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.
Wisconsin safety Travian Blaylock went down with a right leg injury today. He was unable to put any weight on the leg and needed help getting off the field. #Badgers say he's being evaluated.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) April 5, 2022
- 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.
LT Jack Nelson dressed but appeared to not work through 11-on-11 periods. UW official said there was no injury.— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKoco) April 5, 2022
1st team from LT to RT: Mahlman/Beach/Bortolini/Furtney/Brown
2nd team: Wedig/Barrett/Sampson/Benzschawel/N. Rucci
- 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.
Graham Mertz on UW’s pursuit of Caleb Williams:— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) April 4, 2022
“It’s the coach’s job to find the best player. What am I gonna say? ‘Oh, I deserve this.’ I don’t deserve anything. I’ve got to prove it every day, prove it’s my job. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’ve always done.”
- 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.
Practice ended with a period involving reserves facing reserves. Last snap saw QB Deacon Hill hitting TE Jack Pugh for a touchdown— Jake Kocorowski (@JakeKoco) April 2, 2022
- 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.
True freshman Avyonne Jones continued to take reps at both safety and cornerback. #Badgers loved his versatility to do both in high school.— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) April 5, 2022
- 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.
Reporters don’t often get to watch #Badgers staffers interacting w/recruits/their families. Former UW center Casey Rabach, who just joined recruiting staff, has been chatting with/entertaining a crew of six. Talking UW/NFL. Lots of laughs. PC picked a good rep to sell UW.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) April 5, 2022