Bielema releases initial depth chart

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- Preseason Depth Chart (PDF)

After spending two weeks and 16 practices with his team, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema has decided who will line up for the Badgers in their Sept. 1 season-opener against Northern Iowa.

Bielema released his preseason depth chart Monday, naming 52 players to his initial two-deep.

Despite some of the suspense being removed Sunday when Bielema took to Twitter to announce that junior Danny O'Brien would be the Badgers' starting quarterback, there were some mysteries solved with the release of the depth chart.

Redshirt freshman Jordan Fredrick and sophomore Kenzel Doe join the veteran of the group, junior Jared Abbrederis, as starters at wide receiver.

Junior Brian Wozniak gets the nod as a No. 1 tight end alongside junior and returning starter Jacob Pedersen.

While LT Rick Wagner, LG Ryan Groy, C Travis Frederick and RT Rob Havenstein were all but set as starters on the offensive line, sophomore Kyle Costigan won the No. 1 job at right guard.

Sophomore Sherard Cadogan and redshirt freshman Derek Watt, a recently-converted linebacker, share the No. 1 line at fullback.

The choices at tailback should come as no surprise, with senior Montee Ball the Badgers' starter and junior James White the backup.

On defense, the Badgers will line up with junior David Gilbert and senior Brendan Kelly at defense end, with both sharing the No. 1 lines with junior Pat Muldoon. In between, juniors Beau Allen and Ethan Hemer occupy the No. 1 spots at defensive tackle.

The Big Ten's top tacklers from last year return, with junior Chris Borland the starter at middle linebacker and senior Mike Taylor on the top line at the will linebacker spot. Junior Ethan Armstrong fills out the group as the No. 1 sam linebacker.

The secondary is an experienced one, with seniors Marcus Cromartie and Devin Smith holding down the No. 1 spots at cornerback and senior Shelton Johnson and junior Dez Southward back as the No. 1 safeties.

On special teams, Bielema will tab sophomore Drew Meyer to handle punts, with freshman Jack Russell the No. 1 kicker on field goals and sophomore Kyle French handling kickoffs.

Sophomore James McGuire will snap with freshman Stephen Salata as the holder.

Abbrederis, a preseason All-America returner on many media lists after an impressive season running back kicks last year, is UW's No. 1 returner for both punts and kickoffs.

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