As we're about two weeks from Spring practice starting, UW has begun releasing pre-Spring position previews. So far they've put up the offensive line, defensive line, and running backs.
Of note, reshirt freshman Peter Konz has been switched from defense to offensive guard for this year. Line coach Bostad says Konz, Zeitler, and Current will compete for the left guard spot. Interesting battle shaping up for right tackle between Bscherer and Oglesby who have both seen significant time on the field at tackle. Current looks to be the backup center, but that hasn't prevented players from starting at guard before. Guard depth still looks like an issue. In sum, Carimi says (in the video UW offers) "We're mean." A lot meaner than years past, or so he says. That should be interesting . . .
For the defensive line, no big surprises. One change is it looks like Dan Moore will move from end to tackle. Transfer J.J. Watt, after sitting out last season, is getting a lot of attention for serious playing time this fall. In no particular order, Schofield, Kelly, Nzegwu and Mains are the likely two-deep at end, with Moore, Watt, Stehle, and Butrym likely the same for the tackle spots.
No surprises at running back, either. Clay, Brown, then the young guys. Concerns about depth, however, appear overstated. Fullback? It looks like this blind squirrel found a nut when predicting that Dex Jones might just be our next starting fullback. A little surprise is that Brady Ewing might be in the mix at fullback rather than halfback, as will walk-on Sam Spitz. Reading Coach Settle's comments, maybe the offense plans to use the fullback a little more to catch the ball out of the backfield? (In 2008, the Badgers completed one pass to a fullback.)
Although the Badgers haven't posted a quarterback preview yet, ESPN ran a little piece on Chryst's latest quarterback derby -- as basically everyone knows -- the biggest question heading into the Spring. Other than the puzzling statement that Budmayr was the Badgers' biggest quarterback recruit in years (1 year after the higher-rated, Mr. Tennessee Football, Phillips?),* the article seems pretty spot on.
You can find all of UW's Spring rundowns here.
Not to be overlooked, as Scott Tappa noted (as well as the media outlets), Elijah Hodge, Xavier Harris, and James Stallons won't return with the Badgers. Hodge will graduate in May and will forego his 5th year of eligibility in Madison. Harris's back has never sufficiently recovered from injury. His playing days are over, but he's on track to graduate (still on scholarship) next year. Stallons? With Phillips and Budmayr on the younger end of things and Tolzein and Sherer on the older, maybe he just didn't figure to get much playing time. Or maybe it was something else . . . ?
Harris and Hodge will both be missed for the depth they provided. Good for them for taking their education seriously. Both are pretty high profile examples of the injury bug ending bright prospects in football.
* Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about Budmayr's potential, too.