(9) Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 17: 2-minute drill

LINCOLN, Neb. — Freshman Jonathan Taylor ran for 249 yards and two touchdowns as Wisconsin hammered Nebraska 38-17 Saturday night at Memorial Stadium to move to 5-0 for the first time since 2011.

Play of the Game

Nebraska had just gotten the stadium rocking with an 80-yard touchdown catch and run from wide receiver Stanley Morgan to get within 10-7 late in the second quarter. But Wisconsin had an answer — or more accurately — Taylor had an answer. On the first play of the ensuing drive, the running back got the handoff, burst through a hole on the right side and outran the safety for a 75-yard score to give the Badgers the momentum back.

Game Balls

Offense: Jonathan Taylor

In his just his fifth college game, the New Jersey product topped the 200-yard mark for a second time this season. And he did it by averaging 10 yards per carry, showing off both his power, speed and agility that made him so productive in high school. It’s becoming more clear by the day that Wisconsin got an absolute steal in Taylor.

Defense: CB Nick Nelson

Facing what was the best group of wide receivers Wisconsin had seen so far, the Badgers’ top cornerback had perhaps his best game of the year. Nelson finished with a team-high three pass breakups, and was draped all over Nebraska’s pass catchers. Nelson has been good this season, but Saturday night he took it to another level.

Special Teams: Zach Hintze

Wisconsin kicked off seven times and Hintze put five of them in the end zone, while popping another one up that allowed the coverage team to get down and stop Nebraska at its own 17-yard line.

Video of the game

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst talks to the media after the game
Linebacker Chris Orr on his interception return for a touchdown

In Case You Missed It

— Wisconsin’s captains were wide receiver Jazz Peavy, tight end Troy Fumagalli, safety Natrell Jamerson and defensive end Alec James.

— Walk-on Jason Erdmann replaced an injured Jon Dietzen at left guard late in the first half.

— After missing last week’s game against Northwestern with a leg injury, Fumagalli returned to the lineup and had three catches for 31 yards.

— After Nebraska tied the game at 17 with 10:43 left in the third quarter, Wisconsin ran the ball on 29 of the next 31 plays, outscoring the Huskers 21-0 in that stretch.

Inside the Numbers

131 — That’s how many points Wisconsin has outscored Nebraska in the seven games since the Huskers entered in the Big Ten in 2011. The Badgers are 6-1 in those games.

75 — That’s how long Jonathan Taylor’s second quarter touchdown run was — the longest play from scrimmage for the Badgers since an 88-yard catch and run by Melvin Gordon in 2014 against Iowa.

14 — That’s how many players have run for 200 yards against Nebraska. Of the 14, three of them are Badgers — Montee Ball (2012), Melvin Gordon (2012, 2014) and Jonathan Taylor (2017).

20 — That’s how many straight night games Nebraska had won at Memorial Stadium — a streak the Badgers stopped on Saturday night.

353 — That’s how many yards rushing Wisconsin had for the game, the most in a road game since 2012.

3 — That’s how many interceptions Wisconsin has returned for touchdowns this year, matching the most for the program in the last 20 years. The Badgers also had three in 1999 and 2010.

0 — That’s how many points Wisconsin’s defense allowed in the second half — the fourth time this year the Badgers haven’t allowed the opposing offense to score after halftime this year.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0) will return home to face Purdue (3-2, 1-1) at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday.

Injury update on Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli

MADISON — It’s looking like Wisconsin will have the services of tight end Troy Fumagalli on Saturday at Nebraska.

“Troy’s been able to work every day this week and each day do a little bit more,” coach Paul Chryst told reporters. “Feel good [about him playing] barring any setback from [Thursday’s] work.”

Fumagalli is Wisconsin’s top offensive weapon, leading them in catches (15) and yards (236) despite missing last week’s game against Northwestern with a leg injury. In his place, sophomore Kyle Penniston and junior Zander Neuville combined for one catch.

