Flash Report: Badger Media Day

Coach Barry Alvarez met with the media Friday afternoon, and revealed some position changes and decisions leading up to the first full team practice, later today at the O'Connor Center in Madison. Here are the quick details (there will be more coverage tonight following practice):

Here are some notes from Coach Barry Alvarez during Friday's Media Day. There will be more coverage later tonight and throughout the weekend as the Badgers begin practice this afternoon:

- The staff has decided on which freshmen to play at tailback, and which will be moved. Tony Moss will be moved to cornerback, and Lamarr Watkins will be moved to drop safety. Booker Stanley and Dwayne Smith will remain at tailback, while Phillip Fuller will be redshirted. There are a number of factors that led to this decision, but the No. 1 decision-maker was the fact Watkins and Moss are phenomenal two-way athletes and Alvarez wants to use Moss, Watkins, Stanley and Smith this season in more than special teams roles. Offensive Coordinator Brian White said if Moss stayed at tailback, he would expect him to be as far along next year as any tailback in the history of the program with the exception of Ron Dayne. He also raved about the athleticism and ability of Watkins. He said Stanley and Smith will likely see the field this year, and both are excellent through contact. He loves the leg strength, ability and intelligence of Smith.

- Dan Buenning has been diagnosed with mono, and will miss at least part of fall camp. They are keeping him in air conditioning and doing everything they can to make him better. But at this point, it is unknown when he will be able to return.

- Alvarez said if the season began today, Jim Leonhard would be the guy to replace Nick Davis as his primary return guy. He trust Leonhard to secure the ball and move it north/south. But he said that position is still a question mark.

- Alvarez said he expects the defensive line to be a strength of the team.

- Alvarez said he expects Scott Campbell and Alex Lewis to both make an impact immediately this season.

- Said that Brooks Bollinger was the most highly regarded counselor at the Elite 11 camp according to coaches he talked with. He said Bollinger put Wisconsin on the map in recruiting some of those highly-talented athletes.

- Said Matt Bernstein needs to have the ball in his hands. He's an excellent ball carrier, and they want to use him as a runner.

-- Alvarez noted that almost all of the problems defensively last season were against one-back teams. The coaching staff recognizes that and has worked extremely hard in the offseason to correct that. He said statistics and film show that almost all of the major breakdowns last season came against teams that spread the defense.

- On the flip side, Alvarez said he feels using the spread last year was productive, and it will continue to be a part of the offense this season.

- Said last year's 5-7 record is misleading because of the quality of the schedule and the nature of some of the losses.

- Alvarez said Tony Moss will be in the two-deep, and Lamarr Watkins could be in the two-deep. Of the four incoming freshmen running backs (not including Fuller, who Alvarez said was not 100 percent), three or more will be playing this season.

We will have much more coverage from a newsworthy Badger Media Day late Friday night. I am headed out to cover the first full team practice right now, and will be back later to report on that practice and fill in more details about this afternoon.

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