophomore Jon Budmayr is the presumptive starter at this point, but could a healthy Phillips upset him on the depth chart this fall? Vote in the poll below!

I'm too excited about football right now (It's only five months away!), so lets continue with some of the spring camp stories:

The Badgers picked up their second commitment for the 2012 recruiting season. Running back Vonte Jackson of Kenosha-Bradford announced his intentions last weekend, and will join former teammate Melvin Gordon, a running back who joined the Badgers after previously committing to Iowa.

I'll be keeping tabs on this one in particular: 24 year old Greg Russo is auditioning at linebacker for the Badgers after serving two tours of duty in Iraq. Russo is from the Milwaukee area, according to Polzin.

Sophomore guard Ryan Groy is taking a few reps at center, according to Polzin. Bielema said Groy has the ability to play anywhere along the offensive line.

Brian Lucas of has a piece about UW tight end Manasseh Garner, where they discuss his position change, among other things.

Wisconsin wide receiver Marquis Mason was interviewed by WKOW, so be sure to check out the video!

Wrapping up the football links, check out Bielema's brief session with the media following practice.

Moving on to basketball:

Tom Oates says the Badgers need to diversify their offense if they want to go further in the NCAA tournament.

Jeff Portykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says the Badgers will need to fill the void left by departing seniors Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil.

Have a great day!