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Wisconsin football: Joel Stave stays at starting quarterback; position changes shown during first spring practice

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The Badgers opened their spring practice schedule with an outdoor session on Sunday. Joel Stave is still the starting quarterback, and it appears several position changes are afoot.

With all the spotlight on the men's basketball team, the Wisconsin Badgers football program started (quietly, somewhat) its spring practices Sunday afternoon.

Among the biggest news: a starting quarterback was named and a few rumored positioned changes seem to be coming to fruition.

Joel Stave is Wisconsin's starting quarterback

Many believed former starting quarterback Tanner McEvoy would be transitioning to another position (which is the case -- more on that later). Even before the official word of McEvoy's position change, Stave was the projected starter based on his 21-7 starting record. Now, he's only Badgers signal caller with significant on-the-field experience.

The Wisconsin State Journal's Andy Baggot noted Sunday that senior Thad Armstrong, along with true freshmen Austin Kafentzis and Alex Hornibrook, were in the rotation.

Position changes

McEvoy worked at safety during practice, but it appears that a return to the offensive side may be in store, but not at quarterback:

The former JUCO transfer rushed for 574 yards and six touchdowns while averaging 8.8 yards per carry last season. McEvoy's athleticism allowed him to play on defensive coordinator Dave Aranda's defense in 2013 and during the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day. His presence on both sides of the ball could be a significant factor in 2015, especially as a receiving target until a second wideout steps up to complement senior Alex Erickson.

Walk-on sophomore Connor Senger appears to be headed to the receiver position with McEvoy as well, but sophomore Natrell Jamerson will be facing his former position group on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage:

Other news and notes

Here's some more musings presented on Twitter by the media covering practice on Sunday, the most concerning being the status of redshirt freshman inside linebacker D'Cota Dixon:

Dixon still has the ability to start opposite junior linebacker Leon Jacobs at inside linebacker, but his chance to compete on the field will have to wait until summer camp. This could open the door for redshirt sophomore Jack Cichy, redshirt freshman T.J. Edwards or true freshman Nick Thomas to gain valuable reps with the first-team defense in the next month.