Meanwhile, Chryst said that defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk, who is listed as questionable with a leg injury, practiced on Thursday and he feels good about his chances of playing on Saturday. The 6-foot-7, 303-pound redshirt freshman is a vital component to Wisconsin’s front seven, especially with senior Chikwe Obasih still out with a knee injury.

Here is Wisconsin’s full injury report:

QUESTIONABLE
TE Troy Fumagalli (leg)
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk (leg)
K P.J. Rosowski (leg)

OUT
RB Taiwan Deal
DE Chikwe Obasih
WR George Rushing

OUT FOR SEASON

OLB Zack Baun (foot)
RB Sam Broadner (knee)
ILB Jack Cichy (knee)
ILB Mason Stokke (leg)

No. 9 Wisconsin overcomes a slow start to whip Utah State 59-10

MADISON — It took nearly 29 minutes, but No. 9 Wisconsin finally woke up. And once it did, the Badgers turned into a steamroller, scoring 59 unanswered points, including 49 in the second half, to beat Utah State 59-10 on Friday night at Camp Randall Stadium.

Play of the Game

Utah State led 10-7 with 1:01 left in the first half and had a first-and-10 at its own 18-yard line. The Badgers had just gotten their first points of the game, so it would have made sense for the Aggies to be satisfied with their lead and head into halftime. They apparently weren’t satisfied, as quarterback Kent Myers came out throwing and it turned into a disaster. His short toss to Carson Terrell on first down went off the receiver’s hands and right into the waiting arms of linebacker T.J. Edwards.

“That was huge,” safety D’Cota Dixon said afterwards. “It was the hammer and the nail. That’s exactly what you need, especially when you’re down. It was exactly what we needed.”

The interception only led to a field goal, but it was the first of many mistakes the rest of the way for Utah State, which would go on to turn the ball over four times.

Game Balls

Offense: TE Troy Fumagalli

Others were flashier, but the senior posted a career-high 105 yards receiving, picking up where he left off in Wisconsin’s Cotton Bowl victory last January.

His 15-yard catch on third-and-12 in the second quarter kept the Badgers first scoring drive of the game going, and then quarterback Alex Hornibrook found him wide open on third-and-2 early in the third quarter for a 23-yard touchdown.

With his big night, Fumagalli now sits fifth all-time in receiving yards for a tight end at Wisconsin, and will likely end up with the second-most by the time his career is over.

Defense: ILB T.J. Edwards

The junior was everywhere on Friday night, collecting seven tackles, one tackle for loss, picking off one pass and breaking up two more throws. His interception late in the second quarter proved to be the turning point in a game that Utah State led at that point.

But it wasn’t just the numbers for Edwards. It was the passion he played with, finishing off tackles with an emphasis. It was everything you’d expect out of one of the best linebackers in the Big Ten.

Special Teams: K Rafael Gaglianone

He only kicked one field goal — from just 29 yards — but Gaglianone gets the game ball because it was his first time on the field since suffering a season-ending back injury last September.

Wisconsin didn’t need his leg to win on Friday night, but history would suggest they’ll need it at some point this season.

Video of the Game

In their own words

Jonathan Taylor describes his first career touchdown, a 13-yard scamper in the third quarter.

Quote of the Day

“I always describe Coach Chryst as a dad away from home. He’s just the same guy. He’s very smooth, very calm, very collected. But, as a father would when a child needs to be disciplined and needs to be talked to, he will discipline us. He just honestly told us the truth. We were beating ourselves a lot.”

— Dixon on the loud and direct message that coach Paul Chryst gave the team at halftime on Friday night.

In Case You Missed It

— Wisconsin’s captains were defensive end Alec James, wide receiver Jazz Peavy, tight end Troy Fumagalli and safety Natrell Jamerson. The honorary captain was Al Toon, a member of UW’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

— Several true freshmen made their debuts on Friday, including running back Jonathan Taylor, wide receiver Danny Davis, quarterback Jack Coan, cornerback Madison Cone and long snapper Adam Bay.

— Fumagalli wore No. 48 in honor of senior linebacker Jack Cichy, who will miss the year with a torn ACL. Fumagalli said it was just a one time thing, but that he really wanted to do it to show Cichy how much he meant to the team.

