Spring practice report No. 3

Today the Wisconsin football team held its first practice outside in Camp Randall on a beautiful Wisconsin day. The sun was out and it was just over 60 degrees for UW's first practice with full pads. The Badgers went 24 periods (two hours).

Video highlights and interviews with WR Jared Abbrederis, WR Nick Toon and TE Lance Kendricks

All about the defense
Today it was the defense that shined. During the skelly (7-on-7) drill, freshman Conor O'Neill made back-to-back plays to garner a defensive play of the day. On a short pass to Jared Abbrederis, O'Neill was there to break it up before Abbrederis could gain control. On the next play, O'Neill picked off a Jon Budmayr pass on what would have been a 20-yard completion.

O'Neill wasn't the only one to get an interception. During 11-on-11, Antonio Fenelus picked off quarterback Scott Tolzien as he threw it up trying to avoid the rush from linebacker Culmer St. Jean. Honorable mention goes to J.J. Watt for his pressure on consecutive plays following the interception and Aaron Henry for a pass breakup on a 30-yard pass from Tolzien intended for Lance Kendricks.

Practice No. 3 Photo Gallery

Offensive Play of the Day
In the final series, during 11-on-11, the deepest pass of the day came from a familiar pair as Budmayr and Abbrederis combined for about a 45-yard completion. That makes three straight practices Budmayr and Abbrederis have hooked up for a deep pass to make the offensive play of the day.

Hit of the day
On the first day in full pads, there has to be a hit of the day. During positional drills, Travis Frederick got the hit of the day for knocking Ethan Armstrong off his feet. Not to worry, on the very next snap, Armstrong came back with a pop on Jake Current.

Honorable mention goes to Henry who broke from his safety position to puit a hit on Nick Toon following a sideline completion, knocking Toon to the ground (he held onto the ball).

Seen and heard
New assistant coach Chris Ash has made himself comfortable with the DB's making sure they were all on the same page. Probably one of the more vocal coaches today, and it paid off with the defense stepping up today at practice. I overheard him during positional drills say, "We intercept it, and we want to go score."

With that, the defense had at least two interceptions and two pass break ups in the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

Practice3_1.jpgA step ahead
There is one member of the 2010 recruiting class who will be a step ahead of his peers come fall camp. Warren Herring (pictured above) graduated from Belleville East High School early to enroll a semester early at UW and participate in spring ball. So far, so good for the freshman as he is getting acclimated with the Wisconsin system a semester early.

"His effort is good. He's got a long, long way to go fundamentally," said defensive line coach Charlie Partridge. "But fortunately with him being here and getting 15 practices ahead of where he would normally be if he graduated in June is going to give him a chance to get ahead of the game."

This and that
On the final play of practice, after the offense took the ball down field in a series that started with the 45-yard pickup by Abbrederis from Budmayr, the offense had one last play to run from inside the 20-yard line. The defense started a "DE-FENSE" cheer which turned into a celebration as Zach Brown couldn't hold onto the ball on the goal line (Coach Bielema signaled an incompletion but the offense argued the call).

Some more notable names were at practice today. Former players included Jim Leonhard, Mickey Turner and Joe Panos. Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez also made an appearance at today's practice.

Even though some players are not participating in spring ball, doesn't mean they weren't in full gear today. John Clay, John Moffitt, Mike Taylor, Gabe Carmi and others all took turns with the trainer whether it was jogging the stadium stairs or doing some agility work, and  all in full pads.

ON WISCONSIN