MADISON—You could call Wisconsin’s quarterback “Air Alex” after Wednesday’s practice on the field just north of Camp Randall Stadium.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw the ball well during the Badgers’ fifth practice of fall camp, especially in team drills.
B5Q had the southpaw completing 11 of 14 passes in those 11-on-11 sessions, with two long completions to UW wide receivers. It appeared the “first-team” offense faced the “second-team” defense on Wednesday in team drills, but with the depth on defense—especially at defensive end, linebackers, and cornerback with starting-caliber or potential contributing players for this squad at the very least—it was a strong performance.
During the first set of team drills, senior wide receiver George Rushing reeled in the deep throw from Hornibrook in stride. The second big throw from Hornibrook involved redshirt senior wide receiver Jazz Peavy pulling a double move during the second-team session against the secondary. Hornibrook placed the ball perfectly for the master of the “Jazz sweep.”
One member of the Wisconsin defense pointed to the wide receivers when asked who from the offensive side of the ball has impressed so far.
“They’re doing a phenomenal job,” safety D’Cota Dixon said. “They’ve gotten craftier with their routes. They’re definitely getting better with their stems and the way they’re making things look like they’re not supposed to, and they’re running good routes. They're running pretty routes and it’s only day five of camp, so I can’t wait to see, you know, against opponents, how they’re going to put it all together, so it’s fantastic. Our receiving corp is really good.”
Edwards with another interception
The first-team defense looks the part so far in camp. In team drills and facing the second-team or reserves on offense, B5Q had only one completion among 11 or 12 pass attempts by freshmen Karé Lyles and Jack Coan.
Redshirt junior inside linebacker T.J. Edwards intercepted another pass during Wednesday’s practice. Working alongside Jack Cichy as the inside ‘backers for the first-team defense, that’s the third pick so far for Edwards this fall. This one was off of Hornibrook in skeleton drills between the two team sessions, when there appeared to be some
“I think we’re really taking coaching well, whether it being from [defensive coordinator Jim] Leonhard or [inside linebackers coach Bob] Bostad,” Cichy said. “We’re all kind of really taking it upon ourselves, and this camp is a lot more spread out. We got a lot more down time, so I think we’re using that all really to study up on concepts—not only just on plays, but just football concepts and offensive concepts—so we got to be better all-around players, so I think that’s really helped him.
“I think he’s had a couple that his interceptions have been rewarded because he’s in the right place, his technique’s good, and he’s really taken upon himself to learn just where and what to be.”
Freshman wide receiver Deron Harrell (left shoulder) returned to practice on Wednesday. Both inside linebacker Griffin Grady (illness) and safety Scott Nelson (left leg) missed practice again.
- It should be noted that both Coan and Lyles fared better in the skelly drills, which are essentially 7-on-7 drills with the skill-position players.
- Practicing punt returns on Wednesday were Peavy, cornerback Nick Nelson and wide receivers Kendric Pryor, Jack Dunn, Cade Green, and Danny Davis.
- A UW official confirmed to B5Q that inside linebacker Chris Orr received his medical hardship, allowing him to be a redshirt sophomore for the 2017 season with three years of eligibility left. Orr injured his knee on LSU’s first offensive play in the 2016 season-opening win against the Tigers and was out for the remainder of the season. The Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway first reported this earlier on Wednedsay.
- Practice resumes Thursday morning at 8:25 a.m. CST.
[Update 9:22 p.m. CT — just clarified that it appeared the “first-team” offense went up against the “second-team” defense in team drills, but as seen with the Edwards interception against Hornibrook, there was some ones vs. ones action]