— Junior Zander Neuville’s first career catch turned into his first career touchdown, as he tightroped down the sideline for the 28-yard score early in the third quarter. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the extra effort of Danny Davis, who managed to block three different guys to help get the tight end into the end zone.

— Wisconsin trailed 10-0 in the first half. It was the first time the Badgers had trailed by double digits in a non-conference home game since 2012 against — you guessed it — Utah State. The Badgers won that game 16-14.

Inside the Numbers

15:19 — That’s how long it took for Wisconsin to go from down 10-0 to up 38-10.

87 — That’s the number of rushing yards for freshman Jonathan Taylor in his first career game. It included a pretty 41-yard run on the first play of the second half to jump start the offense.

99 — That was the length of Joe Ferguson’s interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the longest return in school history.

3 — That’s the number of touchdowns Alex Hornibrook threw on Friday night, a career high and 1/3 of what he threw all of last year.

478 — That’s the number of yards Wisconsin’s offense rolled up. It’s the third-highest total since Chryst took over as coach in 2015.

What’s Next

Wisconsin (1-0) will host Florida Atlantic next Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. The Owls, in their first game under new coach Lane Kiffin, lost 42-19 to Navy on Friday.

Wisconsin football: Predicting the depth chart

MADISON — The University of Wisconsin will unveil its first depth chart of the season on Sunday as the Badgers begin preparations for their opener against Utah State on Friday.

Before they do, though, we thought we’d take a shot at what it might look like.

Quarterback:

1) Alex Hornibrook (RS SO)
2) Jack Coan (FR)

Notes: The last practice the media saw was on Aug. 12, and to that point Hornibrook was having a very strong fall camp. After going 7-2 as a starter in 2016, the redshirt sophomore is now the clear leader of the offense and appears poised for big things this fall.

Coan, meanwhile, bested Kare Lyles to earn the backup job. The true freshman is still very raw, but he’s got the physical tools to be a very good quarterback at some point in his Wisconsin career.

Tailback

1) Bradrick Shaw (RS SO) OR Chris James (JR)
3) Jonathan Taylor (FR)

Fullback

1) Alec Ingold (JR)
2) Austin Ramesh (SR)

Notes: Shaw and James figure to each get the ball plenty this fall, though it’s unclear who will get the first snap of the season.

Behind them, things are a little murky. When healthy, junior Taiwan Deal is worthy of playing time. Unfortunately for him, he rarely has been and that was the case in fall camp. His absence allowed the most talked about player in the last 10 days — Taylor — to make big strides. The New Jersey product is in line for a much bigger role than anyone expected at the start of camp.

Wide receiver

1) Jazz Peavy (SR) and Quintez Cephus (SO)
2) A.J. Taylor (SO) and Danny Davis (FR)

Notes: Highlight catches were the norm at practice this fall for Wisconsin, and these four made a lot of them. Peavy is dynamic with the ball in his hands, Cephus is a big play waiting to happen, Taylor is a much more polished route runner than a year ago and Davis runs and moves better than the coaches thought he would.

Injuries hit the position in fall camp, and it’s unclear when senior George Rushing (leg) and redshirt freshman Kendric Pryor (moped accident) will return.

Tight end

1) Troy Fumagalli (SR)
2) Kyle Penniston (RS SO)
3) Zander Neuville (JR)

Notes: Fumagalli is one of the best tight ends in the country and that showed during fall camp. Penniston and Neuville will both get plenty of time, with the former a nice threat in the passing game. If injuries hit, redshirt freshman Luke Benzschawel could work his way into the rotation.

Offensive line

LT: Michael Deiter (JR) and Cole Van Lanen (RS FR)
LG: Jon Dietzen (RS SO) and Micah Kapoi (JR)
C: Tyler Biadasz (RS FR) and Brett Connors (JR)
RG: Beau Benzschawel (JR) and Jason Erdmann (RS SO)
RT: David Edwards (RS SO) and Patrick Kasl (RS FR)

Notes: If the starting five can stay healthy, it has a chance to be a dominant group. But recent history suggests everyone won’t stay healthy and that makes depth important. Wisconsin can manage an injury at guard or center, but if one of the tackles were to go down things could get dicey.

