MADISON — After some rain early in the morning, the sky opened up to allow the Wisconsin Badgers to practice outside in Camp Randall Stadium on Monday.
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kendric Pryor performed well during what appeared to be red-zone 7-on-7 work, reeling in a few “touchdown” passes (for sure three, but I believe it was four unofficial “scores”).
Pryor scored two would-be “touchdowns” in back-to-back throws from sophomore quarterback Jack Coan early in the first 7-on-7 session.
Later in practice, he also caught a pass in the end zone, to which he emphatically punted the ball after the reception.
During team work, Jon Dietzen and Cole Van Lanen both received snaps at left tackle, so nothing really different came from that position battle on Monday. When the team worked on pass-protection drills during a particular session, Dietzen looked good against the defense.
Speaking of the defense, walk-on redshirt freshman Matt Henningsen took first-team reps with what can be presumed as the first-team defensive line alongside Kayden Lyles and Olive Sagapolu. Fellow redshirt freshman Aaron Vopal, who saw time with Lyles and Sagapolu last week in those practices open to the media, worked with David Pfaff and Bryson Williams on another set of the line.
When asked what Henningsen has done well to earn those first-team reps, defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard told reporters on Monday that it begins with understanding Wisconsin’s defense.
“He knows what he’s supposed to do, and going through last year, I think he took huge strides physically,” Leonhard said. “He got his body in a place where he’s going to put himself in a position to compete, and just the consistency. Just like that whole group has to continue to grow to impact the game like we need them to, but he’s put himself in that conversation of earning big-time reps in a big role this fall. It really just comes through consistency and putting in work.”
Here are some highlights from that red-zone 7-on-7 work:
- Redshirt junior quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who with Coan had a good day, threw a nice reception to Taylor on one of the first passes of the session.
- Redshirt junior inside linebacker Chris Orr, however, did come down with an interception against the southpaw.
- Coan with back-to-back “touchdown” passes to Pryor. He also threw another score to tight end Luke Benzschawel in the back corner of the south end zone.
- During the second set of 7-on-7 work post-team work, Hornibrook found Pryor for a would-be touchdown.
In set-ups similar to what was seen earlier in fall camp, the team was separated into two units with the opposing offenses starting close to midfield and pushing toward opposite end zones. Here are other groupings seen during team or 7-on-7 work (note: not in any order, and there a few I probably missed):
- Cornerback: In nickel, Dontye Carriere-Williams, Caesar Williams, and Madison Cone (Cone inside at slot), Carriere-Williams/Williams, Cone/Deron Harrell
- Safety: D’Cota Dixon/Scott Nelson, Eric Burrell/Seth Currens, Reggie Pearson/Travian Blaylock
- Outside linebacker—Zack Baun/Andrew Van Ginkel, Noah Burks/Arrington Farrar, Christian Bell/Burks
- Inside linebacker: Orr/Ryan Connelly, Griffin Grady/Mike Maskalunas
During practice, cornerbacks Deron Harrell and Cristian Volpentesta suffered apparent injuries (both confirmed as right leg injuries by a UW official). Harrell returned later on, while I did not see Volpentesta come back to the field.
Here’s the full injury report:
Injury report for #Badgers. Also Patrick Johnson (illness) also not practicing. pic.twitter.com/mAtjK6G02G— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKocoB5Q) August 6, 2018
In Alec Ingold’s and Zander Neuville’s absence, Coy Wanner and Luke Benzschawel received reps at fullback and tight end, respectively.
- A Detroit Lions scout was watching practice. Sounds like a couple other NFL teams were at practice on Sunday, which was closed to the media.
- Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez was at practice, along with former safety Leo Musso.
Badgers for life. Brothers for life.— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) August 6, 2018
Great to have Leo Musso back visiting practice today. #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/1jwRjL3STR
- Also seen in the above photo, placekicker Rafael Gaglianone shaved his mustache. I have no words on that topic, though I can say he did not practice—not due to injury, but according to a UW official, it appears the redshirt senior did not have any kicking responsibilities assigned to him on Monday.
Wisconsin returns to the field Tuesday night for an evening practice. Depending upon weather conditions, we will see if UW practices indoors inside the McClain Center or not. B5Q will be there with more coverage and photos.