UW notes: offensive line versatility a plus

Badgers can juggle linemen if necessary

For the past three practices—two Monday and one Tuesday—Morgan Davis has taken snaps with the Badgers' first unit at right guard. Davis was the Badgers' starting left tackle a year ago but has spent the bulk of his time in fall camp at right tackle.

Davis' position mobility is indicative of a line that does not have impeccable depth built up quite yet but does have plenty of versatility.

"We have some quality players that we can move," head coach Barry Alvarez said Monday.

In addition to Davis, incumbent starting right guard Jonathan Clinkscale could play center in a pinch, as he did for one half of a 2001 game against Indiana after an injury to Al Johnson. Top reserve Jake Wood is the classic swing lineman, capable of playing four of the five positions. He opened fall camp backing up Joe Thomas at left tackle and spent Monday and Tuesday backing up Lorenz at right tackle. Prior to an injury last spring, he was pushing Clinkscale for playing time at right guard.

"I think some of those guys are versatile but I can't say that we're loaded with depth or have as much as I think we do in the secondary," Alvarez said.

Cribbs solid at mike

Reggie Cribbs won the spring competition to succeed Jeff Mack at middle linebacker and has carried that over to the fall. His backups, true freshman Mike Newkirk and sophomore Paul Joran, are well behind him.

"Reggie's improving, learning the game," Alvarez said. "He missed his whole freshman year so he really hasn't had a lot of reps. Every day is a learning experience for him but he's making progress."

Cribbs spent his first season at Wisconsin rehabbing a stress fracture in his shin.

Alvarez happy with intensity

Alvarez was asked Monday whether two-a-days was the time when fall camp began to heat up.

"We've been pretty intense ever since we put shoulder pads on," Alvarez responded. "Our practices have been very competitive. We've gone against each other and our guys have really gotten after it. (Sunday) was the first day of hitting and I really thought it was an extremely physical practice. And then to pick it up the very next morning, after (Sunday) afternoon's practice where we scrimmaged and turn right around and after a good practice, scrimmage again, have some live work again, I thought the guys responded pretty well.

Alvarez has also been happy with the Badgers' work in competitive situations, which continue to be fall camp's motif.

"We have some type of competition every day, offense against defense," Alvarez said. "After they've worked hard all day and when they're tired and they're somewhat fatigued, then let's go at it, because this will be the similar attitude and similar feeling fourth quarter of a game, when it's going to come down to winning and losing. We're just trying to train them but I like the effort they give us."

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