August 17, 2009

First glimpse at fall camp action

MADISON, Wis. - Enduring rain showers throughout, the Wisconsin football team completed its eighth practice of fall camp. And for the first time during camp, members of the media were allowed inside Camp Randall to witness practice first hand.

Injury Report:

As expected, Dezmen Southward, Mike Taylor, Kraig Appleton and Bradie Ewing were held out of practice. All four, though, were doing some light jogging and agility drills on the sideline during the individual portion of practice.

John Moffitt and Bill Nagy were also kept from practice as they continue recovering from their injuries. Then finally, Jake Current was not in pads today and did not participate in practice. It is unclear at this point what may have kept him out.

Red Zone Drills:

With the rain falling down, some fireworks still managed to explode during the red zone portion of practice. With the No. 1 offense trying to score against the backup defense, freshman Josh Peprah put a solid hit on John Clay around the two yard line.

Though the team was not engaging in full tackles throughout the practice, Clay took a decent hit that prevented him from scoring. On the ensuing play, freshman Chris Borland broke through the line and hit Clay above the waist and knocked him to the ground.

With his defensive teammates cheering him, Borland was blindsided by obviously frustrated Clay who was knocked down for the second time in as many plays. Though Clay only got a bit of a shove in on Borland's back, several teammates jumped in and separated the two before anything else occurred.

No. 1 offensive unit:

There were no surprises with the starting unit Monday morning as the offensive line consisted of Gabe Carimi, Jake Bscherer, Travis Frederick, Kevin Zeitler and Josh Oglesby. At quarterback, Curt Phillips was the first to see action, but Phillips and Dustin Sherer received about equal reps throughout the day.

Out wide were Nick Toon and David Gilreath with Garrett Graham, Mickey Turner and Lance Kendricks interchanging throughout the day at the tight end position.

No. 1 defensive unit:

No surprises with the No. 1 unit on the defensive side either. Up front, J.J. Watt, Jeff Stehle, Daniel Moore and O'Brien Schofield anchored the group. Behind them, Blake Sorenesen, Culmer St. Jean and Jaevery McFadden were the starting linebackers and Aaron Henry, Niles Brinkley, Chris Maragos and Jay Valai rounded out the secondary.

Quarterback play:

During the first and 10 portion of practice, where the team plays out a series, Phillips looked a bit shaky as he never really got adequate time in the pocket. However, the redshirt freshman displayed good pocket awareness and gained some yardage with his legs.

On one first and 10 play, the defense brought a heavy rush and Phillips stayed calm, pulled down the ball and scrambled for a solid gain. He stepped into the pocket perfectly and avoided the rush to a tee.

During the same drill, Sherer made a terrible decision under pressure and instead of pulling the ball down and running, threw a pass across the middle that was intercepted by A.J. Fenton. The ball was a little in front of Fenton, but the freshman adjusted and made a nice one-handed catch to secure the interception before turning up field for a decent return.

Noteworthy plays of practice:

-During the late portions of practice, freshman Montee Ball broke through a hole on a sweep play only to be met by safety Kevin Claxton. Claxton, one of the bigger safeties on the team, put a good pop on Ball that could be heard well away from the field.

-Early in practice, Phillips threw a deep pass that was a bit under thrown in the direction of Toon. However, even with Toon adjusting for the ball, Shelton Johnson came over and intercepted the pass at its highest point, much to the delight of the coaches and his teammates.

-Finally, corner Antonio Fenelus made a great read on a ball and correctly jumped the route and broke up the pass that looked like an easy completion when leaving the hand of the cornerback.

The Badgers will practice again at 7:30 Monday evening. Look for another practice report following the nightcap.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!