Wisconsin releases depth chart ahead of season opener

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin football team opens the season on Friday night, and on Sunday the team released its official two-deep depth chart.

Among the noteworthy decisions are the inclusion of four true freshmen slated to get reps in the two-deep: LS Adam Bay (starter), QB Jack Coan (backup), WR Danny Davis (backup), RB Jonathan Taylor (committee).

With Jack Cichy out for the year with a torn ACL, Ryan Connelly and T.J. Edwards will get the start at the two inside linebacker spots. Hawaii transfer Nick Nelson will supersede Jazz Peavy as the main punt returner, while A.J. Taylor will take the majority of the kick returns over Chris James.

You can see how the depth chart compares to Zach Heilprin’s predictions here.

QB | Alex Hornibrook, Jack Coan
RB | Bradrick Shaw OR Chris James OR Jonathan Taylor
FB | Austin Ramesh, Alec Ingold
WR | Jazz Peavy, A.J. Taylor
WR | Quintez Cephus, Dannby Davis
TE | Troy Fumagalli, Kyle Penniston/Zander Neuville
LT | Michael Deiter, Cole Van Lanen
LG | Jon Dietzen, Micah Kapoi
C | Tyler Biadasz, Brett Connors
RG | Beau Benzschawel, Jason Erdmann/David Moorman
RT | David Edwards, Patrick Kasl

DE | Alec James, Chikwe Obasih
NT | Olive Sagapolu, Garrett Rand
DE | Conor Sheehy, Isaahh Loudermilk
OLB | Garret Dooley, Andrew Van Ginkel
ILB | Ryan Connelly, Arrington Farrar
ILB | T.J. Edwards, Chris Orr
OLB | Leon Jacobs, Tyler Johnson
CB | Derrick Tindal, Dontye Carriere-Williams
SS | D’Cota Dixon, Joe Ferguson
FS | Natrell Jamerson, Patrick Johnson
CB | Nick Nelson, Lubern Figaro

P | Anthony Lotti, Connor Allen
FG | Rafael Gaglianone, Zach Hintze
KO | P.J. Rosowski, Zach Hintze
LS | Adam Bay, Josh Bernhagen
H | Connor Allen, P.J. Rosowski
PR | Nick Nelson, Jazz Peavy
KR | A.J. Taylor, Chris James

Wisconsin, UCLA set home-and-home series for 2029, 2030

MADISON — Wisconsin has added another Power 5 team to its future schedule.

The school announced Tuesday a home-and-home matchup with UCLA in 2029 and 2030, with the first game taking place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and the second one in Madison at Camp Randall Stadium.

“UCLA is one of the premier programs in college football,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “We had some memorable bowl games when I was on the sidelines but this is a great opportunity for us to play them at Camp Randall. Non-conference scheduling is always a challenge but the folks at UCLA have been great to deal with and we look forward to the series.”

Unless they face each other in a bowl game before 2029, it will be the school’s first time playing since the 2000 Sun Bowl, a victory for the Badgers. Wisconsin also beat the Bruins in the 1999 and 1994 Rose Bowls. Overall, the teams have played 11 times with UCLA owning a 7-4 record.

The addition of the Bruins to the schedule comes just more than a week after the school announced a series against Notre Dame in 2020 at Lambeau Field and 2021 at Soldier Field.

Here is the rundown of non-conference Power 5 opponents now on Wisconsin’s future schedules:

Notre Dame – 2020, 2021
Syracuse – 2020, 2021
Washington State – 2022, 2023
Virginia Tech – 2024, 2025
UCLA — 2029, 2030

Wisconsin falls to Melbourne United on late 3-pointer

MELBOURNE, Australia — The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team faced its first test of adversity on the international trip, falling 90-89 to Melbourne United Saturday night on a late 3-point shot.

The Badgers were 3-0 on their foreign exhibition tour, seemingly on their way to a fourth win after grabbing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. But Melbourne’s Jerry Evans sank a 3-pointer from the corner with 2.4 seconds left to leave Wisconsin in shock.

