Fall Camp Report: Aug. 15 Morning Practice

One quarterback looked particularly sharp in Tuesday's first practice. Found out who it was, who else stepped up and who else has a ways to go during camp.

The Wisconsin football team met early Tuesday morning for the first of the day's two practices. The players donned full pads in the mild morning temperatures at Camp Randall.

The team began with positional drills before a nine-on-nine session, a five-on-seven session, a pair of scrimmage sessions, red-zone practice and goal line practice.


Junior Tyler Donovan carried over momentum from Monday afternoon's session into Tuesday morning. During the five-on-seven session, where he struggled to get started on Monday, Donovan completed 11 of 13 passes in Tuesday's first practice.

He was on the mark to a variety of receivers at different distances, though one of his two incompletions was an interception. Donovan showed good decision-making during the scrimmages. He was able to check-down nicely and scrambled for yardage when no receivers were open.

Redshirt freshman Dustin Sherer continued to battle with inconsistency. He opened five-on-seven by completing his first three passes, but after a receiver dropped his fourth ball, he lost confidence. His next ball was intercepted.

His accuracy remained somewhat shaky in scrimmages and red zone practice as well.

Running Backs

P.J. Hill continued to receive the most reps, with Jamil Walker, Lance Smith and Dywon Rowan all competing for carries as well.

Hill continues to work hard to find holes and plow through them with a good burst of speed. He also showed off his ability to catch the ball and on at least one occasion, laid a punishing hit on a defender rushing the quarterback.

Walker struggled in Tuesday morning's practice. He did not get off to a good start, which seemed to frustrate him into struggling throughout the rest of the morning. He did, however, seem to get something going at the end of practice during goal-line action.

Smith was the most impressive back during nine-on-nine action. He found the holes quite easily for considerable gains on four straight carries.

Rowan seemed to get more carries in this session than he had in previous practices and looked good bouncing to the outside, though mostly against the second-team defense.

Wide Receivers

Junior wideout Paul Hubbard easily had the best day of the receiving corps. By far, he caught the most passes, including one during red-zone practice where he made a sliding grab at the sideline.

There seemed to be an emphasis on the quarterbacks checking down through their options, and thus there were at least a dozen other players who caught at least one pass.

The running backs saw their share of action in the passing game as did the tight ends.

Freshman T.J. Theus had a pair of grabs, and on one play did well to find a seam in the defense during scrimmage.

True freshman Isaac Anderson did not practice and Lance Kendricks, who missed practice last week due to injury, seemed to get dinged up again.

Offensive Line

There were no injuries to report with this unit and no changes in the depth other than Brad Thorson receiving a few reps as a center on the second team for the second straight practice.

The offensive front has remained fairly steady in play throughout camp.

Defensive Line

Tackle Justin Ostrowski sat out his second straight practice, relegated to the stationary bike.

The depth chart remained the same other than that and a variety of players stood out at different times throughout the practice. During nine-on-nine play, Joe Monty started off by plugging up a hole and later Mike Newkirk blasted through the offensive line.

Matt Shaughnessy continued to show impressive speed off the edge, making what would have been more than one tackle-for-loss during the scrimmage sessions.

On one play, both Nick Hayden and Jamal Cooper barreled around the outside to bury a running back about four yards behind the line of scrimmage. Hayden and Jason Chapman also combined for a sack during scrimmage play.

On another play O'Brien Schofield also quickly maneuvered off the end position to chase Sherer out of the pocket.


Jonathan Casillas, who tweaked an injury Monday but continued to play through it, did not practice Tuesday morning nor did Ryan Flasch, who was also injured in Monday's practice.

The depth chart continues to fluctuate due to the amount of injuries. Mark Zalewski, who has been out since last week, continues to sit out, but looks strong on his feet rehabbing on the sidelines.

On the first team Tuesday morning with Elijah Hodge, DeAndre Levy and Jaevery McFadden, with Paul Joran continuing to fill in as well. The second team consisted of Joshua Neal, Culmer St. Jean and Ben Landgraf.

Hodge made an interception in traffic during five-on-seven play. McFadden showed some quickness, although he got a little too close to the Donovan on one play.

Both Hodge and Neal continue to plug up running backs' holes and were praised on one play for getting their hands up on a short pass during goal-line play.

Defensive Backs

Johnny White and Aubrey Pleasant remained out of practice so true freshman Jay Valai continued to take the reps with the second-team defense.

That second-tier remains a bit shaky as Valai is pushed by defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks and Shane Carter struggled a bit more while trying to transition from safety to cornerback mentality.

On a positive note, the first-string cornerbacks had one of their best practices to date. During five-on-seven action, Jack Ikegwuonu stuck a wide receiver at the line of scrimmage in a third-down situation, throwing the wide receiver off his route and forcing an incompletion. On the very next play, Allen Langford got aggressive, jumping in front of a receiver to intercept a pass which he would have returned for a touchdown.

During goal-line action, Joe Stellmacher stuffed a hole with force reminiscent to his goal-line stop against Michigan last season.

Kim Royston forced a fumble and recovered it during scrimmage as well.

Special Teams

The team took a break from scrimmaging to work on punt coverage units.

Punter Ken DeBauche looked like his normal self, first booming punts from deep in the offensive territory before the squads turned around and he began dropping the ball inside the five-yard line with precision. On one particular boot, he dropped the ball inside the one-yard line and it popped straight up into the air to be easily downed.

Fielding punts were Marcus Randle El, Josh Nettles, Zach Hampton and Maurice Moore. Hampton also worked on the coverage team as a gunner.

The Badgers will practice again Tuesday afternoon, beginning at 3:45. First-year head coach Bret Bielema is scheduled to speak with the media after the conclusion and will hopefully elaborate on some of the more recent injuries in camp.

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