Spring Practice Report: Day 11

With Mother Nature making plenty of noise outside, the Wisconsin football team was forced into the friendly confines of the indoor McClain practice facility for the Badgers' second night practice of the spring season.

MADISON - Although moving practice to the evenings in hopes of getting more work outside, the Wisconsin football team succumbed to the wrath of major nature Thursday night. With the weather yielding constant rain all day and thunderstorms rolling in throughout the night, the Badgers were back in the McClain practice center for their 11th of 15 practices this spring.

Wisconsin was in half pads and started at 7:55 p.m. and ended at 10:05 p.m.

Good Report from the Walking Wounded

For the first time in quite some time, Wisconsin experienced no significant injuries Thursday night and got good reports from some of its sidelined athletes.

Freshman Mario Goins was back after suffering an apparent leg injury Tuesday and showed no ill-effects of such injury.

Junior end O'Brien Schofield broke a bone in his right wrist Tuesday and did not dress, wearing a cast around the injured area Thursday. The break, however, was a non-displaced fracture and the Badgers expect to get him back next week, albeit with his wrist wrapped in a club.

Junior Josh Nettles suffered a high right ankle sprain and had his ankle immobilized in a walking cast. Nettles could participate late next week but it is unlikely.

Senior Jonathan Casillas, who hurt his left leg March 27 and is missing the rest of spring, was walking better with his pant leg rolled up. He still was going slow but was able to help out defensive coordinator Dave Doeren by playing his running back during individual work with the linebackers.

Going through stretches without a knee brace, cornerback Aaron Henry continues to work his way back to full strength.

Senior tackle Mike Newkirk (shoulder surgery) was cleared to do some footwork but is still not cleared for contact drills.

JUCO recruit Dan Moore came to practice around 9:15 on crutches and watched from the sideline, still having a smile on his face.

Special Teams:

Starting practice better today than they did on Saturday, kicker Matt Fischer went two-for-two on his field goals, making a 30 yarder right down the middle and a 35 yarder from the right hash, and Phil Welch equaled that mark, making a 37- and 45-yard field goal from the left hash. With only one punter (Brad DeBauche) in camp, Brad got some assistance with the kicking duties as injured tight end Travis Beckum put his lower body to good use. He punter twice in punt coverage, hitting a 25-yard duck and a 45-yard bomb.

For the third practice in a row, David Gilreath and Maurice Moore were the only two people returning kicks.

First Team Defense

Defensive Line (right to left) – Matt Shaughnessy, Jeff Stehle, Patrick Butrym and Louis Nzegwu

Linebackers – DeAndre Levy (Sam), Culmer St. Jean (Mike) and Jae McFadden (Will)

Cornerbacks – Niles Brinkley and Mario Goins

Safeties – Shane Carter and Jay Valai

Second Team Defense

Defensive Line (right to left) – Butrym, Jasper Grimes, Jeff Stehle and Josh Neal

Linebackers – Blake Sorensen (Sam), Kevin Rouse (Mike) and Ryan Flasch (Will)

Cornerbacks – Otis Merrill and Prince Moody

Safeties – William Hartmann and Chris Maragos

Red Zone Highlights

While Hodge was off taking an exam, St. Jean made good use of his reps with the first team, sniffing out a screen and popping Lance Smith when the junior running back turned his way.

After struggling last week to keep his hands on the ball, sophomore wide receiver Isaac Anderson made up for it with a solid Thursday. Getting separation in the secondary, Dustin Sherer fired a bulled between No.2 free safety Chris Maragos and No.2 cornerback Prince Moody that Anderson secured with two feet down in the back of the end zone.

Senior quarterback Allan Evridge was a little jumpy passing in the red zone, firing a lot of high balls on routes into the end zone but was fine getting the ball to his receivers in the flat.

No.1 strong safety Jay Valai made a solid play on wide receiver Kyle Jefferson. Despite giving up eight inches to the receiver, Valai was able to jump up and extend his arm over Jefferson's right shoulder, knocking away the bullet pass from Sherer.

Also working with the first team, sophomore Scott Tolzien threaded the needle to Anderson on a slant route over the middle for the touchdown.

On another pass over the middle from Tolzien, converted tight end Lance Kendricks used his 6-foot-4 frame to sky over 5-foot-10 corner Andrew Lukasko and 6-0 Maragos.

11 vs. 11 Notes:

Sherer took the opening snaps and was looking for Jefferson along the left sideline, but good coverage by Merrill on the sophomore wide receiver caused the defensive line to earn a sack.

Showing the coaches how important it is to stay in the play, receiver Maurice Moore laid a block on a Lukasko, cutting off the cornerback as he tried to get an angle on a Jefferson catch.

Sherer was the best quarterback of the day in the red zone offense and he continued to throw well in 11-v-11, hitting Jefferson and Anderson on mid-range crossing routes over the middle. Both throws were bullet spirals.

But while Sherer was the best QB of the day, Anderson was the best player on the day, making two more sliding catches in the secondary.

Not everyone, however, was having success catching the ball. Daven Jones dropped a couple passes throughout the day and Moore paid for bobbling a pass over the middle, getting a rude greeting from Hodge.

In the final series of practice, freshman quarterback Curt Phillips was involved in a ‘quarterback to quarterback' connection when he hooked up with converted wide receiver Cody Rose on the right sideline for a nice gain and followed that up by hitting Jefferson along the left sideline.

Although being late for practice because of the exam, Hodge registered the only interception during the drill. As Phillips was looking for Rose on a crossing route (going from left to right), Hodge read the play and came from right to left to make the diving interception.


Former Badger punter Ken DeBauche and good buddy Steve Johnson were at practice and hanging out with the specialists, particularly Kenny's younger brother and No.1 punter Brad.

Wisconsin returns to the practice field for its 12th practice Saturday morning.

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