Fall camp report: Aug. 12

News and notes from day three of Wisconsin's training camp

The University of Wisconsin worked out for two-and-a-half hours at Camp Randall Stadium Friday afternoon in what was the first day the team was allowed to where "half packs" — helmets and shoulder pads. As a result, the Badgers had there first real contact work during 7-on-7, 9-on-9 and 11-on-11 drills — just without live tackling.

  • Through three practices, John Stocco is very clearly the Badgers' No. 1 quarterback. Stocco and backups Tyler Donovan and Bryan Savage are all showing improvement but Stocco's lead looks even wider than it did through spring ball.
  • Booker Stanley participated in his first practice of the fall, having served his two-practice suspension for a violation of UW's student-athlete discipline policy. Since it was Stanley's first formal workout, per NCAA rules he had to participate in a helmet, shorts and jersey, while his teammates could wear shoulder pads. Stanley could not take part in contact work.
  • With Stanley temporarily out of the mix, sophomore Jamil Walker is working as the No. 2 tailback behind Brian Calhoun. Walker has performed well so far in camp. He showed a nice burst whether running between the tackles or on the perimeter Friday and he did a good job finishing runs, often getting the better end of the collisions he was involved in. Walker worked in with the first offense Friday and also took considerable reps with the second offense.
  • Dywon Rowan follows Walker on the tailback depth chart, but true freshman P.J. Hill is closing fast. Hill has done a very good job in drill sessions for a new player. He has a good strength/speed combination. He looks comfortable running routes and catching passes and has pretty good hands. Considering he was expected to play fullback, it is safe to say he is one of the early surprises of camp.
  • In drill work, true freshman tight end Jae McFadden's quickness really stands out. He is very nimble for a player at that position.
  • Defensive end Joe Monty has been the first-team left defensive end throughout camp and has played well. He received quite a bit of praise from defensive line coach John Palermo Friday.
  • Palermo also took time to compliment second-team free safety Zach Hampton for the job he did supporting against the run during 9-on-9 work.
  • Ikegwuonu made a very nice play to jump an out route but he could not come up with the interception.
  • In addition to serving as the second-team right tackle, Danny Kaye spent several series as the second-team left tackle. Kraig Urbik did double duty at right tackle in those situations.
  • The linebacker depth was shuffled around significantly at times Friday. Josh Neal continues to be a solid No. 2 at mike linebacker, but both he and third-team mike Paul Joran worked in with the first team, albeit sparingly.
  • Casey Hogan is the primary sam linebacker with the second team, but Travis Beckum rotated in there again Friday. Beckum's first play of 9-on-9 work, he diagnosed a run play, darted into the backfield and stopped Dywon Rowan for what would likely have been a loss of three with full tackling.
  • Neal had the best hit of practice, when he drilled wide receiver Jarvis Minton as the sophomore tried to haul in a pass at the goal line. Neal jarred the ball loose and stunned Minton.
  • Second-team left guard Andy Kemp looked very athletic as he pulled around end and sealed on first-team mike linebacker Andy Crooks, allowing Hill to cut off tackle.
  • It looks like it will take some time for Jerry Butler to get comfortable running between the tackles, but the 5-foot-8, 175-pound true freshman tailback is exceptionally fast. On one run during the 9-on-9 work, Butler ran towards the right tackle, but with a linebacker cutting off his route, he hopped to the outside and burst toward the sideline, leaving the linebacker looking like he was running in quicksand.
  • Butler also showed off his speed when he joined Calhoun, Marcus Randle El and Brandon Williams as a returner for punt return drills. It would be really interesting to see who would win a footrace between Calhoun and Butler.
  • 7-on-7 work started slowly for first-team quarterback John Stocco. His first pass was broken up by Allen Langford along the left sideline. His second pass was a little behind Owen Daniels, who could not come up with it. Stocco's third attempt was again labeled for Daniels, and was a decent enough throw, but second-team strong safety Joe Stellmacher broke it up.
  • After going 0 for 3 against the second defense, however, Stocco settled in against the starters. He completed two straight to tailback Brian Calhoun and then found Jarvis Minton over the middle of the field.
  • In the first 7-on-7 series between the second offense and the second defense, Stellmacher broke up another pass, giving him six passes defended in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 work the past two days.
  • Stellmacher had a less pleasant experience when he stepped up to fill a running lane during 11-on-11 work. Fullback Matt Bernstein had taken a handoff up the middle and bowled Stellmacher over in a collision that was second only to Neal's hit on Minton.
  • During 7-on-7 work Tyler Donovan completed a skinny post to Minton, who made a nice cut after the catch and sprinted up-field for what might have been a long touchdown if the play was completely live.
  • Donovan had Brandon White open on the sideline but corner Levonne Rowan closed on the play and broke it up.
  • Joe Thomas always stands out, but he made a particularly great play Friday, when he got off the line and delivered a crushing block some 10 yards down field.
  • Fullback Bill Rentmeester received a lot of work with the first team offense, backing up Bernstein. Rentmeester played well. He combined with Joe Thomas on one play to clear a huge hole for Jamil Walker. Chris Pressley, who looked to be ahead of Rentmeester on the depth through the first two days of practice, was the No. 3 fullback Friday.
  • Brandon Kelly worked in with the second-team defense Friday, as the No. 3 left defensive end.
  • Jason Chapman split his reps between defensive end and tackle Friday.
  • Luke Knauf played third-team left guard in some segments Friday. His broken right hand had a heavy wrap on it.
  • Tight end Sean Lewis, who had been pretty quiet to this point in camp, made the catch of the day, reaching up to grab a pass in the corner of the end zone despite tight coverage from Stellmacher and Allen Langford.
  • Defensive tackle Mike Newkirk did a very good job recognizing a screen pass and bottling up Calhoun.

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