The Wisconsin Badgers returned for their 12th practice inside Camp Randall Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Quarterbacks Bart Houston and Alex Hornibrook continued working interchangeably with both the first- and second-team offenses in their competition to be named the starter.
Houston, the fifth-year senior, looked a little better than Hornibrook on the afternoon, but as head coach Paul Chryst mentioned on Monday, both have areas to work on.
Houston’s velocity and “spin” stands out in person, especially today — though he threw a bad interception in team drills. The ball sailed over wide receiver Robert Wheelwright, and safety Keelon Brookins made the easy pick to return the other way.
The California native was also picked off after Wheelwright dropped the initial pass, tipping it in the air into redshirt sophomore linebacker Ryan Connelly’s hands. Houston did complete a nice pass to running back Corey Clement out of the backfield during field drills.
In both quarterbacks’ defense, they weren’t helped much by some drops by their receiving targets (more on that below)
- For full stats, see recaps from the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway’s and BadgerNation.com’s Ben Worgull ($).
- Arrington Farrar and D’Cota Dixon received reps with the first-team defense opposite Leo Musso.
- True freshmen Sam Brodner (running back), Aaron Maternowski (fullback), Jake Hescock and Luke Benzschawel (tight ends) appeared to receive some reps with the second-team offense.
- True freshman wide receivers A.J. Taylor dropped a few passes today. He did come back with a nice 30-plus yard catch on the left sideline during modified team drills.
- It wasn’t just Taylor, however. A handful of drops by other receiving targets hampered some effectiveness of the offense.
- Another true freshman, nose guard Garrett Rand had the physical tools coming in to UW to make an impact early on. As noted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jeff Potrykus, Rand worked with the No. 2 defense.
New to the list included the following Badgers OUT:
- RB Dare Ogunbowale (right leg)
- FB Austin Ramesh (right leg)
- FB Alec Ingold (right leg)
- WR Henry Houden (head)
- WR Kendric Pryor (left arm)
- OLB Jake Whalen (right leg)
- Safety Keelon Brookins (groin) — practiced and made an interception
- Running back Taiwan Deal (right arm) — no contact jersey
- Inside linebacker Nick Thomas (head) — back with no contact jersey
Here’s the full list:
#Badgers practice over. ILB TJ Edwards was walking without a boot today but still out. New additions to injury list: pic.twitter.com/hm4JVwP7YC— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKocoB5Q) August 17, 2016
Leon Jacobs took reps with the first-team in Ramesh and Ingold’s absence. According to UWBadgers.com’s Andy Baggot, the senior was granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA that will allow him to play another year beyond 2016.
Left guard Dan Voltz and right tackle Jake Maxwell were held out today for rest. As noted by Galloway, Maxwell was in a boot. The first-team offensive line looked like the following from left tackle to right tackle:
- Ryan Ramczyk, Micah Kapoi, Michael Deiter, Beau Benzschawel, David Edwards
I had the chance to see Edwards in person during player availability today — if he’s at 290 now, he can definitely add more weight and fill out even more.
In brighter news, inside linebacker T.J. Edwards was walking without a boot this afternoon, but was still out. Edwards confirmed he broke his foot during summer conditioning. He led the team in tackles last season with 84, as he, Jack Cichy and Chris Orr look to build off of their successful 2015.
Running back depth chart
UWBadgers.com’s Andy Baggot mentioned in his Three Takeaways episode on Wednesday that redshirt sophomore running back Taiwan Deal appears to have become the second running back behind senior Corey Clement (h/t Jason Galloway).
“Fullback [rotation] is up in the air, but a healthy tailback rotation will feature Corey Clement, Taiwan Deal and Dare Ogunbowale, in that order,” said Baggot.
Expect Ogunbowale, who was named team captain, to still be a huge contributor to the offense as a rusher, a pass blocker and out of the backfield as a receiver. The Wisconsin Sports Zone Network’s Zach Heilprin mentioned when talking with running backs coach John Settle that the former walk-on would be used on third downs during passing situations.
The Badgers practice twice on Thursday, with both closed to the media. B5Q will be there on Friday providing you more coverage.