Bradie Ewing is one of UW's four captains for 2011.
Four seniors will carry the tag of team captain for the Wisconsin football team this season after a vote of their teammates Sunday.
Fullback Bradie Ewing and first-year quarterback Russell Wilson will represent the Badgers' offense as captains, with defensive lineman Patrick Butrym and defensive back Aaron Henry elected on the other side of the ball.
The announcement of captains by head coach Bret Bielema in a team meeting capped a busy day for the Badgers.
Despite the fact the team had a day off from practice, the players spent more than two hours signing autographs and posing for photos as part of Football Family Fun Day at Camp Randall Stadium. The annual team photo, as well as shots of each position group, followed before the Badgers met as a team.
Ewing played in all 13 games as a fullback last season and scored three touchdowns -- one rushing and two more receiving.
Wilson transferred to UW from NC State, where he was a three-year starter at quarterback and a three-time All-ACC selection. He totaled 93 touchdowns in his Wolfpack career -- the second-best mark in ACC history.
Butrym has played in all 39 games the past three seasons for UW and started on the defensive line in all 13 games in 2010, when he recorded 28 tackles -- including 3.0 for loss.
A second-team All-Big Ten pick last year, Henry started all 13 games, recorded 58 tackles and picked off a pair of passes.
Any Badgers fans contemplating the purchase of a 3D television have at least one more reason to embrace the technology.
ESPN 3D announced the schedule for its second season of college football broadcasts Monday, and the Badgers' season-opener vs. UNLV will lead things off on Sept. 1. The 7 p.m. (CT) broadcast will be the network's first of the season as part of a slate that includes 20 games -- twice as many as were broadcast in 2010.
It will be the second 3D broadcast to originate from Camp Randall Stadium, as the network also carried UW's upset of No. 1-ranked Ohio State last season.
Four Saturdays are still listed as "to be determined," but the Badgers currently are the lone Big Ten team to draw a 3D broadcast.
The ESPN 3D schedule also offers a couple more chances for UW to show up on the network. A broadcast spot on Saturday, Oct. 1 is still open, giving ESPN the option of picking up the Badgers' highly-anticipated Big Ten opener against league newcomer Nebraska at Camp Randall.
Also on the schedule is the Jan. 2 Capital One Bowl, which has a Big Ten tie-in, and the Allstate BCS National Championship on Jan. 9.
Here's an inside look at the makings of a 3D broadcast, filmed as the ESPN 3D crew set up for the Badgers' clash with Ohio State last October:
There's no doubt the college football season is coming now.
On the day the Wisconsin football team reports to begin fall camp in preparation for its Sept. 1 opener against UNLV, the Badgers were presented with a top-10 preseason ranking.
The defending Big Ten champions will enter the 2011 season ranked No. 10, according to the preseason edition of the USA Today Coaches Poll released Thursday. UW is the highest-ranked Big Ten team and one of five league schools to earn a spot in the top 25.
With their highest preseason ranking since 2007, the Badgers will start the season ranked among the top 10 for the fourth time in school history. UW also ranked 10th in the 1999 preseason poll, was fifth in 2000 and seventh in the 2007 edition.
The Badgers began their run to the Rose Bowl last season with a preseason ranking of No. 12.
Oklahoma holds down the No. 1 spot, with Alabama, Oregon, LSU and Florida State rounding out the top five. Stanford checks in at No. 6, followed by Boise State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and the Badgers.
The other Big Ten teams to earn a top-25 nod are league newcomer Nebraska (No. 11), Ohio State (No. 16), Michigan State (No. 17) and Penn State (No. 25). In addition, Iowa, Northwestern and Michigan also received votes.
Northern Illinois and Oregon State, two of the Badgers' non-conference foes, also received votes.
USA Today Coaches Poll - 2011 Preseason 1. Oklahoma (42) 2. Alabama (13 3. Oregon (2) 4. LSU (2) 5. Florida State 6. Stanford 7. Boise State 8. Oklahoma State 9. Texas A&M 10. Wisconsin 11. Nebraska 12. South Carolina 13. Virginia Tech. 14. Arkansas 15. TCU 16. Ohio State 17. Michigan State 18. Notre Dame 19. Auburn 20. Mississippi State 21. Missouri 22. Georgia 23. Florida 24. Texas 25. Penn State
UW head coach Bret Bielema opened his Thursday tour of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago with a press conference for the more than 500 credentialed media members at the 2011 edition of Big Ten Football Media Days.
