On this week’s podcast, Zach Heilprin is joined by former Badgers fullback Matt Bernstein. The two chat about Bernie being in quarantine in New York City, what they miss the most about ‘normal’ life, the impact of no spring ball or summer workouts on the Badgers and why UW always wanted Bernie to be the guy to take drug tests in college.
Zack Baun was expected to be the first Wisconsin player taken in next week’s NFL Draft, and that may still end up happening. But, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the outside linebacker might have hurt his draft stock after it was determined he had a diluted urine sample at the NFL Combine in February.
Wisconsin’s Zach Baun, the third-rated linebacker on Mel Kiper Jr.’s board, notified all 32 teams that he testified positive for a diluted sample at the combine that he blamed on drinking too much water for weight-related weigh-in purposes, per league sources.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2020
Baun weighed in at 238 pounds, three pounds heavier than he was listed during his senior year with the Badgers.
A diluted test doesn’t mean Baun tested positive for any type of illegal substance. It just means his urine sample had a higher than average water content, which is one way to minimize drug levels visible to the testers.
However, Schefter pointed out that under the new CBA, the diluted sample will not act as a positive test.
Here’s an interesting twist regarding Zach Baun testing positive for a diluted sample at combine: Under the NFL’s new CBA, it will not count as a strike against him whereas it would have under the NFL’s old CBA. Therefore, teams don’t believe it will impact his draft status much. https://t.co/Xw8Q7dTqqb
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2020
Baun is projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick.
Wisconsin has added a third running back in its 2021 recruiting class.
Antwan Roberts (Hendersonville, Tenn.) announced his commitment Tuesday morning.
— _antwanroberts (@antwanroberts44) April 14, 2020
A 3-star recruit, Roberts is ranked as the 76th best running back in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite. The 6-foot-1, 189-pound Roberts chose the Badgers over offers from Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis and Missouri.
Roberts joins 3-star RBs Jackson Acker (Verona, Wis.) and Loyal Crawford (Eau Claire, Wis.) as part of Wisconsin’s 2021 class.
Overall, Roberts is commitment No. 10 for Wisconsin. The class is currently ranked top-10 in the country and No. 2 in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin will not be taking the NCAA up on allowing senior spring-sport athletes an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 shutting down their seasons early.
That’s what the university said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
“The NCAA Division I Council’s vote last month to allow institutions to provide an additional season of competition and extend the period of eligibility for spring-sport student-athletes comes at a time of unprecedented uncertainty in college athletics.
UW Athletics places tremendous emphasis on its student-athletes earning an undergraduate degree and having a great competitive experience. In the case of the UW spring student-athletes to which the NCAA’s waiver would apply, a substantial percentage of the student-athletes are scheduled to earn their degrees before next spring. In spite of today’s uncertainties, we will do everything possible to support our student-athletes as they work toward those degrees.
In regard to athletic competition, we will continue to follow the guidance of medical professionals. We are all in a rapidly changing environment that makes decision-making challenging. We will continue to keep the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and fans at the forefront of our decision-making.
The athletic department has made the decision to not pursue waivers that would extend the eligibility of our senior student-athletes. Student-athletes in their fourth year of eligibility have concluded their careers with us.
This group of student-athletes has our full support up to, including and beyond graduation. They are Badgers for life and we are greatly appreciative of the way they have represented our department and the university.”
According to a university spokesman, the impacted athletes have already been granted the waiver and it allows the them to transfer and use the extra of eligibility at another institution.
We are just two weeks out from the start of the NFL Draft and there are several former Wisconsin players that will be waiting anxiously to hear their names called.
