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Wisconsin spring practice report No. 2

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Our recap from Thursday’s practice.

MADISON — The Wisconsin Badgers returned to the McClain Center on Thursday morning for their second spring practice.

Adding onto the first injury report given to us on Tuesday, three more players did not practice on Thursday: inside linebacker Chris Orr (illness), right tackle David Edwards (undisclosed), and nose tackle Garrett Rand (undisclosed).

Here’s what I saw in the second of 15 spring sessions:

It appeared David Moorman received “first team” reps with the offensive line while Edwards was out. I did not see Patrick Kasl again, and according to a UW official, that’s due to him leaving practice early on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though he does not miss those sessions entirely.

Other reports noted Aaron Vopal worked in with the “first team” with Rand out. This weekend, I’ll publish my interview with defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield. The Wisconsin assistant and I spoke for about eight minutes on Thursday about reloading a defensive line losing key contributors Alec James, Conor Sheehy, and Chikwe Obasih.

I believe I saw Griffin Grady in at inside linebacker alongside Mike Maskalunas with Orr out as well.

Observations

  • I thought the defensive players asserted themselves well in some of the 7-on-7 drills against the offense. It appeared outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel had a nice pass break-up against quarterback Alex Hornibrook, while will-be redshirt sophomore cornerback Caesar Williams played well with at least one pass break-up that I saw.
  • After practice, will-be senior Olive Sagapolu worked with true freshman nose tackle Bryson Williams. Breckterfield noted how Sagapolu has already taken the reins as one of the leaders of the position group, along with Rand and Isaiahh Loudermilk.
  • Regarding Williams, Breckterfield said he’s “explosive” and ready physically and mentally. It’s now about getting him up to task by honing fundamentals and techniques, which will be worked on this spring into the summer and fall.
  • After practice, I noticed Jack Dunn, Kendric Pryor, Aron Cruickshank and even Eric Burrell and Williams catching punts from the leg of quality control coach and former Wisconsin kicker Taylor Mehlhaff. Apparently, Dunn and Cruickshank were the only two returners during special teams work during the nearly two-hour session itself.