The Wisconsin Badgers started their last week of spring practice with a scrimmage on Sunday inside Camp Randall Stadium. According to many media reports, many players -- including junior running back Corey Clement and redshirt freshman T.J. Edwards and D.J. Gillins -- stood out.
Before practice started, Wisconsin men's basketball coach Bo Ryan stopped by to talk with the team. Apparently, Ryan used to sling the pigskin around back in his day.
Clement, Gillins, Traylor have good days
The scrimmage showcased highlights by players on both sides of the ball, as noted by BadgerNation.com's Ben Worgull ($) and Badger247's Evan Flood ($). Clement, who is the undisputed No. 1 running back on the roster, had a solid day on the ground. ESPN Wisconsin's Zach Heilprin reported the rest of the running backs did not have as much success against the Badgers' defense, only gaining 46 yards on 27 attempts, unofficially.
Corey Clement finished unofficially with 95 yards on 10 carries & 2 TDs. Alex Erickson with 5 catches for 95 TD. Krenwick Sanders 5 for 79— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) April 19, 2015
Many in the media tweeted about Gillins' solid day as well.
TJ Edwards, Krenwick Sanders, DJ Gillins all did well during scrimmage today. Shelton had another pick too. #Badgers— John Veldhuis (@JohnVeldhuis) April 19, 2015
#Badgers with final scrimmage before Sat’s spring game. QBs Stave 11-18 1 TD, Gillins 4-6 2 TDs, Houston 6-10, Hornibrook 2-8, Kafentzis 2-4— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) April 19, 2015
Senior tight end Austin Traylor put together another solid effort on Sunday. Both Heilprin and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus were impressed with the "Y" tight end, as he hauled in some solid passes.
Though some shined on Sunday, the offense did sputter and look sloppy at times:
Offense did some good things in #Badgers scrimmage but had 11 total penalties, including 9 false starts and personal foul at D's 10-yd line.— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) April 19, 2015
Edwards, defense came to play as well
The most concerning position group heading into spring camp very well might have been the inside linebacker position. With the loss of Derek Landisch and Marcus and Michael Trotter, the only player with significant on-field exposure was junior Leon Jacobs. It appears Edwards, who redshirted last year despite showing some flash during summer camp, has taken steps to solidify the second inside linebacker position.
ILB T.J. Edwards primed to breakout in 2015. Had another huge day for the No. 1 defense. #Badgers— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) April 19, 2015
Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, when asked about Edwards, noted the progression throughout the spring, as reported by Heilrpin:
"He's playing well," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said. "He's put some consistent days together. I think there has always been flashes with T.J. The biggest improvement he's made is he's reduced the negative plays. The plays where he knew he should been somewhere and he recognized it right afterwards. There were a lot of those. And those have gone away. We'd like to be able to eliminate them all.
It wasn't just Edwards who had a solid effort. BadgerBlitz' John Veldhuis noted junior cornerback Sojourn Shelton intercepted yet another pass Sunday, and many saw the entire defense make some plays as well:
Defense was outstanding again – 9 sacks, a number of pressures, three picks, few prolonged scoring drives #Badgers— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) April 19, 2015
Other highlights and notes from Sunday
Interesting: Inoke Breckterfield says when Goldberg comes back he'll play at DE with Sheehy at NG. #Badgers like what Sheehy brings to NG.— John Veldhuis (@JohnVeldhuis) April 19, 2015
UW RBs coach John Settle said Taiwan Deal has closed the gap on Dare Ogunbowale for the No. 2 spot behind Corey Clement.— Jason Galloway (@Jason_Galloway) April 19, 2015
Settle called that No. 2 spot the only true competition at RB.— Jason Galloway (@Jason_Galloway) April 19, 2015
Settle also said he's been impressed with Deal's toughness. Said he's been practicing with a pulled quad and hasn't missed a rep.— Jason Galloway (@Jason_Galloway) April 19, 2015
Settle does not expect Jordan Stevenson or Bradrick Shaw to compete for No. 2 job in fall but said he "never puts boundaries on anybody."— Jason Galloway (@Jason_Galloway) April 19, 2015
Talked to #Badgers DL coach Breckterfield. Said Waupaca's Zander Neuville has caught his eye with play/tenacity.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) April 19, 2015
Interesting to note that #Badgers QBs, except for Stave, were tackled today. Houston and Hornibook took hard shots.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) April 19, 2015