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Wisconsin football: the offensive line talks to the media

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We’ve got a rough outline of what the two-deep will look like plus a lot more from the UW o-line!

Kelli Steffes; UW Athletics Communications

As spring practice rolls along, the offensive line group talked to the media on Wednesday. We’ve got a preliminary two-deep, a discussion on Logan Bruss’ chatty style of leadership, Kayden Lyles’ recovery from multiple injuries and how some of the young guys are doing in their development.

Joe Rudolph

On the two deep early in spring: “In one word? Competitive. This is about as competitive a group for jobs as we’ve had.”

LT: Tyler Beach, Logan Brown
LG: Josh Seltzner, Cormac Sampson
C: Kayden Lyles, Tanor Bortolini
RG: Jack Nelson, Michael Furtney
RT: Logan Bruss, Trey Wedig

Third group: Riley Mahlman (T), Ben Barten (G), Dylan Barrett (G/C), Blake Smithback (C)

On calling plays last year: “We have a good way of complimenting each other and I’ve always appreciated and enjoyed that.”

Kelli Steffes; UW Athletics Communications

On Lyles: “He is one tough joker, man...I think he has taken a real step forward. His health is much better, his playing strength is better. I’ve appreciated the way he’s approached this spring.”

On Nelson: “There is a physicality and explosiveness that is infectious. I think that is really pushing him into the opportunity. There are some things [to clean up] from the standpoint of fundamentals.”

On Wedig: “There’s a ton of things that show up on tape that he does naturally. But the thing that he needs to do is just let it loose a little more.”

On Brown: “It’s just consistency. Man, he does some things where you’re like ‘wow, holy crap.’ But then there’s some inconsistency.”

On Bruss: “He leads by example. I think he earns a voice by how he plays.”

Tyler Beach

On working at LT after playing RT last year: “The left side has been good. It has been a little bit of a new transition.”

On what he has seen on Brown working at LT: “He has been working his tail off. His biggest thing is consistency, but I’ve seen some pretty spectacular things just out of pure talent.”

On Bruss being a leader, but not being particularly chatty: “I’d say Bruss is more of a quite type of guy...a lot of his stuff is leading by example. I definitely view Bruss as a leader in the room.”

Logan Bruss

Notes that now that he is a senior he has to take over the reins in the o-line room.

Mentions that even with all of the competition for starting spots everyone is helping each other and trying to make the whole unit better.

On players switching positions on the line: “I think it’s beneficial for guys to play with different guys and play in different spots.”

On Wedig: “He’s starting to look a lot more confident in the things he’s doing.”

Kayden Lyles

“I had double hip surgery, one was right before the Rose Bowl and one was in January. I was going through rehab and felt like I was making really good progress. Because of COVID we got sent home. I got sent home right during the peak of my rehab...that was a pretty big adversity hit that I had to go through.”

Kelli Steffes; UW Athletics Communications

“With the knee injury and on top of the hips I definitely feel with the time I’ve had to recover I feel like I’m at 100% right now.”

Says his knee injury (fully torn MCL and tibia fracture) occurred during the first quarter of the Indiana game. Notes that the same injury happened to him during his junior year in high school and because it was the same injury it actually healed faster this time.

On Bruss’ leadership: “I think he’s somebody that leads by example.” Notes that they have “a really good connection” because they are in the same major (industrial engineering) and hang out a lot off the field. Notes that talking football is a lot more fun that talking engineering.

On Bortolini’s progress: “Something that we all struggle with coming in as offensive linemen is getting out of that young mindset. It’s easier for skill positions to go out and preform. As a lineman you have to grow up a lot faster, everything is way more physical. I think that he’s definitely working on that.”

On Nelson: “He gives it his all every play whether he’s right or wrong on the assignment. We definitely need someone like that on the line, not somebody that’s timid. I’ve been trying to work with him on calming down and getting his assignment right because that’s obviously the most important. I think he’s in a really good spot where he’s at right now with contributing and once he gets that down he’s going to be one good player.”