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Wisconsin football: spring practice news and notes

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Some updates from the past handful of spring practices in Madison.

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

As we have noted before, we don’t have anyone attending Wisconsin’s spring practices this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t parse through some tweets from the reporters that are there and find some nuggets of news! Let’s take a look at some of the news from the past few practices that the media has been able to attend.

  • Safety Travian Blaylock injured his right leg on Tuesday and it sounds like he’ll be out for the rest of spring. That’s a big blow to a safety group that was already a little thin on bodies. Blaylock and been running with the first team with John Torchio and now, one would imagine, that Hunter Wohler will step in with the starters.
  • Presumed starting left tackle Jack Nelson was held out of practice earlier this week with an upper body injury. Redshirt freshman Riley Mahlman took his spot with the starting five on the o-line. Redshirt sophomore Trey Wedig was the LT with the second unit.
  • While there were many questions about starting QB Graham Mertz’s play on the field, his maturity and leadership off the field has never been questioned. Reading Mertz’s quotes on Wisconsin’s interest in transfer QB Caleb Williams (now at Southern Cal) showcase his maturity and mindset. Our pal Jake Kocorowski over at BadgerBlitz has a great post ($) on Mertz, and the quarterbacks in general, which reinforces that Mertz is working harder than anyone to make sure this season is a successful one.
  • Chase Wolf is the presumed backup QB this season, but it would be great if redshirt freshman Deacon Hill could push Wolf for that job. Like they always say, the most popular guy on the team is the third string quarterback who might overtake the backup quarterback on the depth chart if he takes a huge leap this offseason.
  • Another potential solution to the depth at safety (if Blaylock is to miss an extended period of time) is early enrollee Avyonne Jones. Listed as a cornerback on the spring roster, Jones has been taking reps at safety all spring and played both positions at Southlake (Texas) Carroll High School. With the three new transfers at corner, playing some safety might be Jones’ quickest way onto the field as a freshman.
  • While it has taken longer than anyone would like, the Badgers are filling out, and beefing up, their recruiting department slowly but surely. Former Wisconsin center, and native of Sturgeon Bay, Casey Rabach is the newest member of Mickey Turner’s recruiting team. Rabach played 137 games in the NFL for Baltimore and Washington from 2001 to 2011.