clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Another Badgers TE at risk of not making the roster

The Badgers may be getting even thinner at tight end this season.

There were some surprised feelings around the community when the Wisconsin Badgers did not list either Clay Cundiff or Jack Eschenbach, two of the top tight ends from a year ago, on their fall camp roster.

Cundiff, who was recovering from a season-ending leg injury during spring ball, and Eschenbach, who saw time with the first-team offense back in March, were some of the key veterans on the roster, and reportedly left the team voluntarily, although the reasoning behind the decisions wasn't clear.

They may not be the last of the departures at tight end, as Cam Large may be at risk of not making the roster, as he remains rehabbing from injury as the Badgers begin fall camp.

Speaking to reporters following Monday evening’s practice at UW-Platteville, head coach Luke Fickell shared uncertainty about Large’s situation, given his rehab, but raved about the tight end’s character.

“He’s rehabbing,” Fickell said. “Will he make [the roster?] I’m not positive, but I can tell you this, that he’s doing a phenomenal job. If he doesn’t come back and play football and he wants to coach, I think we would hire him tomorrow. That’s just the way I feel.”

The praise from Fickell is impressive, given the short nature of their relationship, but it appears Large is finding a way to make an impact, one way or another.

“I’ve known him for eight months, and he is incredibly passionate about what he’s doing, and he’s finding a way to make his team better,” Fickell said.

With the uncertainty around Large’s spot on the roster, the Badgers will be going into the season with six tight ends at the moment: Hayden Rucci (fifth-year senior), Riley Nowakowski (redshirt junior), Jack Pugh (redshirt sophomore), J.T. Seagraves (redshirt freshman), Tucker Ashcraft (true freshman) and Angel Toombs (true freshman walk-on).

Rucci and Pugh figure to begin the season as the top two tight ends, as the former was atop the depth chart at times last year due to his blocking capabilities before suffering an injury, while the latter saw some first-team reps during spring ball, leading to a strong review from offensive coordinator Phil Longo.

Earlier this month, Longo shared that Nowakowski proved to be one of the more consistent players during spring ball, which was the reason behind him earning some reps with the top offense.

But, following the departures of Cundiff, Eschenbach, and potentially Large, it’ll be a thinner group for the Badgers at tight end this season.

Badgers fans, we’re pairing with 19nine, who’s selling limited edition vintage Wisconsin gear, to give you all 10% off until August 30th on any purchase! Make sure you go ahead and place an order, with items already on sale as well, with PROMO: “5thQuarter”.