Big Ten Kickoff: Barry Alvarez Verbatim, Part 2

Badger Nation's coverage of the Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon continues with the second edition of Alvarez comments to the media.

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Jim Sorgi will be our quarterback. He has played a lot of football for us and he has had the opportunity to start a few games, with Bollinger being injured. His strength is his throwing. He is a natural thrower, he has a nice touch on the ball, particularly down the field. So I think that is a good combination with Jim and the receiving corps that we have.


Our interior people have experience and one of our tackles, Mike Lorenz, played a lot of tight end for us last year, which gives him experience. Our only inexperience is at the left tackle spot and I think we have good competition.


So all and all I feel good about our offense. I think we can have a very productive offense. We just want to pick up where we left off a year ago.


Defensively, our front seven should be very strong. Probably the most athletic and fastest we've ever had. Anttaj Hawthorne has the chance to be a special player. He has excellent speed. He's just a good football player.


Our two linebackers, Jeff Mack and Alex Lewis, both started last year. You could tell a difference in our football team when Mack wasn't there—he missed five games with injuries. When he is in the lineup, we become a much more physical group and a group that plays with much more confidence because of his awareness. I think that will be one of our better linebacking pairs in a while.


Our secondary returns three of four starters. Probably one of the best stories in college football last year was Jim Leonhard. A walk-on, a sophomore for us, really a little undersized. We list him at 5-9, he may not be 5-9. He led the nation in interceptions, broke a school record in interceptions and broke a school record in punt returns. He is just a playmaker. He is a phenomenal, phenomenal athlete. He was voted by his teammates as the Most Valuable Player as a sophomore defensive back.


One of the biggest question marks on our football team will be punter. R.J. Morse was our punter for a year and a half. He will be going into his junior year. He has been very inconsistent, but hopefully he matures. But we have some other people who will be in competition with him, so hopefully that competition will pick up.

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