“We were in situations throughout the game that we haven’t been in,” Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard told UWBadgers.com. “End of game and quarter situations, foul trouble we had to deal with. We did a lot of learning, which is exactly why you come on trips like this, to put yourself in some adverse situations and see how guys react on the fly.”

Wisconsin rallied from a 14-point second quarter deficit by scoring on 11 of its first 12 possessions to start the second half. That included scoring 32 points on 17 possessions in the third quarter.

It’s been a youth movement for the Badgers, who were led in the loss by 19 points from D’Mitrik Trice, 18 points from Kobe King, followed by Ethan Happ with 14.

“You have to learn from wins and losses,” Happ said after the loss. “The biggest thing is, we need to slow down when they’re making their run. We need to slow down on both ends where we need to hone in and get a stop or we need to hone in and get a bucket at the rim. We need to play inside-out down the stretch and make more plays.”

The Badgers failed to make it a two-possession game down the stretch. Their final two possessions included a shot clock violation and a partially blocked shot from Brevin Pritzl, for what would have been the winning basket.

The five-game tour concludes Tuesday against the Sydney Kings at 2:30 a.m. CT.

Brevin Pritzl scores 27 in win over New Zealand Breakers

AUCKLAND — The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team started the five-game international series with an 85-75 exhibition win over the New Zealand Breakers.

Sophomore guard Brevin Pritzl led the Badgers with 27 points on the way to victory, supported by 17 points from junior center Ethan Happ. Freshman guard Brad Davison added 13. Wisconsin and New Zealand were tied 57-57 heading into the final quarter, where UW pulled away, outscoring the Breakers 28-18.

Wisconsin will have a day off before facing Tauranga City Basketball Thursday at 1:30 a.m. CT. The Badgers will play their final three games in Australia against Hawthorn Magic, Melbourne United, and Sydney Kings.


LISTEN: Wisconsin football will play Notre Dame at Lambeau Field and Soldier Field

CHICAGO — It’s official. The Wisconsin and Notre Dame football teams are set to meet for the first time since 1964. The universities have agreed to a two-year, neutral-site football series beginning in 2020.

The Irish and Badgers will play Oct. 3, 2020, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Sept. 25, 2021, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez was one of four to make the announcement at a news conference in Chicago Monday morning.

Green Bay Packers President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Murphy was also present at the news conference.

University of Notre Dame Vice President & James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick also said it will be a great event.


The Irish and Badgers have played on 16 previous occasions, with Notre Dame leading the series 8-6-2. Notre Dame earned a 31-7 victory in the most recent meeting between the schools on Sept. 26, 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin, in Ara Parseghian’s debut as head coach for the Irish. The Irish and Badgers met for the first time on the gridiron on Nov. 10, 1900, when Wisconsin shut out Notre Dame, 54-0. The Badgers captured the first three all-time meetings (1900, 1904, 1905) with the Irish.

Neutral site matchups are nothing new to the Notre Dame-Wisconsin series. The 1904 and 1905 games were played in Milwaukee, while legendary Irish head coach Knute Rockne led Notre Dame to a 19-0 victory over the Badgers on Oct. 19, 1929, at Soldier Field.

Notre Dame has played 12 games at Soldier Field, most recently in 2012 when the Irish routed Miami, (Fla.), 41-3, in a Shamrock Series matchup. The Irish own an all-time record of 10-0-2 in the current home of the Chicago Bears.

Wisconsin has played three games at Soldier Field. In addition to the ’29 meeting with the Irish, the Badgers defeated Great Lakes in 1942 and Northern Illinois in 2011.

Interestingly enough, 2020 will mark Notre Dame’s first-ever appearance at legendary Lambeau Field, which is named after Curly Lambeau – former Irish player and eventual founder of the Green Bay Packers. Wisconsin has played just once in the stadium, last year’s 16-14 victory over No. 5 LSU.

The Wisconsin-Notre Dame meeting in 2020 will mark just the second major college football game in the history of Lambeau Field, and the second college game of any kind since NCAA Division III St. Norbert faced Fordham in 1983.