On Russell Wilson: "No matter how good a football player Russell Wilson is, the first thing I wanted to find out is what kind of person he is. I always say that in recruiting, you recruit your own problems. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't recruiting somebody that was going to potentially be a problem at Wisconsin. He's a stand-up guy, great character. Just a really, really neat kid."
On Wilson's current status as Badgers' backup QB: "I haven't seen Russell Wilson compete one snap competitively in practice. I think I might know what will happen, but until it happens, that's where we're at."
On replacing key players from 2010: "As coaches we always concentrate on we're not trying to replace J.J. Watt, we're trying to replace his production. Who gives us an opportunity to do that. Practically we've look at our current players, have an opportunity to work with them and see where we can go." On the status of the Badgers' brand: "One of the first things I do every day, I'll come into my office and plug into a web page that's all about college football. I'll read the top 12 headlines. Most of the time, more than three-quarters of them are about negative things around college football. For us to stay in a positive light, means a lot for me, means a lot for us in recruiting. I think that's very evident in the kind of kids we're playing." On the team maintaining its focus: "We say at Wisconsin, if you don't like college football, don't come to Wisconsin. We have to get a framework in our mind to know that's what we're going to do. Don't let success go to your head, keep an even keel."
On recruiting quality players: "One thing we try to emphasize at Wisconsin, I tell my coaches, they're
all fathers, they all have children, If you are not willing to let a
recruit come in and baby-sit your children when you're not in the house,
don't recruit them."
The inaugural edition of the Big Ten Conference's "Players to Watch" list includes a pair of Badgers picked to do big things in the first season of divisional play.
The running back tandem of junior Montee Ball and sophomore James White were named to the Players to Watch list for the Leaders Division on Thursday as part of the 2011 Big Ten Media Days.
The Leaders Division list totaled seven names due to a tie in the voting and includes five returning All-Big Ten selections from 2010. In addition to being the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, White was named second-team all-conference, while Ball was an All-Big Ten honorable mention.
Ball and White join Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase, Indiana WR Damarlo Belcher, Ohio State C Mike Brewster and DT John Simon and Penn State LB Michael Mauti as honorees in the Leaders Division.
Five players were picked in the Legends Division, including quarterbacks Denard Robinson (Michigan), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) and Dan Persa (Northwestern). Nebraska DT Jared Crick and LB Lavonte David give the Huskers a pair of Players to Watch in their first Big Ten season.
The Players to Watch list, which replaces the league's preseason all-conference teams, is selected by a panel of media that cover the Big Ten.
BIG TEN PLAYERS TO WATCH - 2011
Legends Division Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern
Leaders Division* Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois Damarlo Belcher, WR, Indiana Mike Brewster, C, Ohio State John Simon, DT, Ohio State Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin James White, RB, Wisconsin *Additional honorees due to tie
The season is still nearly two months away, but three members of the Wisconsin football team are already in the running for national player of the year honors.
The backfield trio of junior running back Montee Ball, sophomore running back James White and senior quarterback Russell Wilson each were named to the preseason watch list for the 2011 Maxwell Award this week.
The award, which is presented annually to the top player in college football, released an initial list of 66 players. With its trio, UW ties for the most representatives of any program in the nation, joining Arkansas, South Carolina and Texas A&M.
In all, 10 players from the Big Ten made the initial cut, with Michigan State (QB Kirk Cousins and RB Edwin Baker) the only other league team to have multiple representatives on the list.
The Maxwell Award went to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in 2010.
Former Badger Ron Dayne is the only UW player to claim the honor, which he did as a senior in 1999 as part of an awards season that also saw him win the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and Doak Walker Award.
Ball is coming off a breakout season in 2010 that saw him rush for 996 yards -- at an average of 6.1 per carry -- and 18 touchdowns. As a freshman, White was the Badgers' leading rusher and finished the season with 1,052 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Wilson, a transfer from North Carolina State, threw for 3,563 yards and 28 touchdowns last season in leading the Wolfpack to a 9-4 record and win over West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Here's a look at the complete poll results: 48.7% David Gilreath - Football - Opening kickoff return for TD vs. Ohio State (Oct. 16) 27.2% Kelly Nash - Women's Hockey- OT game-winner in WCHA Final Face-Off (March 5) 9.5% Josh Gasser - Men's Basketball - Buzzer-beating 3-pointer at Michigan (Feb. 23) 5.3% Landon Peacock - Men's Cross Country - Late pass to win Big Ten title (Oct. 31) 4.3% Justin Schultz - Men's Hockey - OT game-winning goal vs. Canisius (Jan. 8) 3.5% Brad Nortman - Football - Fake punt to keep drive alive vs. Iowa (Oct. 23) 1.4% Lin Zastrow - Women's Basketball - Game-tying tip-in at buzzer vs. Wyoming (Dec. 15)
And, in case you want to see it again, the top play in UW sports for 2010-11:
The annual flood of preseason football rankings has begun with a trickle, as both Blue Ribbon Yearbook and Sporting News have released their early rundowns.
