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Wisconsin football: Badgers start 2016 spring football practices

Number changes, injury updates and skill position drills dominated the first practice of spring 2016.

Jake Kocorowski

MADISON -- On a mild Saturday afternoon, the Wisconsin Badgers kicked off their 2016 spring practices outside at Camp Randall Stadium. Players were in just helmets in the 60-degree weather for the two-hour-plus practice.

There isn't much to take away from the first day, but here's who was working with the first-team offense and defense at the end of practice:


  • QB - Bart Houston
  • RB - Corey Clement, Dare Ogunbowale
  • FB - Austin Ramesh
  • WRs - Robert Wheelwright, Jazz Peavy, Reggie Love
  • TEs - Troy Fumagalli, Eric Steffes
  • OL (LT to RT): Ryan Ramczyk, Micah Kapoi, Michael Deiter, Beau Benzschawel, Jacob Maxwell


  • DL - Chikwe Obasih, Olive Sagapolu, Conor Sheehy
  • ILBs - Chris Orr, T.J. Edwards, Jack Cichy (latter played both Orr's and Edwards' positions)
  • OLBs - Vince Biegel, T.J. Watt
  • CBs - Sojourn Shelton, Derrick Tindal
  • Safeties - D'Cota Dixon, Leo Musso

The intriguing call out is Watt appearing to get the starting nod over Cichy at outside linebacker. Biegel acknowledged how Watt will primarily play the "boundary" outside linebacker position, while he'll take over the "field" outside linebacker spot -- a lineup that could help Wisconsin's linebacking corp flourish even more.

"I think that's the best thing for our defense," Biegel said. "I'm bumpin' out to the field, but last year I knew both Joe and my position, so it;s not won't be much of a transition." I'm really excited about what me and T.J. can both bring off the edge from a physicality standpoint, a pass rush standpoint. I think me and him are going to have a lot of fun in the backfield with the quarterbacks."

Jersey number changes

Clement switched from No. 6 to No. 24. Wide receiver George Rushing was back to No. 17, while wide receivers Henry Houden and Ricky Finco switched to No. 82 and No. 86 from No. 41 and No., respectively.

Out for spring

UW confirmed the following players will be out of practice for the spring:

  • QB Kare' Lyles (left hip)
  • DE Zander Neuville (right shoulder)
  • TE Michael Rolfe (right knee)
  • OL Dan Voltz (right knee)

Position changes

The following Badgers have officially changed positions:

  • Leon Jacobs to running back/fullback (noted as a fullback on the roster) from linebacker
  • Serge Trezy to cornerback from running back
  • Lubern Figaro returns to safety from cornerback
  • Keelon Brookins to safety from linebacker

Reggie Love was listed as a wide receiver last year, but did play some tight end.

Injury report

Offensive lineman George Panos (left shoulder) and fullback Austin Ramesh (groin) were limited in practice.

Roster attrition

A UW official confirmed wide receiver Andrew James and defensive lineman Andrew Ruzek have left the team. That adds to the list of players leaving the program since last season, with UW announcing earlier this week that offensive lineman Walker Williams and defensive lineman Arthur Goldberg left the team due to head injuries. Offensive tackle Hayden Biegel left last year due to head injuries as well, while quarterback D.J. Gillins transferred to a community college.

Other notes

  • Madison native and former Edgewood quarterback Bobby Dunn (5'9, 197 pounds) appears to be the No. 3 quarterback with Lyles on the shelf for the spring.
  • There was a post-practice punt-catching competition between the offensive and defensive linemen. Check out the video here.
  • Wisconsin's official spring roster is now up on