The Badgers took the field for the first time since the Alamo Bowl with a Thursday afternoon practice at the McClain Center. With the exception of Mike Kleber, Owen Daniels and Lee Evans (injuries), Anthony Davis was the only player that missed practice (class conflict).
The practice was a typical first day, with the Badgers running through position drills and basic offensive/defensive looks, getting re-adjusted to practice while breaking in two new assistant coaches and a handful of newcomers to the depth chart.
There have been some moves on both sides of the ball, which are reflected in the offensive/defensive depth charts posted earlier this evening.
Among the notable developments, Tony Paciotti is now listed as the No. 1 tight end, ahead of Bob Docherty, who struggled last year with injury problems. Jeff Lang is now listed as the No. 3 left guard, and Randy Gyllin, a greyshirt last season, is the No. 2 right tackle behind Mike Lorenz.
The starting defensive line is listed as Erasmus James, Anttaj Hawthorne, Jason Jefferson and Jonathan Welsh, and Joe Monty is listed as the top backup behind Welsh at right end.
Jeff Mack has been moved back to the Mike linebacker postion, with Alex Lewis being shifted to the drop. And in the secondary, Levonne Rowan is listed as the starting right cornerback, ahead of Brett Bell. Travaan Hayes is now listed as a cornerback, No. 4 on the depth chart behind Scott Starks, Chuckie Cowans and Johnny Sylvain.
Here are some brief observations from the first practice:
- Lee Evans was not suited up for practice, and it looks like he will be held out altogether. On Signing Day, Coach Barry Alvarez said he expected Evans to participate in individual workouts, similar to his participation in fall camp last year.
- Phillip Fuller looks to be completely healed after suffering his horrible knee injury in high school. He was moving very well Thursday afternoon, and he could get in the mix with the other talented crop of young running backs.
- Somebody should have clued in Matt Domonkos about his number selection. He is wearing No. 17, which has been most recently worn by much-maligned kickers Adam Espinoza and David Lantigua.
- John Stocco and Devin Hollins both looked very sharp throwing the ball, making some nice plays in 7-on-7 drills. Jim Sorgi also threw some nice balls, including a deep strike to Brandon Williams. It became a joke during last year's fall camp that I mentioned Brandon Williams in almost every practice report. Get ready for that to happen again. He looks absolutely explosive in almost everything he does. If Lee Evans can get healthy, this receiving corps has a chance to be the best in school history, and that covers a lot of ground.
- Levonne Rowan got all of the reps with the No. 1 defense at right cornerback. Brett Bell is expected to give him a run for his money at that position.
- Chuckie Cowans made the play of the day with an athletic, leaping interception on a deep ball during 7-on-7 drills.
Thursday Spring Football Practice Report
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