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Wisconsin football: Paul Chryst spring practice press conference roundup

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With spring practice starting up, the Badgers head coach provides some answers on his coaching staff and available players for practice.

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl - Wisconsin v Arizona State Photo by David Becker/Getty Images

On Monday, Wisconsin Badgers football head coach Paul Chryst spoke to the media for the first time in months. With spring practice just around the corner (it started on Tuesday morning!) Chryst had a lot to say about his new look coaching staff, which players will be participating or not in spring ball and there were a couple of minor changes on the roster as well.

Here is a roundup of the news from some of the reporters that were there. Through various back channels, we have a copy of the spring roster that hasn’t been sent out to everyone yet or posted on the UW website, despite it, you know, being a thing. Anyways, as Heilprin notes here, OLB Ayo Adebogun is no longer on the team. UW confirmed, to multiple reporters, that Adebogun just doesn’t want to play football anymore.

The biggest positional move is Spencer Lytle moving from OLB to ILB. This will help soften the blow of losing ILBs Jack Sanborn, Leo Chenal and Mike Maskalunas from last year’s defense. Lytle should immediately be in the conversation as a potential starter on the inside and will bring a veteran presence to a young group as well. Ross Gengler switched the other way, going from ILB to OLB.

Garrison Solliday and Riley Nowakowski are both listed as fullbacks now. Speaking of the backfield, Chryst noted that RBs Chez Mellusi, Isaac Guerendo and Brady Schipper will not be participating in spring practice due to injury recovery. Players who could take advantage of the extra reps include Julius Davis, Grover Bortolotti and Jackson Acker.

There was also a reshuffling of the coaching staff announced by Chryst. Chris Haering will move from special teams coach to tight ends coach and offensive coordinator Bobby Engram will be the quarterbacks coach. There will be no one coach specifically assigned to special teams now.

“Then special teams, we’re kind of dividing that up amongst the staff,” Chryst said. “And so we’ll have a number of coaches kind of be the lead coach on each individual unit. We’re not going to have just a specific special teams coordinator.”

Chryst also mentioned that former Badgers Mike Caputo and Jack Cichy are joining the staff in some capacity. Caputo will focus on the defensive side of the ball while Cichy will be on the offensive side. Keller Chryst will help with the quarterbacks as a grad assistant.

Here is what the full coaching staff looks like now after a big offseason of moves:

Paul Chryst - head coach

Jim Leonhard - defensive coordinator/safeties
Hank Poteat - cornerbacks
Bobby April - outside linebackers/defensive run game coordinator
Bill Sheridan - inside linebackers
Ross Kolodziej - defensive line

Bobby Engram - offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Al Johnson - running backs
Alvis Whitted - wide receivers
Chris Haering - tight ends
Bob Bostad - offensive line

As far as who we will be bitching about for play-calling this fall, it’s a little unclear. Chryst said that it will be a collaborative effort during the week to come up with the game plan and which plays make it on to the call sheet, but that Engram will send in the play on Saturdays. You can take a listen for yourself below, his answer starts around the 10-minute mark and in typical Chryst fashion there are a lot of words that don’t really say anything.

Chryst also notes that he thinks Mickey Turner is a “perfect” fit to lead the Wisconsin recruiting department. He said that Turner understands the university and will be able to find the right players for the football team.

If you are a true sicko, here is all 40:42 of Paul Chryst’s presser from Monday morning.