Defensive line

DE: Alec James (SR) or Chikwe Obasih (SR)
NG: Olive Sagapolu (JR) and Garrett Rand (SO)
DE: Conor Sheehy (SR) and Isaiahh Loudermilk (RS FR)

Notes: Wisconsin is loaded along the line, starting with the three seniors and Sagapolu, but the future is also very bright with Rand and Loudermilk.

Linebackers

OLB: Leon Jacobs (SR) and Zack Baun (RS SO)
ILB: T.J. Edwards (JR) and Arrington Farrar (JR)
ILB: Chris Orr (RS SO) and Ryan Connelly (JR)
OLB: Garrett Dooley (SR) and Andrew Van Ginkel (JR)

Notes: Even after losing senior Jack Cichy to a torn ACL in camp, the inside linebackers are stacked with Edwards, Orr and Connelly.

On the outside, Jacobs has the chance to be an absolute terror when rushing the passer.

Secondary:

CB: Nick Nelson (JR) and Dontye Carriere-Williams (RS FR)
S: D’Cota Dixon (JR) and Joe Ferguson (SR)
S: Natrell Jamerson (SR) and Patrick Johnson (SO)
CB: Derrick Tindal (SR) and Lubern Figaro (SR)

Notes: The hype around Nelson, a transfer from Hawaii, is real and deserved. With him and Tindal, the Badgers have one of the better tandems in the Big Ten.

Carriere-Williams and Figaro were still battling for the nickel spot when camp closed to the media.

Jamerson continued to look more and more comfortable at safety after moving from cornerback, while Dixon is ready to build on what was a pretty good first year as a starter.

Special teams:

Kicker: Rafael Gaglianone (JR) and Zach Hintze (RS SO)
Punter: Anthony Lotti (SO) and P.J. Rosowski (JR)
Kickoff: Rosowski

Kick return: A.J. Taylor (RS SO) and Chris James (JR)
Punt return: Nick Nelson (JR) and Jazz Peavy (SR)

Longsnapper:

Adam Bay (FR)

Notes: Gaglianone seemed to be hitting the ball well during camp and is now fully healthy after missing the final 11 games of 2016 with a back injury. Rosowski earned a scholarship this week in large part due to his work on kickoffs.

Nelson is extremely smooth as a punt returner, while Taylor and James are nice options as kick returners.

Fumagalli recieves more accolades

Earlier today the AP Preseason All-American Team was announced and Troy Fumagalli’s name was on it. Fumagalli received the honor of second team All-American at Tight end.

The Associated Press All-American team was chosen by votes from 51 members of the media panel from across the country. This is one of many accolades that Fumagalli has received already this season.

He was placed on the John Mackey award watch list, which is an award that goes to the nation’s most outstanding Tight end. Fumagalli was also listed on the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year watch list.

He was also voted as first-team All-Big Ten by Athlon. Fumagalli was selected as a first-team All American by Athlon and Sports Illustrated earlier this summer.

He joins a long list of Wisconsin Tight ends who have made a name for themselves at the position.

Being named captains is special for former walk-ons Jack Cichy and Troy Fumagalli

CHICAGO — Wisconsin’s walk-on tradition has become a well known contributor to the Badgers success since former coach Barry Alvarez arrived in 1990. From Joe Panos early in Alvarez’s tenure to Donnell Thompson, Jim Leonhard, J.J. Watt, Jared Abbrederis and many more, the school has thrived at finding under the radar players, developing them and watching them become stars.

Many have gone on to be captains and leaders on a number of the more successful teams in program history. That will be the case again in 2017, as former walk-ons Jack Cichy and Troy Fumagalli were named team captains on Monday.

