Finally, football is back. Sort of. The Wisconsin Badgers opened fall camp on Monday, following Sunday’s media day festivities. On days such as the past week, when we’re unable to get out to practice ourselves, we’ll do our best to bring you roundups of relevant media analysis and observations from practice.
Full pads are back! After the first four practices were limited with, at-best, "half-pack," Wisconsin players were in full gear on Friday morning.
First day in full pads in the books. UW with a lot of special teams, positional, red-zone and team work.— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) August 12, 2016
No one more excited for first day of full pads than Vince Biegel pic.twitter.com/jQ8refJt2x— Chris Bumbaca (@BOOMbaca) August 12, 2016
All eyes are on the quarterbacks, as Bart Houston and Alex Hornibrook are competing to start against LSU on Sept. 3. On Friday, reports had Hornibrook, the 6’4, 219-pound southpaw, performing better than Houston.
A reminder to all of those watching the quarterback race: it’s still early. Really early. First-day-of-pads early. You cannot deny the progression of the redshirt freshman, however, from the end of the spring to now. He’s firmly in the race to be the starter in 2016.
With Bart Houston struggling, Alex Hornibrook has a solid practice, going 14-for-20 during all his drills, 4 red-zone touchdowns and one INT— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) August 12, 2016
7-on-7— BadgerBlitz (@Badger_Blitz) August 12, 2016
Houston: 0-for-5, 0 TD, 0 INT
Hornibrook: 4-for-6, 3 TD, 1 INT
Houston: 7-for-18, 1 INT, 2 TD
Hornibrook: 10-for-16, 3 TD
#Badgers practice over. A rough day for Bart Houston. 7-18 and a bad INT in team drills and 0-5 in 7-on-7.— Jason Galloway (@Jason_Galloway) August 12, 2016
It appeared that RS FR Alex Hornibrook had the better day of the two quarterbacks. Still a ways to go in that competition though.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) August 12, 2016
Observations on the wide receivers
Replacing Alex Erickson and his 77 receptions from 2015 will be a task for this year’s wide receivers. The position group is talented, especially with the welcomed development of Robert Wheelwright and Jazz Peavy last season, along with Reggie Love and George Rushing blossoming more during the tail end of spring practices.
It will be interesting to see how the true freshmen like Quintez Cephus and A.J. Taylor develop early on, but Cephus — a former basketball recruit — seems to be standing out early on.
Rob Wheelwright, George Rushing and Quintez Cephus all with some tough grabs through various drills.— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) August 12, 2016
Catch of the day from Wheelwright, reaching out with one hand to grab a touchdown. DB coach Jim Leonhard jokingly argued he juggled it.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) August 12, 2016
Saw a spike, a jump shot and a tossing of the ball 50 feet in the air as touchdown celebrations by the WRs today.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) August 12, 2016
Quintez Cephus made right call with football. Just whooped DB's in jump ball 1-on-1's. Scary part, he's got 1 year of varsity WR expeeience.— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) August 12, 2016
Corey Clement, Jon Dietzen added to injury report
Injuries: Keelon Brookins (groin), Jon Dietzen (head), T.J. Edwards (foot) and OL George Panos (shoulder).— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) August 12, 2016
New injuries:— Jason Galloway (@Jason_Galloway) August 12, 2016
Jon Dietzen out (head)
Corey Clement limited (right leg)
#Badgers Corey Clement (hammy) and LG Jon Dietzen (head) did not go Friday.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) August 12, 2016
Corey Clement was limited today with a right leg injury. #RELAX— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) August 12, 2016
T.J. Watt showed off his play-making ability in an inside drill, forcing a fumble by tomahawk-ing the ball out of Dare Ogunbowale's hands.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) August 12, 2016
Leo Musso with the first interception of team drills off Houston.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) August 12, 2016