Spring practice report, March 27

News and notes from Wisconsin's seventh practice this spring

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The Badgers worked out at Camp Randall for about 90 minutes Saturday afternoon. A few hundred more people than usual watched practice, which was part of the program for the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association's annual football clinic, a three-day event that wrapped up Saturday.


  • Joe Thomas was the first-team left tackle Saturday. After rotating in on the left side throughout the spring, Thomas played primarily with the first unit during Friday's live scrimmage work, particularly in the jumbo set. He then spent all of practice Saturday with the first unit. Thomas locked down on whoever he needed to block and was dominant as both a run blocker and pass blocker. Morgan Davis took the bulk of the reps at right tackle, with Mike Lorenz working in on the right side. The competition at the tackle spots is supposed to play out throughout spring but it would be quite a surprise if the starting tackles in the fall are not Thomas at left and Davis at right. The Badgers' depth in this scenario would be outstanding. Danny Kaye has looked very good this spring and spent all of Saturday as Thomas' backup at left tackle. Lorenz will likely play tight end in Wisconsin's jumbo set in addition to backing up Davis at right tackle.


  • Brandon White continues to take advantage of the opportunity that he has been presented with while Brandon Williams and Darrin Charles are out with injuries. White is clearly the No. 2 receiver on the field right now, just behind Jonathan Orr and ahead of second-year players Ernest Mason and Brandon Tobias. White looks like he is putting it together this spring. Wisconsin threw a lot of deep passes in scrimmage work Saturday and White was able to get separation and made some good plays on the ball. His play has not come without a hitch, or sporadic drops, but he looks much improved. One sequence Saturday was telling. White ran a short out and had to adjust for a low pass. He slid to the ground and tried to cradle the ball but instead had it ricochet rather strongly off his chest. Two plays later the Badgers ran the same play and again White had to make an adjustment, but this time he reached up and behind him while sliding to the turf and snagged the ball out of the air. White also made a very pretty leaping one-handed catch over the middle.


  • As for the quarterbacks, Tyler Donovan has thrown the most consistent deep passes this spring.


  • Sean Lewis worked often out of the shotgun Saturday. Lewis' best play came when he faced heavy pressure and still hit Brandon Tobias in stride running on a deep route down the sideline.


  • Matt Bernstein had the biggest hit of the day, delivering a block that knocked Robert Brooks five yards backwards. On the next play, Bernstein pancaked the defender he locked up with. He also had a nifty 10-yard run up the middle. 


  • Ben Strickland continues to receive quality reps with the second defense and looks like the clear No. 5 cornerback at this time. The most memorable play he was involved in Saturday, though, was when reserve fullback Greg Root decleated him to spring Dwayne Smith for a touchdown run down the sideline.


  • Reggie Cribbs worked in with the first-team defense at mike linebacker, though Brandon Kelly continued to receive the bulk of those reps. Walk-on Adam Purcell played a couple series with the first defense at sam linebacker but still worked out primarily with the third team.




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