Spring practice report, April 4

News and notes from Sunday afternoon's practice at Camp Randall Stadium

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  • As a group, Wisconsin's receivers had a rough day, making the fine play of Jonathan Orr and Owen Daniels that much more impressive. Orr made a number of sparkling catches on deep passes, including a pair of leaping catches along the sidelines. His most impressive play came when he fended off Chuckie Cowans' blatant pass interference with his left arm and made a one-handed catch with his right.

 

  • Daniels lined up as a tight end, slot receiver, split end and U-tight end (H-back) Sunday and made plays all over the field. He will likely pose a matchup problem for opposing defenses in the fall because of his versatility, athleticism and savvy. He also just might have the best hands on the team, with the exception of Brandon Williams, who has not practiced this spring. Daniels made a number of athletic plays to go up and get passes against tight coverage. On one such catch, he twisted backward in the air for a pass that was thrown a little short and somehow came down with it. Another impressive play came on a straight go route from a split end position. Daniels beat a corner down the sideline, then leapt over the top of him, snagged the pass, took a hit from a safety and held on for about a 35-yard gain.

 

  • Daniels ran a number of seam and go routes Sunday, as did many of Wisconsin's receivers and tight ends. Earlier this weekend, on the other hand, the Badgers worked frequently to get the ball to Daniels on screen passes from both a tight end and slot position. He has looked fluid in every task the team has asked him to perform.

 

  • Jason Pociask, who had been relatively quiet in recent practices, showed decent speed on a deep corner route, getting behind the coverage for a big play.

 

  • Joe Thomas returned from the Texas Relays and resumed play with the first-team at left tackle. He took every snap at that spot, while Morgan Davis and Mike Lorenz split time at right tackle.

 

  • Joe Monty missed practice, giving Mark Gorman reps with the first team at defensive end. Gorman played well, with a sack and a few quarterback hurries.

 

  • Justin Ostrowski moved from defensive tackle to end to fill in for Gorman on the second-team defense with Lyle Maiava joining Kalvin Barrett at tackle. Ostrowski played end when he first joined the team in fall camp last season, but was shifted to tackle during the year. Sunday was the first time he played end this spring, certainly as result of the team's thin numbers at the position. It is conceivable, though, that Ostrowski could serve as a top reserve at tackle and end in the fall.

 

  • Johnny White had a very strong practice, snuffing out a screen pass to Booker Stanley for minimal gain and breaking up three passes.

 

  • Scott Starks had an interception and a diving pass breakup Sunday.

 

  • Reggie Cribbs showed very good range breaking up a pass about 15 yards down field near the far hash marks.

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