Day 3, Practice Observations

On a warm night in Madison, the University of Wisconsin Badgers practiced in pads for the first time. BN contributor Zach Heilprin was there and he shares some of the highlights.

Under the lights at Camp Randall, the University of Wisconsin football team practiced in pads for the first time this fall.

Wearing helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts, players got their first taste of contact. The defensive line and offensive line went at each other vigorously in one on ones with many players standing out.

Senior left tackle Joe Thomas moved well and stonewalled the opposition during his repetitions. Freshmen Bill Nagy and Jake Bscherer also more than held their own during the action.

On the defensive side freshman Kirk DeCremer and junior Jamal Cooper were tough to stop coming off the edge.

While the story of the first two practices was the many exciting interceptions by the defense, the third practice was all about some amazing catches by the wide receivers.

Luke Swan made two very nice sideline grabs, dragging his feet on both. Later in practice back up quarterback Tyler Donovan dropped a beautiful deep ball right on target to freshman Xavier Harris who had lost his shoe at the line of scrimmage.

In a play that had the whole practice abuzz, junior wide out Marcus Randle-El had a nifty shoestring grab during the team portion of practice.

For the third day in a row freshman Lance Smith impressed with what would have been a long run in a game situation. Smith took the handoff, made a cut, and burst to the outside before finally being bounced out of bounds 45 yards downfield.

Defensively, Ryan Flasch practiced for the first time, and had a solid day with a very nice pass break-up.

Sophomore Allen Langford broke on the ball very well today and had a number of pass break-ups.

Cooper also showed his hands later with an interception during a no-tackle scrimmage near the end of practice.

The team also devoted some time to the punt return game with Randle-El, Zach Hampton, Maurice Moore, and Josh Nettles participating. All caught the bombs that Ken DeBauche was sending their way.

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