The 2020 and 2021 games against Notre Dame are the only future regular season games for the Badgers currently slated to be played in NFL stadiums.


Ex-Badgers WR Wheelwright signed by Chiefs

KANSAS CITY — Former University of Wisconsin wide receiver Robert Wheelwright has found his new home after signing a one-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Wheelwright spent the last thee-plus months as a free agent after being released by the New York Giants in May. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants in April after some initial confusion over his “Carolina Panthers” Tweet that same night.

The Columbus, Ohio native joins fellow former Badger quarterback Joel Stave on the Kansas City roster after Stave was added to the Chiefs practice squad last November. Wheelwright finished his senior year with a career-high 448 yards on 34 receptions, though he only had one touchdown.

The NFL.com scouting report on Wheelwright wasn’t very promising heading into the NFL Draft. He was described as having a habit of making mental errors.

Summary: A bit of an underachiever. Wheelwright has all of the physical tools, but hasn’t quite lived up to his four-star status. Was a dependable receiver for the last two seasons for the Badgers. Doesn’t play as big as his size suggests. Will likely play the X in the NFL, despite playing the Z in Madison. Needs to get stronger, and develop more of a mean streak. Will get a camp invite, and could stick as a practice squad player for a year or two before getting a chance at a main roster.

Walk-ons Henry Houden and Ricky Finco leaving UW football team (AUDIO)

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin tradition of emerging from walk-on status to folk hero has come to an end for in-state wide receivers Henry Houden and Ricky Finco.

UW officials confirmed Sunday morning that Houden and Finco will be leaving the football team, but will remain enrolled at the university. No reason was given for their departures.

Houden, a blooming scout player out of Madison Memorial High School, saw injuries take a toll on his contributions to the team. The news on Finco’s departure comes the day after catching a 70-yard touchdown from Kare Lyles on the first day of fall camp.

Finco was rated as the No. 18 recruit out of Arrowhead High School, per 247 Sports. He won a WIAA Division 1 State Championship in 2013 before going on to play one season at UW Whitewater. He told the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network last spring that being a Badger was a lifelong dream.

Finco played in 12 games for the Badgers last season, returning two punts for 16 total yards.

While no details were given on why exactly Houden and Finco are walking away, the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway believes it could have something to do with declining opportunities for the Wisconsin natives.

Marquette lands top 2018 target Joey Hauser over UW, MSU

MILWAUKEE — The rivalry between Wisconsin and Marquette grew stronger over the weekend after one of the nation’s top prospects, Joey Hauser (Stevens Point), announced his commitment to Marquette Sunday night.


Hauser is ranked as the No. 1 power forward in the state of Wisconsin and the No. 35 prospect nationwide, according to 247 Sports. He chooses Marquette over Wisconsin and Michigan State, who considered Hauser their top target. Wisconsin was even reported to be holding off on offering any other scholarships for 2018 until Hauser made his decision.

He also had offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Purdue and Northwestern.

Hauser has asserted himself on the hardwood, helping the Panthers earn three consecutive Division 1 WIAA championships. He’ll have a family reunion of sorts with the Golden Eagles, teaming up his with brother Sam, a sophomore on Marquette’s roster.

Mallards pound Woodchucks to complete weekend sweep (AUDIO)

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Mallards (9-6, 28-22) dominated in all phases of a 13-2 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks (5-11, 20-31) at Warner Park on Sunday afternoon. Every Madison batter reached base and the Mallards pitching staff only allowed four total hits in the team win.

The Mallards fell behind 1-0 after just two batters in the top of the first. However, Mallards starter Tyler Dyson (Florida) would quickly settle in after allowing the initial run. Dyson worked five total innings and only allowed one hit after the first frame. Dyson tallied six strikeouts and didn’t issue a single free pass as he went on to earn his second win of the season.

“Once I got back to attacking guys it went well. I was just trying to make them hit my best stuff. My stuff got better after that first batter. I got behind against the first few batters and I just can’t do that or they’re going to hit it,” Dyson explained. “I just got back to attacking and that’s how I settled in.”

