Wisconsin Practice News and Notes

News and notes from Wisconsin's two Monday practices last night.

MADISON - John Clay, the powerful running back option behind P.J. Hill and Zach Brown, sat out practice Monday. Wearing his red number 32 jersey, gym shorts and a walking boot on his left foot to take pressure off the ankle he rolled during the second play of Saturday's scrimmage, Clay looked like nothing more than an observer under the Camp Randall lights for the night session of Monday's two-a-days.

"I don't know if we'll have him back tomorrow, but we'll have him back by midweek," UW head coach Bret Bielema said.

On media day, Clay commented that the ankle injury was far from serious and that it was nothing that was going to keep him on the sideline for long.

Harris to redshirt

Junior wide receiver Xavier Harris will redshirt this season after undergoing surgery to alleviate nagging back pain. Harris will have two years of eligibility remaining starting next season.

"Once we got done with spring ball, we tried to do some different therapy things with him, get him back in order," Bielema said.

"He had a redshirt year available to him. We had some discussions with the doctors and they felt if we did this procedure, and it went the way we thought it would go, he would be able to be pain free. The good news is he has been pain free since the surgery."

In nine games last season, Harris registered two catches for 30 yards.

Hodge to special teams

With the emergence of Jaevery McFadden as a viable option to start at middle linebacker, it looks more and more like Elijah Hodge, the starter most of last season at mike, will find himself in a reserve role.

Hodge apparently recognizes that, and recently approached Bielema to talk about contributing to UW's special teams return units.

"He wasn't involved in special teams a year ago … he wanted to get on the field in any way possible," Bielema said.

Extra points

Bielema said freshman Brendan Kelly, one of about six freshmen whom the coaching staff expects to contribute immediately this season, had his best day of practice to date…

Freshman Pete Konz from Neenah will switch sides of the ball from defensive line to offensive guard. "He was probably going to be a redshirt guy for us defensively, but we think he might be in a position to help us this year from an offensive line standpoint…

Still recovering from ACL surgery late last year, defensive tackle Jason Chapman sat out the evening practice. "We're putting it in his hands, much like we did with Joe Thomas," Bielema said. Also recovering from ACL surgery, cornerback Aaron Henry sat out the Monday's second practice.

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