Fall Camp Report: Aug. 18

Find out which four Badgers nabbed interceptions early in Friday's practice and what the top two running backs had to say about gaining separation from their competition.

Weather forced the Wisconsin football team to bring practice indoors again Friday afternoon. The Badgers worked inside the McClain Center practice facility again, wearing helmets, shoulder pads, jerseys and shorts.

  • After working on positional drills, the defense wasted little time getting down to business in a six-on-seven session.

    O'Brien Schofield was in the right spot to make an interception on a ball and Elijah Hodge followed suit just a couple plays later.

    Then, just a few plays after that, senior safety Roderick Rogers got in on the action with a pick of his own. He would get another one before the drill was over, as would linebacker DeAndre Levy.

  • Before the defense got hot, however, Tyler Donovan did get off to a hot start, completing his first six passes of the drill. While it was said that he and Dustin Sherer would battle for the spot, it is clear that Donovan has solidified his spot at the No. 2 signal caller—though he sits No. 1 with John Stocco on the mend.

  • After practice, both P.J. Hill and Dywon Rowan said they were excited to hear head coach Bret Bielema say that they had stood out ahead of their fellow running backs so far in fall camp.

    Both of them are just players who come to practice every day ready to get down to business and go to work.

    "I'm just coming in preparing myself and getting comfortable in the backfield," Hill said. "I'm moving forward and I'm going to be able to contribute to this team and help them win."

    They also said that they were happy to see Jerry Butler back on their side. He briefly switched to cornerback earlier this week, but is back in the backfield and taking advantage of the opportunity.

    "I think he was kind of down when he moved over," Rowan said. "But he's a great tailback. He has all the tools, he just needs a chance. I'm just trying to keep him going."

  • At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Rogers has been very impressive since camp opened. He has had an interception in nearly every practice, and snagged two on Friday.

    When he is not catching the ball, he is right there on every play for a big hit.

  • Senior mike linebacker Mark Zalewski is back full-time with the first unit after sitting out nearly a week due to an injury.

    Zalewski looked strong in between Jonathan Casillas and Levy.

  • For the second straight practice, Nick Hayden joined fellow defensive tackle Justin Ostrowski on the sidelines.

    With Hayden out, Mike Newkirk has stepped up onto the first team, while Dan Cascone continues to get reps with the second team.

  • Bielema said on Thursday that he did not yet have a plan for who would return kicks for his team, but they would be sorting that out.

    The Badgers took a few kickoff reps on Friday, and a variety of players got an opportunity to field kickoffs.

    Along with the sure-handed veterans Jarvis Minton and Zach Hampton, younger guys like Lance Smith and Jerry Butler, among others, also got their chance.

  • With tight ends Andy Crooks and Sean Lewis still out of practice, redshirt freshman Garrett Graham and true freshman Mickey Perry have had a chance to get more reps in practice.

    Graham had a few noticeably solid catches in Friday's practice, including a touchdown catch during a redzone scrimmage.

  • In other tight end news, Travis Beckum donned a green No. 11 jersey for Friday's session, meaning the usual No. 9 was under a no-contact rule.

  • Paul Hubbard was on his game again, though that is hardly even newsworthy anymore.

    He catches almost everything thrown his way, including an impressive sideline grab on Friday. He also wowed those on the field with a shifty juke move after a catch on one particular occasion.

    Jarvis Minton looked better again on Friday and hauled in a touchdown pass during redzone action.

  • The depth at offensive line seems to be getting clearer.

    Danny Kaye has been at left tackle, Andy Kemp at left guard, true freshman Brad Thorson at center, Andrew Weininger and Mike Van Someren at right guard and Jake Bscherer at right tackle.

  • Paul Standring apparently is really itching to get on the field. As reported Thursday, Standring asked to be included on special teams units and on Friday the backup punter participated in some linebacking positional drills.

  • Former Badger linebacker Jeff Mack made a visit to Badger practice on Friday.

Wisconsin will resume practice Saturday morning and are scheduled for another two-a-day. The morning practice will be the last one open to the media during fall camp.

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