News and notes:
With John Stocco firmly established as the Badgers' starting quarterback, it appears that reserves Tyler Donovan and Dustin Sherer will get significantly more repetitions than No. 2 and No. 3 quarterbacks typically have at Wisconsin in the past.
As for Stocco, he was in a good rhythm for the first day of practice.
All-American left tackle Joe Thomas watched practice in street clothes. He will not take part in drills this spring as he recovers from the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered while playing defensive line in the Capital One Bowl.
Thomas' backup at left tackle, Eric Vanden Heuvel, suited up and participated in position drills, but was not a part of contact work due to an injury he is nursing back to health.
With Thomas and Vanden Heuvel out for the light scrimmage work, Mike Van Someren filled in at left tackle with the first offense.
Jeff Stehle, a converted defensive tackle, played left guard with the second team.
Wide receivers and tight ends
The first group of wide receivers early in practice appears to be Jarvis Minton, Marcus Randle El and Paul Hubbard. The tight ends that spent the most time with first unit were Sean Lewis, Travis Beckum and Andy Crooks.
At first blush, Hubbard is poised to make a tremendous jump this spring. He is UW's biggest receiver and possibly its all-around most athletic player at any position, but he has gone through some growing pains trying to find consistency.
Lewis made a couple of impressive catches during 7-on-7 work.
Crooks and Beckum are a case study in contrast-in-styles. Crooks looks every bit of the 264 pounds he is listed at and is carrying the weight very well. He really looks the part. Beckum looks comparatively tiny at 215 pounds but moves like a wide receiver and has some natural receiving skills.
Receiver Jarmal Ruffin caught a deep pass for a big gain, out-running two defensive backs into the end zone. Ruffin teamed with Minton at times with the first-team offense.
Minton also caught a deep pass.
Randle El made a really impressive catch along the sideline.
Chapman, who started most of last season at tackle but played end in the bowl game, will likely flex between the two positions this spring.
Jamal Cooper, a starter before suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the third game of last season, took part in the non-contact position drills and appeared to be moving fairly well. He did not participate in contact work and most likely will not at any point this spring.
During position drill time, Cooper lined up with the second defense.
Matt Shaughnessy, who started most of last season at end as a true freshman before also suffering a torn ACL, participated in a very light position warm-up early in practice, but otherwise stood on the sideline and watched. Shaughnessy will not take part in any contact work this spring and will only participate minimally in non-contact drills as he continues to rehab his knee.
Tackle Dan Cascone was the lone scholarship player on the third team defensive line. Cascone is listed at 307 pounds this spring, a far cry from the 330 pounds he weighed about a year ago and the 320 he checked in at the beginning of fall training camp last August. He looks significantly more athletic than he did last fall.
Defensive tackle Gino Cruse is not taking part in spring practices in an effort to focus on academics.
Sophomore linebackers DeAndre Levy and Jonathan Casillas have flipped positions, with Levy moving over to the strongside sam position and Casillas shifting to the weakside will spot. They are the favorites to take over for Dontez Sanders and LaMarr Watkins, who have used up their eligibility.
Levy is listed at 220 pounds, while Casillas weighs 208. Both players run very well.
Mark Zalewski remains at mike linebacker for what will be his third straight season in the starting lineup.
During 7-on-7 work, Hodge made a very impressive lunging pass breakup.
Schofield broke up a pass intended for Crooks.
Hampton was a second-team free safety last year, but the Badgers are thin at cornerback and want Carter to progress at free safety.
Strong safety Aubrey Pleasant did not participate Saturday and watched practice in street clothes.
Walk-on Nate Egholm spent some time at strong safety with the third defense.
Ikegwuonu intercepted a pass.
Hampton had a pair of pass breakups late in practice.
Strickland broke up a pass during 3-on-3.
Marcus Randle El, Jerry Butler and Jarvis Minton took turns fielding punts when the Badgers were working on their punt coverage group.