MADISON — In just helmets and jerseys, the Wisconsin Badgers started their 2018 fall camp on Thursday inside Camp Randall Stadium.
The Badgers performed their normal special teams routines first, then mixed in some 7-on-7 and team work during the rest of scrimmage. During the 7-on-7 drills, they ran two sets of personnel going in opposite directions: the apparent “first-team” offense and key contributors pushing toward the south end zone against a defense of a similar nature. The other offense (looked like mostly reserves) worked toward the north end zone against reserves on defense.
DISCLAIMER: It was the first practice of camp, so obviously personnel groupings and other circumstances can change the depth chart.
However, in what could be the biggest news of the day, redshirt freshman Kayden Lyles worked at defensive end alongside Aaron Vopal, with senior Olive Sagapolu anchoring the nose tackle position in what can be deemed the “first-team” defensive line.
It was hard to discern what exactly constituted the “first-team” defense and who was second at times, as players were moving in and out (again, first day of practice), but any line with Sagapolu would be the starting line on Wisconsin’s defense.
On offense, redshirt junior Jon Dietzen worked with the first-team offensive line at left tackle. With the team interchanging the personnel for snaps, it also appeared Cole Van Lanen worked in at the position.
Here is what I saw with some of those pairings during the late-morning/early-afternoon session (it can be assumed the first pairings are “first-team”):
- Cornerback: Faion Hicks/Dontye Carriere-Williams, Caesar Williams/Madison Cone
- Safety: D’Cota Dixon/Scott Nelson, Patrick Johnson/Reggie Pearson (looked like Eric Burrell and Seth Currens were working with the unit defending the north end zone as I did not see them necessarily with the others, but did not see the pairings in those groups)
- Outside linebacker: Andrew Van Ginkel/Zack Baun, Tyler Johnson/Christian Bell
- Inside linebacker: T.J. Edwards/Ryan Connelly; Chris Orr, and Mike Maskalunas were paired together, but they were part of the defensive crew defending the north end zone.
For a second defensive line unit, true freshman Bryson Williams locked down the nose tackle spot with David Pfaff and walk-on Matt Henningsen at ends.
- Running back Garrett Groshek (right arm) — had a cast around right hand/wrist
- Defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk (left leg)
Out for season
- Garrett Rand (right leg)
- Running backs Jonathan Taylor, Groshek, Bradrick Shaw, and Nakia Watson were practicing running routes at the beginning of practice with Paul Chryst watching.
- True freshman Travian Blaylock worked at safety, working with both Dixon and Nelson in the defensive backfield at times.
- Tight end Kyle Penniston caught a couple of nice passes.
- A nice reception from wide receiver Jack Dunn on a throw to the left front corner pylon of the south end zone from the arm of Alex Hornibrook.
- Many wide receivers—Dunn, Cade Green, Danny Davis, Kendric Pryor, Aron Cruickshank, Mike Gregoire—worked on catching and returning punts during the early portion of practice.