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Wisconsin football: fall camp practice no. 13

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The defense shines, #MertzAlert part deux, roster updates, plus the audio from an interview with Jack Sanborn.

After a lighter practice inside Camp Randall Wednesday, Wisconsin returned to full pad action Thursday on the practice field just north of the stadium. With the BTN crew in attendance things seemed ratcheted up a notch. Bucky’s 5th Quarter has the breakdown here.

Injury/Roster news

  • There was no significant changes to players being added in or out on the injury front for guys like Faion Hicks and Isaiahh Loudermilk, but a day after saying he was working his way back to full speed senior pass catcher A.J. Taylor participated more in practice today which is a positive sign.
  • Jake Ferguson was at practice today in athletic gear sporting a new cast on his hand. Ferguson has a torn ligament in his left thumb, and was seen working with trainers on running and catching the ball with the cast on. Ferguson is not expected to miss any game action because of the injury, and could return as soon as tomorrow for limited work.
  • Speaking of Loudermilk, he is expected to see more action next week after being held out all of this week with an arm injury.
  • Danny Davis left practice today with a leg injury. The injury did not appear severe, but it will be interesting to see if he is back out with his teammates tomorrow.
  • Lastly, there were some number swaps today. Nakia Watson switched from No. 25 to No. 14, and Isaiah Mullens moved from No. 90 to No. 99. Both moves were done to allow the players to be in special teams packages.

Team updates

  • Collin Larsh took all of the place kicking opportunities in practice today, and made all but one kick. He seems to have possibly taken control of that competition with a strong week.
  • Deron Harrell and Caesar Williams continue to get reps as the starting cornerbacks with Faion Hicks out with an injury.
  • Junior quarterback Jack Coan continues to get the majority of first team reps and he threw a deep touchdown pass to Jack Dunn. He also stretched the field on a deep ball to Adam Krumholz for a long gain. Beyond those highlights his day was good, but not overly noteworthy.
  • Entering the week as the likely third string quarterback, freshman Graham Mertz parlayed a strong practice yesterday into another one today. Mertz threw two deep touchdown passes, and has looked more consistent all week long as he looks to make a move on Chase Wolf who was up and down Thursday.
  • With a logjam of injuries at the tight end position, senior offensive lineman David Moorman received reps as a blocking inline tight end. Moorman was seen working with Mickey Turner focusing on blocking in that role, and then he was used multiple times in that role during team situations.

Standouts

  • Jack Dunn reeled in a long touchdown in team drills today from Mertz, in addition to hauling in many passes from Coan with the first team. He has had a tremendous fall camp, and has taken advantage of increased reps with A.J. Taylor limited. Dunn is sure handed, very quick in and out of breaks, and has been especially hard to cover on crossing routes over the middle of the field.
  • Zack Baun was able to make a lot of plays today. Baun was seen in the backfield on multiple occasions swallowing up ball carriers for losses, and holding the edge of the defense. After a few practices wearing a no contact jersey last week, he has been a welcome addition to the first team defense.
  • Sophomore Rachad Wildgoose once again had a nice practice. Working as the primary slot defender he made a couple of solid tackles in run support, and also made a nice pass breakup.
  • Mertz had the flashiest day of the quarterbacks this morning, and his deep touchdown throw to Aron Cruickshank was perfectly in stride on a post pattern. He seems to be gaining in confidence.
  • Garrett Rand did a great job along the defensive line. He is so strong at holding his ground and eating up lineman. He also was able to get into the backfield for a would be sack today.