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Wisconsin NT Olive Sagapolu out for rest of season

Plus Hornibrook still questionable for this week.

Matt Fleming

Unfortunate news coming from the Wisconsin Badgers on Thursday, as UW downgraded senior nose tackle Olive Sagapolu to out for the season on its updated injury report.

Sagapolu injured his right arm during Wisconsin’s 31-17 loss at Northwestern two weekends ago and did not play in the Badgers’ win over Rutgers last Saturday.

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst told reporters on Thursday that Sagapolu had surgery performed on Wednesday.

Sagapolu started eight games this season, recording 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks as the leader of a developing defensive line that often featured redshirt freshmen Matt Henningsen and Kayden Lyles at the end positions beside him.

“He was playing really good,” Chryst said about Sagapolu on Thursday, “and he’s done that for a long time. It’s hard. He played as a true freshman, and I thought he got, I don’t want to say rightfully so, but understandably so got overshadowed with Conor [Sheehy] and Chikwe [Obasih] and Alec [James], but he was playing really well this year.”

The injury also cuts short a productive collegiate career for Sagapolu, the 6’2, 342-pound senior from Pago Pago, American Samoa. Anchoring a base 3-4 defense at a difficult position like nose tackle, he played in 44 games with 26 starts during his four seasons at Wisconsin. He recorded 61 career tackles, 10 for loss, with six sacks and interception.

In replacing Sagapolu like he did against Rutgers last week, true freshman Bryson Williams will assume first-team nose tackle duties. Williams has played in all nine games this season with the one start against the Scarlet Knights.

Still questionable this week are starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook (head), cornerback Deron Harrell (right leg) and safety Scott Nelson (right leg).

Downgraded to out this week against Penn State (11 a.m., ABC) are reserve cornerback Travian Blaylock (right leg) and back-up fullback Mason Stokke (left leg).

Here is the updated injury report:


  • CB Deron Harrell (right leg)
  • QB Alex Hornibrook (head)
  • S Scott Nelson (right leg)

Out for Penn State

  • CB Travian Blaylock (right leg)
  • FB Mason Stokke (left leg)

Out for Season

  • TE Zander Neuville (left leg)
  • OLB Mason Platter (right leg)
  • DE Garrett Rand (right leg)
  • NT Olive Sagapolu (right arm)
  • OL Blake Smithback (right leg)