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Spring Forward '14: In-depth look at Badgers in Varsity

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In this week's issue of Varsity magazine, Mike Lucas sits down with UW head coach Gary Andersen and coordinators Dave Aranda and Andy Ludwig for an in-depth at what to watch for during spring practice:
Wisconsin offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig has a favorite phrase to describe the standard growing pains for everyone involved. "A year ago at this time, you were drinking water through a fire hose," he said. "Now, you're going about your business and getting ready for a great spring."

The operative word is "settled." Andersen used it, so did Ludwig. "We're so much more settled," Ludwig said. "The coaches know each other. The coaches know the players. The players know the coaches and the system is intact. The system is not changing. There's no new terminology to learn."

It's fair to say everything has settled down on both sides of the ball. That's what UW defensive coordinator Dave Aranda was saying. "In the attitude, in the expectations and in the anticipation of what's coming -- in all of those things -- I just think we're ahead (this spring)," he said.
Read the full story here: Varsity: A Time for Change

Spring Forward '14: Practice #1 Photo of the Day

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Spring football is, more than anything, a learning opportunity and assistant coach Ben Strickland used sophomore-to-be Sojourn Shelton as a teaching tool for his fellow cornerbacks during Wednesday's first practice session (Brian Mason photo).

Six Badgers net invitations to NFL combine

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Montee Ball's performance at the 2013 NFL Combine helped make him a second-round pick of the Denver Broncos.

- Invitations: 2014 NFL Scouting Combine  |  NFL.com Combine Coverage

After strong showings in their respective all-star games, six seniors from the Wisconsin football team will take the next step toward improving their draft stock when they head to the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.

Jared Abbrederis, Chris Borland, Ryan Groy, Jacob Pedersen, Dezmen Southward and James White all received invitations to the combine, which is set for Feb. 22-25 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Badgers' contingent makes up one-sixth of the 36 total invitations extended to Big Ten players. It also matches Ohio State for the most invitees of any Big Ten team and makes UW one of 13 programs nationally to boast more than five invitations.

Abbrederis, Borland, Pedersen, Southward and White all received good reviews from their participation in the Senior Bowl last month, while Groy was well-received at the East-West Shrine Game.

NFL_Scouting_Combine_2014_Logo.jpgMost Invitations, 2014 NFL Scouting Combine
Alabama - 12
LSU - 11
Florida State - 9
Notre Dame - 9
Florida - 8
Stanford - 8
Missouri - 7
North Carolina - 7
USC - 7
Baylor - 6
Ohio State - 6
Oregon - 6
Wisconsin - 6

2014 NFL Scouting Combine Invitations, Big Ten Teams
Wisconsin - 6
Ohio State - 6
Iowa - 5
Michigan State - 4
Michigan - 3
Nebraska - 3
Penn State - 3
Minnesota - 2
Illinois - 1
Indiana - 1
Northwestern - 1
Purdue - 1

Reaction to Russell and Co.

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CBSSports.com

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ESPN.com

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ESPN.com (NFL home)

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NFL.com

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CNN.com

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Seattle Times

Wilson leads Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIII title

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- Photo Gallery; Badgers in Super Bowl XLVIII

You can't say Russell Wilson never saw this coming. The professional success that has followed Wilson's season at Wisconsin may have come as a surprise to some -- he's "too short" to be an NFL quarterback, remember -- but it certainly was not to Wilson.

"At the beginning of the year, I told the guys, 'Why not us?'" he said in the moments that followed a dominant 43-8 win for his Seattle Seahawks over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday.

Of course, Wilson's visions of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy go way to back to a time when his pro prospects were still murky. Speaking after a heartbreaking loss to Oregon in the 2012 Rose Bowl, Wilson said, "To lose the way we did, it's only going to make me stronger in the future. It's going to help me figure out something else, maybe, down the road. Maybe win a Super Bowl. You never know."

Now we know.

Wilson's Seahawks didn't just win -- they dominated. A spectacular defensive effort saw Seattle force four turnovers and snuff out one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history while Wilson went 18-for-26 through theair for 206 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. He also ran for 26 yards.

Those efforts made Wilson and teammates Chris Maragos and O'Brien Schofield the 11th, 12 and 13th former Badgers to claim a Super Bowl ring. Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell -- who guided UW to a Rose Bowl title and finished his career as the Badgers' all-time leading passer -- will get one, too.

On the other side, two-time UW All-American Montee Ball wrapped up his rookie campaign by rushing six times for 1 yard.

Russell and Montee: Teammates to Foes

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Super Bowl XLVIII: By the Numbers

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What they're saying: Badgers in Super Bowl XLVII (Saturday)

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Russell Wilson's special wallet

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Russell Wilson's exploits on and off the field, both as a Badger and a Seahawk, have been well documented. He made numerous visits to the American Family Children's Hospital during his time in Madison and is a regular visitor to the Seattle Children's Hospital. ESPN chronicled how one such visit turned into a special relationship and earned Wilson a unique keepsake.


What they're saying: Badgers in Super Bowl XLVII (Friday)

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ON WISCONSIN