A day after another potential No. 2 wide receiver was the highlight of Wisconsin's first day of fall practice, senior receiver Jordan Fredrick was making plays all over the field on Tuesday.
During the period of practice open to media, Fredrick beat his defender for a touchdown during 1-on-1 action and hauled in two deep passes in 7-on-7 drills. The first deep strike came from quarterback Joel Stave, who placed the ball perfectly 40 yards down the field after Fredrick gained leverage on safety Leo Musso.
Later, Fredrick got past the secondary and made a late adjustment to haul in a 55-yarder from Stave, falling to the turf as he made the catch. He also caught a 35-plus-yard pass from freshman quarterback D.J. Gillins in the middle of traffic.
At Big Ten media days, Stave said he expects the tight ends to play a larger role in Paul Chryst's offense. Tuesday, sophomore Troy Fumagalli showed great range and hands during position drills, then had five catches in skeleton action. Stave mentioned that senior Austin Traylor is "playing with a sense of urgency" this year, and he continued to progress in the passing game Tuesday with a handful of catches in traffic.
Wisconsin also had its first injury of fall camp as freshman tight end David Edwards sat out with an injured left ankle. He appeared later in practice in a boot and on crutches, but the severity is yet to be determined.
Notes and observations:
• Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said Sunday that the starting inside linebacker spots will go to "the best players." Junior Leon Jacobs and redshirt freshman T.J. Edwards were on the field receiving first-team reps Tuesday.
• Gillins was noticeably inconsistent during quarterback drills, under and overthrowing receivers at times. But once 7-on-7 drills began, he showed his growth with some of the day's best throws. The 6'3 passer displayed a big arm on his throw to Fredrick and a deep corner route to junior Robert Wheelwright. Expect Gillins and redshirt junior Bart Houston to vie for the backup quarterback position.
• Tanner McEvoy was wearing a red jersey and practicing with the offense for the second consecutive day. Chryst announced Sunday that the redshirt senior will play both wide receiver and safety this season.
• In the secondary, Lubern Figaro received first-team reps opposite Michael Caputo at safety. Derrick Tindal appeared to be the nickel back.
• Natrell Jamerson was another name that stood out. The sophomore cornerback made the switch over from wide receiver this spring and saw plenty of action Tuesday. Jamerson fielded kickoffs (all of which were from Andrew Endicott) and had the defensive play of the day on a sideline interception off of Bart Houston -- though he may have been out of bounds.
•Wide receiver George Rushing and Jamerson fielded the majority of kickoff returning duties. Rushing, Robert Wheelwright, Alex Erickson, Corey Clement, Jazz Peavy, Reggie Love and Andrew James all practice returning punts as well.
• Tindal, Musso, Joe Schobert and Darius Hillary all broke up passes during skeleton. Freshman linebacker Zack Baun put his athleticism on display during one-on-one drills with solid pass coverage and a deflection.
• Clement had a catch-and-run of about 30 yards. He slipped out of the backfield on a wheel route and Stave led him nicely for a big gain.
• As the offense ran plays, sophomore Hayden Biegel and freshman Michael Deiter were lined up on the right side. Dan Voltz and Tyler Marz are locks for the starting spots if healthy, and Ray Ball appears to be joining that group. Freshman Jon Dietzen lined up at left guard for the second consecutive day.
• There was no media availability following practice.