“It means a lot to me especially because it was voted on by our players,” Fumagalli said. “I always think about the responsibility that comes with it. It’s cool they named me that. It’s my chance to be the best player and teammate I can be.

LISTEN: Jack Cichy joins ‘The Camp’ at Big Ten media days.

Cichy and Fumagalli earned their scholarships prior to the 2015 season and have been key players in helping the Badgers win 21 games the last two years.

One of the top tight ends in the country, Fumagalli led Wisconsin with 47 catches in 2016, while Cichy burst onto the scene late in 2015, including back-to-back-to-back sacks in the Holiday Bowl. The senior was off to a big start last season before suffering a torn left pectoral muscle and missing the rest of the year.

LISTEN: Troy Fumagalli joins ‘The Camp’ to talk about his legacy at Wisconsin and more

“It means a lot,” Cichy said at Big Ten media days. “I’m super appreciative, and I know a huge responsibility comes with that. Being an instate kid, being a walk-on, to earn the respect of my peers and teammates, have them vote me into that, it’s a great honor. And I know it’s all for naught if I don’t take the responsibility and be up to the challenge.”

The pair will be joined as captains by safety D’Cota Dixon, center Michael Deiter and defensive lineman Conor Sheehy.

Wisconsin picked to win the B1G West

Writers that cover the Big Ten either really like Wisconsin or really have a low opinion of the Big Ten West. Either way, the Badgers are the overwhelming favorite to win their division for a third time in four years.

Cleveland.com polled 38 media members that cover the conference, and 31 picked Wisconsin to repeat in the West, while five had Northwestern and two chose Nebraska. In the East, Ohio State was also the pick of most, garnering 34 first-place votes, with defending Big Ten champion Penn State getting seven votes and Michigan getting one.

As for the title game, just four of the 31 writers that picked Wisconsin to make it there actually had them winning in Indianapolis. Three had the Badgers beating Ohio State and another had them over Penn State.

Overall, Ohio State was picked to win the Big Ten championship by 29 of the writers.

The poll also asked which teams would make the College Football Playoff, and Wisconsin got four votes as the only Big Ten team to make it, while one voter had Wisconsin and Ohio State both making it.

The writers also voted on offensive and defensive players of the year, with a first-place vote counting for three points, a second-place vote counting for two points and a third-place vote counting for one point.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley was the runaway winner on offense, garnering 103 points and 30 first-place votes. Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook received two points and tight end Troy Fumagalli got one.

On defense, Ohio State defensive end Tyquan Lewis managed just beat out Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell – 61 points to 59 points. Wisconsin linebackers Jack Cichy (10 points, 1 first-place vote) and T.J. Edwards (7 points, 1 first-place vote) finished seventh and 10th respectively in the voting.

Full results via Cleveland.com:

BIG TEN EAST

1. Ohio State, 260 points (34 first-place votes)
2. Penn State, 231.5 (7)
3. Michigan, 192 (1)
4. Michigan State, 128
5. Indiana, 114
6. Maryland, 100.5
7. Rutgers, 38
(first-place votes equal more than 38 because of some ties for first)

BIG TEN WEST

1. Wisconsin, 259 points (31 first-place votes)
2. Northwestern, 219 (5)
3. Nebraska, 176.5 (2)
4. Iowa, 164.5
5. Minnesota, 131
6. Purdue, 57
6. Illinois, 57

Here were the predictions for the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis on Dec. 2.

Ohio State over Wisconsin (22)
Ohio State over Northwestern (5)
Ohio State over Nebraska (2)
Wisconsin over Ohio State (3)
Wisconsin over Penn State (1)
Penn State over Wisconsin (4)
Michigan over Wisconsin (1)

BIG TEN PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB, 103 points (30 first-place votes)
2. J.T. Barrett, Ohio State QB, 59 points (5)
3. Trace McSorley, Penn State QB, 30 points (2)
4. Justin Jackson, Northwestern RB, 25 points (1)
5. Mike Weber, Ohio State RB, 2 points
5. L.J. Scott, Michigan State RB, 2 points
5. Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin QB, 2 points
5. Rodney Smith, Minnesota RB, 2 points
9. Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin TE, 1 point
9. Simmie Cobbs, Indiana WR, 1 point
9. Jamarco Jones, Ohio State LT, 1 point

