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Wisconsin football: Safety Austin Hudson leaves team

The Badgers went through positional drills in their second spring practice without Austin Hudson, who has decided to leave the team,

Luke Mueller

MADISON – The Wisconsin Badgers football team practiced on Wednesday for the second time this spring under the lights at Camp Randall Stadium. The players worked in their position groups and went through drills mostly. While there wasn’t much news on the field, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda confirmed after practice sophomore safety Austin Hudson has left the team.

Hudson, a Tampa, Fla., native, enrolled early last season under former head coach Gary Andersen as a safety with great ball skills and noticeable size for the position at 6’2, 190 pounds. Coming in as a three-star recruit, Hudson played in all 14 games last season, notching a career-high four tackles against Maryland. He finished the season with 19 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. The safety was expected to make a push to see more playing time this season, despite the position group having a plethora of returning players and the addition of Tanner McEvoy.

Hudson explained his departure from Wisconsin with BadgerNation's Ben Worgull.

"I have nothing negative to say," Hudson told BadgerNation. "It was a journey I needed to make to understand where I belong and Wisconsin just wasn't the right fit. Football wise it may have been but in terms of what I idealize, the school itself wasn't the right fit."

Hudson also said the transition from Andersen's staff to Paul Chryst's had no effect on his decision.

"The new staff was great," said Hudson. "It had no effect on me leaving ... It was more of a family thing why I wanted to leave and just a culture thing. I just never fit at Wisconsin."

McEvoy practiced solely on defense in the secondary Wednesday night. Aranda mentioned that McEvoy has the possibility to start this year, and stated the former starting quarterback is a vocal leader of the unit. Defensive backs coach Daronte Jones said after practice he hopes to keep the 6'6, 222-pound athlete in his secondary unit, Chryst mentioned Sunday that McEvoy would see some looks at wide receiver.

Practice notes

  • Sophomore kicker Rafael Gaglianone and senior wide receiver Jordan Fredrick did not practice.
  • Freshmen Caleb Kinlaw and Taiwan Deal fully participated after both redshirting last season due to injuries.
  • Junior center Dan Voltz lightly participated after fracturing his leg in the Outback Bowl.
  • Quarterbacks Joel Stave, Bart Houston and D.J. Gillins practiced as one unit. Alex Hornibrook, Austin Kafentzis and Thad Armstrong were the No. 2 unit.

Position changes

  • Senior A.J. Jordan, who was said to have moved to cornerback, practiced with the wide receivers.
  • Sophomore Garret Dooley moved from defensive end to linebacker.
  • Sophomore Keelon Brookins worked at inside linebacker from outside linebacker.
  • Sophomore Natrell Jamerson moved to cornerback, as previously reported.
  • Per new running backs coach John Settle, senior Dare Ogunbowale will stay at running back, "as far as I'm concerned."