After the first inning Woodchuck run, the Mallards quickly responded. Cole Daily (Notre Dame) drew a leadoff walk and Mallards centerfielder Zac Taylor (Illinois) followed with a two-run shot over the left field fence to put the Mallards in front. Taylor finished the ballgame 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.

With the game tied at two in the third, the Mallards executed with runners on base again. After three Mallards reached base to start the inning, Jeffery Mitchell Jr. (California) and Thomas Smart (Oakton) used back-to-back sacrifice flies to put the Mallards in front, 4-2. Mitchell Jr. was just beginning his huge ballgame as he ended the day with three runs batted in.

After adding another run in the fourth, the Mallards busted the game open in the bottom of the fifth. Following a Mitchell Jr. RBI single and walk by Smart, Madison first baseman Sam Armstrong (Jacksonville) crushed a three-run dinger into the third level of the Great Dane Duck Blind Suites beyond the right field fence. The bomb gave the Mallards a seven-run lead and the Madison offense would go on to add four more in the inning. After five, the Mallards led 13-2.

In the sixth, the Mallards bullpen picked up right where Dyson left off. Matt McCarty (Louisville), Riley Pawelski (Madison College), and Luke Schilling (Illinois) combined to toss four scoreless innings to seal the 13-2 win. The group only allowed one hit and Pawelski managed to strikeout three Woodchucks. Overall, the Madison pitching staff held the Woodchucks to just two runs on four hits.


New faces, numbers added to Wisconsin’s 2017 roster

MADISON — Wisconsin has released an updated football roster for the 2017 season.

Here are some of the more notables changes:

New numbers

S Patrick Johnson — No. 2 (22)
WR Kendric Pryor — No. 3 (27)
WR A.J. Taylor — No. 4 (84)
S Joe Ferguson — No. 8 (36)
OLB Christian Bell — No. 55 (49)

New freshmen numbers

WR Danny Davis III — No. 6
QB Jack Coan — No. 10
QB Danny Vanden Boom — No. 15
CB Faion Hicks — No. 20
WR Cade Green — No. 22
RB Jonathan Taylor — No. 23
CB Madison Cone — No. 24
S Scott Nelson — No. 25
LB Izayah Green-May — No. 50
LS Adam Bay — No. 51
OL Logan Bruss — No. 60
OL Tyler Beach — No. 65
DE Aaron Vopal — No. 69
OL Alex Fenton — No. 73
OL Kayden Lyles — No. 76
WR Emmet Perry — No. 82
TE Jake Ferguson — No. 84
WR Deron Harrell — No. 89

Bulking up

Wisconsin is all about the big guys and several have added a significant amount of weight from what they were listed at prior to last season.

LT David Edwards — +30 to 315 lbs
RT Patrick Kasl — +34 to 325 lbs
C Tyler Biadasz — +25 to 316 lbs
LT Cole Van Lanen — +20 to 307 lbs
DE Isaiahh Loudermilk — +29 to 306 lbs
DE Billy Hirschfeld — +15 to 305 lbs
ILB Arrington Farrar — +17 to 237 lbs
ILB Griffin Grady — +14 to 225 lbs
RB Bradrick Shaw — +9 to 220 lbs
RB Chris James — +11 to 219 lbs
WR Quintez Cephus — +10 to 205 lbs
WR A.J. Taylor — +8 to 202 lbs
WR George Rushing — +8 to 200 lbs
S Natrell Jamerson — +10 to 198 lbs

No longer around

Offseason attrition is normal in college football, and Wisconsin had its share before and after spring practice.

(* indicates a walk-on)

* TE Mitchell Herl
DE Jake Hescock (transfer)
* LB Max Praschak (transfer to UW-River Falls)
* RB Troy Laufenberg
* S Bret Verstegen
* WR Jack Popp
LB Dallas Jeanty (transfer)
* OL Kelly Thomas
OL Kevin Estes (medical non-counter waiver being pursued)
* Ian Dretzka