Aug. 11 afternoon practice report, part 2

The Badgers practiced in shoulder pads and helmets for Monday's second session at the O'Connor Center.

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Sophomore receiver Brandon White has played very well throughout fall camp. He is a big target at 6-3, 182 and he has solid hands and good athleticism. He put that on display Monday morning, with a spectacular diving reception. White turned in another good practice Monday afternoon, but he is just one of many receivers who is continually impressive.


"(White) had a nice play today," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said. "I can't say he has jumped out more than any of the others. I think the wide receivers have practice well (as a group). If anyone has jumped out it is Brandon Williams. He has been exceptional with everything he has done. He is a guy that has really gotten a lot stronger. He shows up a year ago, he was 20 plus pounds lighter at that time and he was a play maker and he wasn't intimidated. He has taken it to another level."


Williams is not alone. Jonathan Orr has also shown marked improvement and, of course, there is the return of Lee Evans to the corps.


"It doesn't look like (Evans) has missed a beat since the last time he was on the field, a couple of years ago," Orr said.


Along with junior Darrin Charles, the Badgers have a quartet that will warrant plenty of playing time. White's play this fall, however, is a constant reminder that the Badgers have assembled a wealth of talent at receiver. In addition to White and the quartet, Byron Brown and Owen Daniels have also received reps with the Badgers first two offensive units and have played well.


More news and notes from this afternoon's practice session:


  • Wisconsin's tight ends have been admonished as a potential weakness on the Badgers star-studded offense. Monday afternoon, however, the group asserted itself. Tony Paciotti and Bob Docherty each had solid practices, making a handful of very good catches and displaying the ability to get off the line and get open downfield. Jason Pociask, probably the most athletic of the top-of-the-depth-chart ends, played well with Wisconsin's multi-receiver packages.


  • Quarterback Jim Sorgi appears to be putting more zip on the football this fall. He exudes confidence on the field and seems constantly in control during practice sessions. Sorgi is a very good athlete with nice mobility. He will likely not be the type of runner Brooks Bollinger was, but Sorgi has very good feet in the pocket. He is actually quicker and faster than Bollinger was.


  • Reserve quarterback Matt Schabert constantly makes exceptional reads and throws a highly accurate ball, especially on mid-range throws. He threw a particularly nice ball to Byron Brown Monday afternoon, splitting the zone for a 15- to 20-yard reception.


  • Starting left tackle Morgan Davis had a nice practice, moving well and setting up solidly in pass blocking. Alvarez stated at Wisconsin's media day that he was comfortable with the left tackle position and so far that statement appears justified.


  • Joe Thomas appears to be solidifying his spot as the second-team left tackle. Jake Wood is still working at the position, but Thomas took the majority of reps at the position Monday. Wood continues to flex between left and right tackle and looks poised to occupy the No. 2 right tackle position down the road.


  • Reserve wide receiver Travann Hayes turned in the play of the afternoon. Hayes ran an out pattern and got his hands on the ball, but had it jarred loose by a nice hit from cornerback Scott Starks. The ball popped into the air above Hayes, who quickly twisted, reached back in midair and snagged the ball.


  • Jim Leonhard has been flying around making plays throughout fall camp. He made a great play Monday afternoon to rob a long pass-and-catch from Sorgi to Williams. Sorgi delivered a beautiful pass and Williams corralled the ball, but Leonhard timed his hit perfectly and stripped the ball from Williams. Leonhard is one of many Badgers who has exuded emotion since practice began. He has delivered so many jarring blows they have become a mundane part of Wisconsin's workouts.



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