PRESEASON BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1. Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State DE, 61 points (11 first-place votes)
2. Josey Jewell, Iowa LB, 59 points (12)
3. Rashan Gary, Michigan DE, 23 points (3)
4. Tegray Scales, Indiana LB, 19 points (4)
5. Jerome Baker, Ohio State LB, 12 points (2)
6. Sam Hubbard, Ohio State DE, 11 points (2)
7. Jack Cichy, Wisconsin LB, 10 points (1)
8. Maurice Hurst, Michigan DT, 9 points (1)
9. Marcus Allen, Penn State S, 9 points
10. T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin LB, 7 points (1)
11. Nick Bosa, Ohio State, DE 4 points (1)
12. Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern S, 2 points
13. Steven Richardson, Minnesota DT, 1 point
13. Blessuan Austin, Rutgers CB, 1 point

Big Ten announces attendees for media days

MADISON — Wisconsin is bringing three familiar faces to Big Ten Media Days later this month.

On Tuesday, the conference announced the 42 attendees for the annual event, and the featured Badgers will be linebackers Jack Cichy and T.J. Edwards, along with tight end Troy Fumagalli.

Edwards has led the Badgers in tackles in his first two years as a starter, earning All-Big Ten honorable each season, while Cichy, before getting injured midway through 2016, was having one of the best years of any linebacker in the conference and was also All-Big Ten honorable mention.

Fumagalli, meanwhile, is considered among the best tight ends in the conference and the country, with many believing he could end up as a first-team All-American in his final year. He caught 47 passes for 580 yards and two touchdowns last season, and earned second-team All-Big ten honors from the coaches.

The two-day event will take place July 24 and 25 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and Convention Center in Chicago.

The three players, along with coach Paul Chryst, will go through interviews and photo shoots on Monday with six other teams. The other seven teams in the conference will do the same on Tuesday.

Six offensive players for Wisconsin receive All-Big Ten recognition

MADISON | A day after the Big Ten announced its yearly honorees on the defensive side of the ball, the conference flipped over to the other side on Wednesday with several Badgers being recognized.

Following his first real year as the marquee running back and gaining 1,140 yards and scoring 13 touchdowns, senior Corey Clement was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and second team by the media.

The only other first-team selection for the Badgers was left tackle Ryan Ramczyk, a consensus pick by the coaches and media in his first year of playing Division I football after two years at Division III UW-Stevens Point.

Meanwhile, tight end Troy Fumagalli was a second-team pick by the coaches and a third-team selection by the media, while guard Beau Benzschawel also received second-team honors from the coaches and third-team from the writers.

Garnering honorable mention from both block of voters was center Michael Deiter and wide receiver Jazz Peavy.

Wisconsin’s opponent in Saturday night’s Big Ten title game, Penn State, had several players honored, including running back Saquon Barkley, who was named the Big Ten offensive player of the year.

You can find a full list of the award winners here:

Wisconsin football preview: Offensive line, tight ends

MADISON – The Wisconsin football team will open fall camp on Aug. 8, so over the next few days we’ll be going position-by-position to preview head coach Paul Chryst’s second team in Madison.

Today it’s the tight ends and offensive line:

Offensive line

Perhaps no positional group was more impacted by the Gary Andersen era at Wisconsin than the offensive line. When Chryst and several other assistants left for Pittsburgh after the 2011 season, the line was the strength of the team, constantly among the best units in the country. By the time Chryst returned to Madison in January of 2015 he barely recognized the group that for so long had been the driving force behind Wisconsin’s power run game. It was a contributing factor to the Badgers struggling to move the ball on the ground a year ago, averaging just 150.3 yards per game – their lowest since 1995.

