Brandon Harrison/UW Athletic Communications

With starters out for rest, Wisconsin sees some freshmen step up to make plays during its eighth fall practice

True freshmen safeties Eric Burrell and Patrick Johnson flashed during Wisconsin's eighth fall practice. Get the full report, as well as hear from defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and secondary coach Jim Leonhard inside.

MADISON – With seven practices in the book and in the middle of two taxing days, Wisconsin’s staff decided to rest a number of starters for a lighter 90 minute practice on Sunday, giving a number of walk-ons and underclassmen a chance to shine.

True freshmen safeties Eric Burrell and Patrick Johnson made sure to take advantage.

After getting some reps with the second-team defense Saturday, Johnson and Burrell finished practice with a flurry, picking off redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook in the end zone in a span of three plays.

“The multiples (on their plate) grow because you add defenses and the offense adds new plays, routes, splits, motions, and they’ve done a really good job,” defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox said. “The first week is getting integrated, the drill work, technique and the language. It’s really all about cutting down on repetitive mistakes. They’re going to make mistakes. It’s about making new mistakes so we can correct that one and move on to the next one that’s going to come up. Their approach has been great. I’m excited about where those guys are going.” 

To read the rest of the report, you must be a BadgerNation member, as insiders will get a breakdown of all the standout players, exclusive interviews and more in our practice reports

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