Freshmen Begin Practice

The Badger freshmen hit the field Tuesday morning at the O'Connor Center, getting 2002 Fall Camp underway. But there might be some big news coming out of camp later today. Why was one of the Badgers' top recruits missing this morning?

Freshmen practice was business as usual for the most part Tuesday morning. Players went through basic position drills with their coaches, getting their feet wet for the first time in a Wisconsin practice uniform.

The majority of the 75-minute session was spent with each players' position coaches, learning the most basic drills that will become second-hand as camp progresses. The practice was held in shoulder pads and helmets.

But the biggest buzz around the O'Connor Center was the absence of Reggie Cribbs, one of the Badgers' top recruits last season. Coach Barry Alvarez will address the situation following this afternoon's practice.

Cribbs was not with the group of inside linebackers this morning, that included Alex Lewis, Paul Joran, Dwayne Smith and Mark Zalewski. Two outside linebackers worked with Coach Brian Murphy -- Elliot Goode and Lamarr Watkins.

Watkins also took reps with the running backs, and Coach Brian White seemed very enthusiastic about his work in early drills.

Kicker Scott Campbell worked on field goals with Murphy, and kicked off at the end of practice.

We also expect to hear further news about roster changes later in the day. We will have a flash report on the site after the afternoon practice.

The only other members of the 2002 recruiting class not on the field Tuesday morning were quarterback Graham Danielson and linebacker Steve VandeVoort.

-- Alex Lewis has changed his number to #12. There will be some more official number changes to report later today.

-- One thing I want to mention once again is an issue that has come up over the past several years with my coverage of camp. I do not want to make any judgments quite yet on which players look good and which do not. I am not a coach, and will not have access to the coaching staff for interviews until Friday. It would be very unfair to the freshmen if I threw stuff out there based on watching them going through very basic exercises on the first day. But when I have a chance to talk to the coaches, I will be able to give you analysis with support from them about which players have impressed and which ones have disappointed, etc. I want to bring you the best coverage of camp I can, but I also want to be fair to the athletes.

-- Former UW fullback Erik Bickerstaff has apparently landed with an NAIA program in Tuscaloosa, AL.

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