Both think highly of the defending Big Ten champion Badgers.
Sporting News' version, penned by Matt Hayes, delves deep by ranking the entire Football Bowl Subdivision, from No. 1 all the way to No. 120.
Badgers fans don't have to read that far down, however. Hayes has the Badgers pegged at No. 10 and quotes head coach Bret Bielema as, "Excited to be in the top 10! It's a great recognition of what we've accomplished in the past and what our team expects and is working to achieve in the future."
UW ranks second-highest among Big Ten teams, with new member Nebraska one spot ahead at No. 9. Sporting News also has the teams that shared the league's crown with Wisconsin in 2010 -- Michigan State and Ohio State -- among its top 20. The Spartans check in at No. 14, with the Buckeyes slotted 17th.
With Penn State at No. 24, the Big Ten owns one-fifth of the Sporting News' top 25.
LSU is the magazine's preseason favorite, ahead of No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Alabama. Stanford and Oregon round out the top five.
Blue Ribbon Yearbook goes a different way with its top pick, seating the Sooners at No. 1. Alabama checks in at No. 2, with LSU, Stanford and Oregon completing the top five.
More importantly, Blue Ribbon pegs the Badgers at No. 13. That's four spots back of the top Big Ten team in its rankings, No. 9 Nebraska.
Also representing the league are Michigan State at No. 15 at Ohio State at No. 18. Sporting News College Football Top 120 Top 25 (Complete Listing) 1. LSU 2. Oklahoma 3. Alabama 4. Stanford 5. Oregon 6. Boise State 7. Florida State 8. Oklahoma State 9. Nebraska 10. Wisconsin 11. Arkansas 12. Texas A&M 13. Virginia Tech 14. Michigan State 15. Notre Dame 16. South Carolina 17. Ohio State 18. Auburn 19. TCU 20. Mississippi State 21. Utah 22. West Virginia 23. Arizona State 24. Penn State 25. USC Blue Ribbon Yearbook Preseason Top 25 1. Oklahoma 2. Alabama 3. LSU 4. Stanford 5. Oregon 6. Boise State 7. Florida State 8. Texas A&M 9. Nebraska 10. South Carolina 11. Virginia Tech 12. Oklahoma State 13. Wisconsin 14. Arkansas 15. Michigan State 16. Georgia 17. TCU 18. Ohio State 19. Notre Dame 20. Arizona State 21. Mississippi State 22. USC 23. West Virginia 24. Missouri 25. Southern Miss
Our look back on the top plays of 2010-11 concludes Tuesday as we look back on the play that set the stage for Wisconsin's thrilling win over No. 1-ranked Ohio State under the lights at Camp Randall Stadium.
Is it your choice for the best of 2010-11? Feel free to vote once per day for your favorite play, and we will announce the winner Wednesday.
David Gilreath - Football Opening kickoff return for TD vs. Ohio State (Oct. 16) The buildup to No. 16 Wisconsin's clash with No. 1-ranked Ohio State seemed almost unending, but it took just seconds for David Gilreath to show how the Badgers would respond to one of the most hyped games in their history. The senior took the opening kickoff and sprinted around and through the Buckeyes' coverage unit as part of a 97-yard return for touchdown, a score that paved the way for a 31-18 victory.
UW's first win over the nation's top-ranked team in 29 years set off one of the biggest celebrations in Camp Randall Stadium history -- and set the stage for a run to the Big Ten title.
Our look back on the top plays of 2010-11 continues Saturday as we look back on the play that finished off the Badgers' sweep of the WCHA regular-season and tournament titles with a dramatic overtime win over Border Battle rival Minnesota.
Is it your choice for the best of 2010-11? Feel free to vote once per day for your favorite play, and we will announce the winner Wednesday, June 29.
Kelly Nash - Women's Hockey OT game-winner to win WCHA Final Face-Off (March 5) With the WCHA Final Face-Off crown on the line in a rivalry matchup against Minnesota, the Badgers needed a lift in overtime. Their first lead of the game came with just 49 seconds to go in the extra period as senior Kelly Nash took a pass from fellow senior Geena Prough and wristed the game-winner past Gophers goaltender Noora Raty. The goal gave UW its fourth WCHA tournament title and kept the Badgers' unbeaten streak alive at 24 straight games.