Fall camp report, Aug. 12

News and notes from Day 2 at the Bishop O'Connor Center

Whether 7-on-7, 9-on-9 or 11-on-11, Wisconsin's defense feasted upon its offense Thursday.

Reggie Cribbs got the ball rolling with the first of five interceptions, stepping in front of a crossing pattern in the short middle and picking off John Stocco's pass.

A little while later, it was Chuckie Cowans' turn. He jumped an out route and picked off Sean Lewis' pass, with only Matt Bernstein keeping Cowans from the end zone.

Then, Bryan Savage overthrew his intended target, enabling Jim Leonhard to snag the ball.

Scott Starks one-upped the rest, intercepting a Tyler Donovan offering and taking it in for a touchdown.

The play of the day, though, belonged to Johnny White, who made a full extension lunge through the air to intercept a pass that was deflected at the line of scrimmage.

The Badgers' defense also recovered at least six fumbles in such light-contact scrimmage situations (this was day two of two in shorts and helmets), including one Cribbs took in for a touchdown.

Beginning with Cribbs' interception, the defense's euphoria, and trash talking, could not be contained. The unit also had a number of pass breakups, including a couple of impressive plays by freshman Allen Langford. Another freshman, Jameson Davis, nearly had an interception on a deep post pattern, but had it slip out of his hands.

More notes from day two:

  • The offense was not without highlights. Receiver Brandon Williams provided a few, including one catch with Roderick Rogers draped all over him.
  • Anthony Davis is almost too good to be impressive in practice sessions. What he does on a football field should jump out at you but he does it so regularly that it is hard to keep it from becoming blasé in these settings. Davis' speed and vision are always something to behold and two plays in particular stood out Thursday. On the first, Davis took a handoff on a stretch play intended to go to the right but cut back to his left just two steps after receiving the ball. He blew up field and into wide open pastures before the defense had a chance to react. On the second play, Davis took a handoff behind what seemed like a sealed off line, but after a few brief moments, there was Davis, shooting threw a narrow gap and into the secondary.
  • One of the real treats of the first two days of practice has been watching left tackle Joe Thomas go head-to-head with defensive end Erasmus James in scrimmage work. Without pads, this is far from full go action, but the intensity is there. The battle has been a stalemate so far.
  • Joe Monty continued to rotate with James at left defensive end.
  • Perhaps Jack Ikegwuonu has found a position now. Ikegwuonu expected to play receiver at UW, then opened fall camp at free safety Wednesday. Thursday, the Madison Memorial product had moved to cornerback and spent the entire day working with the No. 2 defense, along with fellow freshman Langford. Ikegwuonu's athleticism was impressive. He managed to run stride-for-stride with Wisconsin's receivers on the vast majority of his opportunities. Brandon Williams got a terrific jump on him on one go route, but Ikegwuonu was able to close and break up the pass. It is only one practice, but it was a good start.
  • Chuckie Cowans received a lot of work with the No. 1 defense at corner Thursday.
  • Mike Newkirk received the bulk of the reps with the second defense and most of the reps with the third defense at mike linebacker.
  • Casey Hogan worked in with the second and third teams at free safety, but at this point the free safety depth is following the official depth chart with Leonhard followed by Rogers, Zach Hampton and Hogan.
  • Joe Stellmacher received the majority of the reps with the third defense and some with the second defense at strong safety. James Kamoku also played with the third defense.
  • John Gillen worked in with the third defense at sam linebacker but appears to be the No. 4 at that position, currently behind Mark Zalewski, Paul Joran and Andy Crooks.
  • Marcus Randle El is backing up Jim Leonhard at punt returner.

Badger Nation Top Stories