Wisconsin on the field for practice No. 2 of spring

MADISON — Wisconsin was back on the field Thursday morning for the second practice of spring ball.

Coach Quintez


He’s not taking part this spring has he recovers from a nasty leg injury suffered last November, but Quintez Cephus is staying involved. He spent a healthy portion of practice talking and working technique with his fellow wide receivers, from the proper angle to take when blocking to beating press coverage off the line.

In the return game

Nick Nelson is training for the NFL Draft, so the Badgers need to find a new punt returner. The early candidates appear to be true freshman Aron Cruickshank and redshirt sophomore Jack Dunn. They were the only two working there on Thursday, though other potential replacements, such as sophomore Danny Davis and redshirt freshman Cade Green, are currently hurt.

New face on the DL

With Garrett Rand missing practice due to an injury, redshirt freshman Aaron Vopal slid into the starting unit at defensive end with Isaiahh Loudermilk and nose tackle Olive Sagapolu. Vopal is a load at 6-foot-6, 299 pounds, and even when Rand gets healthy, figures to see plenty of time as defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield loves to rotate five or six guys through to keep everyone fresh.

Hit on WRs again?

It’s only two practices, but Wisconsin’s two early enrollees at wide receiver — Cruickshank and Taj Mustapha — appear more advanced than they should for kids that could still be in high school. Mustapha ran a nasty post corner route that left the defensive back grasping at air, while Cruickshank is so quick in and out of his breaks.

The Badgers hit it big in the last two recruiting classes with Cephus, A.J. Taylor, Kendric Pryor and Davis, and it’s possible they did it again in 2018. And that’s not even taking into consideration the guys not yet here — Isaac Gurrendo and A.J. Abbott.

Caesar Williams flashes

A forgotten player at cornerback, redshirt sophomore Caesar Williams had a strong day. On back-to-back plays in 7-on-7, Williams closed quickly to break up a pass. The first one was good enough to get a slightly hobbled Dontye Carriere-Williams to run 15 yards to congratulate him. With Carriere-Williams out, Williams has been the third cornerback with sophomore Madison Cone and redshirt freshman Faion Hicks.

What offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph had to say:


Injury report:

OUT (practice)
CB Dontye Carriere-Williams
WR Danny Davis
WR Cade Green
RB Mark Saari
LB Chris Orr
OL David Edwards
DL Garrett Rand

OUT (spring)

WR Quintez Cephus
OL Michael Deiter
OL Jon Dietzen
S D’Cota Dixon
RB Garrett Groshek
TE Zander Neuville
RB Bradrick Shaw
ILB Mason Stokke

What’s next:

Wisconsin will be back on the field for practice on Friday and Sunday, though both are closed to the media. Things will open back up next Tuesday.