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Badger Bits: Fall camp begins with roster changes

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema addressed the media Monday evening, commenting on the team's recent roster changes and Montee Ball's current status.
Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema addressed the media Monday evening, commenting on the team's recent roster changes and Montee Ball's current status.

Monday marked the beginning of fall camp for the Badgers, and although the media availability only lasted 15 min into practice (just enough to notice Camp Randall's recent renovations and watch the team stretch), it was enough to discover three recent changes to the Badgers' roster.

The first news involves sophomore wide receiver Fred Willis, who decided to quit the team. According to head coach Bret Bielema, Willis supposedly quit because he "lost love for the game."

Besides Willis', most were surprised to find two other Badgers also absent from the team roster. Bielema said Monday that both wide receiver Isaiah Williams and linebacker Cody Byers are still in Madison but currently not part of the team. But Bielema did continue to say that both players will have the opportunity to rejoin the team in a few days. Due to the vagueness surrounding the situation, some media members questioned if Williams' and Byers' punishment was linked to the July 27 fight that UW police say led to the assault of Montee Ball, but Bielema declined to comment.

All three departures (pending possible returns from Williams and Byers) involve reserve players for Wisconsin. Willis wasn't in the discussion to be much of a factor for playing time at wide receiver, but it will be interesting to see the rationale for the punishment of the other two players. Williams is probably the most recognizable name of the three, as he played well in spring practice and figured to battle for time at receiver.

Links after the jump: (including Bielema's comments on Montee Ball)

Bielema couldn't comment much on Montee Ball's legal situation, but said he hopes to get him back in practice (non-contact) sometime next week.

An overlooked aspect of the upcoming season is how the Badgers will replace key specialists on special teams.

Jeff Potrykus reveals 10 questions facing Wisconsin as it enters camp.

Nebraska recently released its alternate uniforms for the early season showdown with Wisconsin. Yesterday the Badgers revealed their similarly-designed (both made by Adidas) unis for the game. See how some of the players reacted.

Here's a photo gallery from yesterday's practice courtesy of BadgerBlitz.com, as well as a report on the first day of fall camp.

It's a much more subtle uniform change than the ones seen with the alternate uniforms, but Big Ten teams will feature the "B1G" logo on their jerseys, beginning this season.