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Wisconsin spring practice report No. 6

The Badgers hit hard during the final session before spring break.

Jake Kocorowski

MADISON—The Wisconsin Badgers held one last practice on Thursday morning inside the McClain Center before the university’s spring break starts this weekend.

It was just one of 15 allotted spring practices—technically the sixth overall for the Badgers (two practices were closed off to the media)—but the defensive backs displayed some confidence and physicality during the morning session.

Redshirt freshman Faion Hicks picked off a couple of passes, one in a team drill early in practice and another during a modified team drill session while also having another pass break-up. The second interception came off a pass deflection that wound up in the hands of the South Florida native.

Sophomore cornerback Madison Cone appeared to play quite physically against the receivers and tight ends, defending aggressively and showing confidence on the field. Maybe too physical, but hey, there were no referees around.

Redshirt freshman safety Scott Nelson also laid a pretty good hit on tight end Luke Benzschawel in team drills.

Wisconsin safety Scott Nelson (25)
Jake Kocorowski

Injury list

Two more true freshmen, cornerback Donte Burton and wide receiver Taj Mustapha, were hold out of Thursday’s practice. According to a UW official, safety Patrick Johnson left practice due to an undisclosed injury.

Here’s the running total heading into the week-long break:


FB Jake Collinsworth—Left leg

Out for Thursday

CB Donte Burton—Right leg
CB Dontye Carriere-Williams—Abdominal
WR Danny Davis—Abdominal
OL David Edwards—Abdominal
WR Cade Green—Left leg
WR Adam Krumholz—Right leg
WR Taj Mustapha—Left leg
WR Emmet Perry—Left leg
WR Kendric Pryor—Left leg
DE Garrett Rand—Back
RB Mark Saari—Abdominal
NT Bryson Williams—Left leg

Out for spring (see below from first practice):

Other Observations

  • The “first-team” offensive line, with Michael Deiter, Jon Dietzen out for the spring and Edwards out again for Thursday’s practice, was (from left tackle to right tackle) Cole Van Lanen, Jason Erdmann, Tyler Biadasz, Micah Kapoi and Patrick Kasl/Brett Connors.
  • Don’t worry about Beau Benzschawel, as a UW official stated he was working out rather than participating in practice.
  • Redshirt freshman Kayden Lyles also received some time at left guard and center with the “first-team” towards the end of practice.
  • Quarterback Alex Hornibrook participated mainly in some “skelley” or 7-on-7 drills, but not much, if at all, team drills during the majority of practice. It was primarily the back-ups with Jack Coan, Kare’ Lyles and Danny Vanden Boom seeing action. I recall both Coan and Vanden Boom receiving a good chunk of those reps, with the latter looking pretty good throwing the ball.
  • That included a nice throw by Vanden Boom and catch by Aron Cruickshank near the sideline by the end zone. Cruickshank, for the matter, had a pretty decent day with all of the injuries to the wide receivers allowing him to grab more reps (and receptions for that matter).
  • Both Ryan Connelly and T.J. Edwards did not receive much, if any, team work on Thursday (mostly individual work/drills at the beginning of practice).
  • With Rand out, redshirt freshman Aaron Vopal received many reps with the “first-team” defensive line alongside Olive Sagapolu and Isaiahh Loudermilk. I believe towards the end of practice that walk-on Matt Henningsen received some reps with Sagapolu and Loudermilk as well.
  • Walk-on Tyler Mais intercepted a Coan pass in some team drills.
  • Taiwan Deal contributed a couple of nice runs against the reserves.
  • It also appeared some hitting was allowed on quarterbacks, as outside linebacker Zack Baun hit Coan in team drills, while reserve defensive lineman David Pfaff rushed Vanden Boom and pulled his facemask about 90 degrees towards the end of practice.

On this week’s Bucky’s 5th Podcast, I will have interviews with Sagapolu, Baun and Andrew Van Ginkel, so be sure to check that out when it drops on Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Wisconsin now will have the week off before resuming spring practices on April 3.