Here’s a look at where some of the various mock drafts have the former Badgers going:
LB Zack Baun
NFL.com (Charles Davis): 1st round | No. 32 to Kansas City
NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah): 1st round | No. 28 to Baltimore
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco): 1st round | No. 23 to New England
CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso): 2nd round | No. 36 to New York Giants
Fox Sports (Jason McIntyre): 1st round — No. 24 to New Orleans
Bleacher Report (Matt Miller): 2nd round — No. 33 to Cincinnati
ESPN (Todd McShay): 2nd round — No. 37 to LA Chargers
RB Jonathan Taylor
NFL.com (Chad Reuter): 1st round — No. 26 to Miami
CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso): 2nd round | No. 49 to Pittsburgh
Bleacher Report (Matt Miller): 2nd round — No. 49 to Pittsburgh
ESPN (Todd McShay): 2nd round — No. 47 to Atlanta
OL Tyler Biadasz
WR Quintez Cephus
The coronavirus has claimed a key evaluation tool that Wisconsin uses in recruiting.
It was announced Wednesday morning that all summer camps had been canceled through August 15, including all football camps.
“In response to the COVID-19 situation, the University of Wisconsin is cancelling all youth programs through August 15, 2020 This includes all Badger Sports Camps for summer 2020. The main priority of our programs continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our participants, student-athletes, coaches, administrators and staff as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus.”
Normally, high school kids from all over the country come to Madison in June and July for a variety of camps that allow Wisconsin coaches to evaluate them and potentially offer scholarships. Guys like All-Big Ten linebacker Chris Borland, Rimington Award winner Tyler Biadasz and five-star offensive tackle and current redshirt freshman Logan Brown earned a scholarship based on what they did in a particular camp.
Unfortunately all summer camps at the University of Wisconsin have been cancelled through Aug 15th. Specialists…continue to send us your updated training film so we can continue to evaluate you! Thanks! https://t.co/7qzKSoY5yn
— Taylor Mehlhaff (@tmehlhaff10) April 8, 2020
The cancelation of the camps follows the Big Ten suspending any team activities until at least May 4 and the NCAA shutting down any on-campus or off-campus recruiting.
Wisconsin will reportedly play in one of the more prestigious early season basketball tournaments in 2021.
According to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, the Badgers are among eight teams slated to take part in the Maui Invitational.
Sources: Wisconsin, Oregon, Texas A&M, Butler, Notre Dame, Houston, Saint Mary's, and Chaminade will headline the 2021 Maui Invitational.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 7, 2020
Coach Greg Gard’s club last played in the annual November tournament in 2016 when it made a run to the finals before falling to North Carolina. The Badgers also played in the tournament in 2009 and 1995. The event dates back to 1984.
The trip to Hawaii will be the second-straight warm weather early season tournament for Wisconsin. The school is slated to play in Fort Myers Tip-Off this fall in Florida, with Butler, Colorado and South Florida also slated to take part.
We are definitely living in a different time as COVID-19 impacts nearly every part of society. That’s certainly the case in the sports world where almost all games and competitions have either been canceled, suspended or postponed. We got another reminder of the impact Tuesday morning thanks to the Dallas Cowboys.
Because team facilities are shut down and teams can’t bring in draft prospects for visits, organizations are turning to technology to learn more about potential draftees. That was the case for Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun, who was interviewed by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, new coach Mike McCarthy and several members of his staff via Zoom. The team posted snippets of the interview on Twitter.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) April 7, 2020
The NFL announced Monday that the draft itself will be fully virtual, with team personnel separately working from their own homes. The first round gets underway April 23.
On this special episode of The Swing, Zach Heilprin looks back at Wisconsin’s epic 2015 Final Four win over a 38-0 Kentucky team.
A number of guests join him to look at it from three different perspectives:
Those that covered it: The Athletic’s Jesse Temple, Wisconsin State Journal’s Jim Polzin
Those that coached in it: Former UW assistant Gary Close
Those that played in it: Former UW guard Josh Gasser
On this week’s episode of The Camp, Zach Heilprin is joined by Evan Flood from 247Sports and new Wisconsin wide receivers coach Alvis Whitted.
Evan Flood interview | 1:48-19:34
Alvis Whitted interview — 19:46-40:10