Friday Morning's Practice Report

Going three hours in the humidity was the perfect preparation for Wisconsin's season-opener contest at UNLV. With competition at the running back position heating up, the Badgers could see up to four running backs contribute. Go inside for the full practice report.

MADISON - Though it has been the theme throughout camp, University of Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema reiterated to his team after Friday morning's practice the importance of staying hydrated as temperatures once again reached the upper 80s.

But despite the weather conditions, the Badgers still went full-go for nearly three hours in preparation for the upcoming season.

Clay not alone

While junior John Clay remains firmly in place as the team's starting tailback after racking up 1,548 rushing yards last season en route to earning the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year award, others got the opportunity to the work with the first team as well.

Sophomore Montee Ball received the second-most reps with the top group. Ball, who didn't play in his first game until October last year as a true freshman, came on strong toward the end of the 2009 season and took over as the team's No. 2 option over Zach Brown.

True freshman James White also worked in a bit with the first team and received reps as a punt returner during the special teams portion of practice. White, who was named to the second team on Florida's 5A all-state squad a season ago, racked up 1,145 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

Kendricks nicked

Tight end Lance Kendricks suffered an apparent hand injury during 11-on-11 drills, and he sat out the remainder of the full-squad workouts. Kendricks, entering his first season as the team's lead tight end, still participated in light individual position drills. Kendricks broke out in Wisconsin's 20-14 victory over Miami, catching seven passes for a game-high 128 yards. He finished with 29 catches for 356 yards a year ago backing up now-graduated Garrett Graham, who was selected to the All-Big Ten first team by the media in 2009.

Sweet redemption

When junior cornerback Devin Smith made a mistake late in Friday's practice, he quickly made up for his error.

After getting beat by senior wide receiver Kyle Jefferson for the session's only touchdown during 11-on-11 drills, Smith responded by intercepting the next pass.

Smith picked off two passes last season and led the team with 11 passes defended.

Ending with a bang

The top offensive highlight of Friday morning's practice came near the end of the session, when redshirt freshman wideout Jared Abbrederis made a spectacular diving catch, fully extending to pull in a pass with his fingertips near the left sideline for a long gain.

Abbrederis originally came to Wisconsin to participate on the track and field team. But last year, the former all-state quarterback at Wautoma High School decided instead to attend football camp as a preferred walk-on.

Extra Points: After leaving practice early on Thursday with appeared to be a knee injury, defensive tackle Eriks Briedis was back in full pads … Marquis Mason, who was set to undergo an MRI Wednesday afternoon, was in full pads … sophomore defensive end David Gilbert worked with the No.1 unit after junior Louis Nzegwu appeared to limited with a leg injury.

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