Now there was some bad luck that led to what took place, namely career-ending injuries to several highly-rated recruits over the last three years. It forced young guys to play earlier than they were ready. Still, rebuilding the group, especially in the weight room, has been among the top priorities for the Badgers. And though the nucleus that makes up this year’s line is still relatively young, it’s hoped the trials and tribulations they overcame a season ago will bear fruit this fall.

What we know for sure as camp opens is that redshirt sophomore Michael Deiter (13 starts: seven at left guard, six at center in 2015) will man the center spot. He was so impressive last year after replacing an injured Dan Voltz, that even Voltz – an All-Big Ten player — told the coaching staff that Deiter was better than him and should remain the starter.

It’s also believed that junior Ryan Ramczyk will get the start at left tackle after transferring in from Division III UW-Stevens Point. Though forced to sit out last year due to NCAA transfer rules, Ramczyk earned high praise for his work on the scout team. Former linebacker Joe Schobert called him the best offensive tackle he faced last year.

Meanwhile, it seems likely that sophomore Beau Benzschawel, who added 15 pounds to his frame after starting eight games a year ago, will get the nod at right guard.

Redshirt sophomore Jacob Maxwell, who started three games a year ago at right tackle, is the favorite to win that spot, though a leg injury suffered at the end of spring impacted his summer workouts. If he struggles, Benzschawel could be bumped out there.

The one spot that appears a bit uncertain is left guard. When spring practice ended, redshirt freshman Jon Dietzen was with the first-team offense, while redshirt sophomore Micah Kapoi worked with the second-team at both left and right guard.

Where the uncertainty comes in is what to do with Voltz. The senior has dealt with injuries throughout his career, and suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in late October of last year. He missed all of spring practice and was also noticeably lighter than the 303 pounds he was listed at last season. With Deiter entrenched at center, Voltz volunteered to move to guard – a position he’s never played in college. It remains to be seen if he can make the transition.

Two-deep projection:
LT: Ryan Ramczyk, David Moorman
LG: Jon Dietzen, Dan Voltz
C: Michael Deiter, Dan Voltz
RG: Beau Benzschawel, Micah Kapoi
RT: Jake Maxwell, Brett Connors

Many have pegged Voltz as the starter at left guard. While I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if it happens, I struggle with the idea that it’ll be an easy move. He’s supposed to play a new position after missing most of the offseason and do so at less than 300 pounds? Wisconsin will play its best five linemen, but it’s not a foregone conclusion that Voltz will be among them.

Though not in the two-deep, it’s possible that true freshman Cole Van Lanen – the top recruit in UW’s 2016 recruiting class – could end up there by the end of camp. He’ll start his career at left tackle, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Tight ends

Entering his junior season, Troy Fumagalli is poised to become one of the better tight ends in the Big Ten. At 6-foot-6, 248 pounds, the Illinois native is the perfect target for an inexperienced quarterback and should serve as a nice security blanket. Last year, he had 28 catches for 313 yards despite being limited early in the year with an ankle injury. With Austin Traylor now trying to earn a job with the Dallas Cowboys, Fumagalli is far and away the top target at the position.

That said, redshirt freshman Kyle Penniston could steal some of his action. A four-star recruit out of California, Penniston is a talented receiver that can be a mismatch for a linebacker. He averaged nearly 14 yards per catch as a senior in high school and should be a nice option for whoever wins the quarterback battle.

Eric Steffes returns for his senior season. Battered by injuries throughout his time, Steffes is a solid run blocker and will be effective when Wisconsin goes to the two and three tight end sets that Chryst likes.

Behind those three is a lot of intrigue. With redshirt freshman David Edwards moving to offensive tackle, it leaves room for one of the young guys to perhaps earn some time. The most likely candidate is Mitchell Herl, who has put on 40-plus pounds since arriving last summer. He showed glimpses of being able to get open during fall camp last year, and if he can still do that while having gained the necessary weight to play the position, he could be a contributor in the near future.

Two-deep projection

TE1 – Troy Fumagalli, Kyle Penniston
TE2 – Eric Steffes, Mitchell Herl

Monday: Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers
Tuesday: Offensive line, tight ends
Tomorrow: Defensive line